Mike Macdonald’s Georgia roots form his teaching type at Michigan

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – When the Michigan soccer program hired Mike Macdonald as its defensive coordinator in January, the response from fans and the media was almost unanimous:


At the time of his hiring, Macdonald was nowhere near the references of more conventional candidates for the position. He had spent six seasons as a defensive assistant with the Baltimore Ravens – including one as a defensive back coach and three as a linebacker coach – but had never led a defensive or called games before.

Macdonald was as unconventional as any employee could get. But now that Macdonald prepares his defense for the Wolverines’ first appearance in the college football playoffs, that uncertainty is hard to notice.

“It’s like pinching yourself,” Macdonald said on Tuesday. “I look at the microphone and it says Orange Bowl and it’s hard to believe we’re here. But it was a great, great experience and once again really grateful that (Jim Harbaugh) took a risk for a guy like me. “

Friday’s game will also be a homecoming of sorts for Macdonald, who studied finance in Georgia before serving as a defensive quality control assistant and coach for the soccer team from 2010 to 2013. With the Bulldogs he got to know the peculiarities of college football that he had never experienced as a player, from observing then-coach Mark Richt to developing a “really rough relationship with the printer,” as he calls it.

“It’s been a great day, man,” said Macdonald. “Just learning from Coach Richt and Coach (Todd) Grantham and Coach (Mike) Bobo and really what an organization is and how it works – just being on the ground floor and doing whatever it takes to help the team win was really valuable. “

The lessons he’s learned in that role are evident in Michigan’s defense this season. The pre-snap positioning of the defensive line, the linebackers ‘eye discipline at the reading option, and the cornerbacks’ ability to maintain leverage in cover all suggest the Wolverines were seriously missed under Don Brown. Michigan’s almost miraculous turnaround in defense – from 88th place in overall defense last season to 10th in 2021 – speaks for his realignment on player development as well as for the redesign of defense systems.

The way he treats his players goes back to Macdonald’s coaching roots. While still a student, Macdonald trained football in ninth grade at Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Georgia. Aside from the football basics, which he had always understood well, as a ninth grader coach, Macdonald taught how to build relationships that motivate athletes to grow.

“That was probably the most fun coaching so far this year,” said Macdonald. “… But talk about great people in this building – Trainer Xarvia Smith really taught me a lot about life, how to be a man, how to grow up, and how to take care of people. I still have great relationships with some of these players to this day. “

His players feel that too.

“He’s done a lot for me,” said junior cornerback DJ Turner. “Man, he just gave me a chance. We do a whole bunch of different projects and it’s just really good when he came along, the knowledge of football that he brought with him. “

Junior edge rusher David Ojabo added, “For me personally, the game was just fun again. As DJ said, he gave me the chance to play easy and have fun doing it. “

Fun doesn’t win soccer games, but the Wolverines’ success this season shows that it definitely doesn’t hurt. When Macdonald replaced Brown, he fundamentally changed almost every aspect of Michigan’s defense, from defending passes to preparing for the enemy. Macdonald’s influences are evident in each of these changes.

On Friday he will have the opportunity to showcase his coaching style against one of the programs that shaped him in the first place.

Please consider making a donation to The Michigan Daily

Frank Vogel on change in his teaching model

Los Angeles Lakers Head coach Frank Vogel remains unimpressed by rumors that claim that his future on the team has become uncertain.

the Lakers“An overwhelming run in form has many people speculated that Frank Vogel will likely be sacked as the team’s coach.

After the Lakers’ impressive 117-92 win over the Sacramento Kings On Tuesday Vogel revealed that he had to “light a fire under his team”, which suggests that he will now appear more impressive as a coach.

“The coach has to start a fire under his team every now and then,” said Vogel via The athlete. “And today [against the Kings] was one of those games. “

Vogel was referring to the fiery speech he gave to the Lakers at halftime against Sacramento. Dwight Howard went on to reveal what the coach said: “His only point was, ‘stop talking about winning a championship and not making the right effort'”.

if current reports To be true, there have been widespread rumors that the Lakers are now considering making certain changes to the team. And while player swaps and takeovers are certainly the top two resolutions, it is believed the Lakers are keen to reassess their coaching staff. Put simply, the pressure on Vogel is growing.

As things stand, Vogel’s half-time speech against the kings seems to have worked so far. The Lakers have now improved their record to 12-11, registering a win percentage of 0.522. You are now sitting on seventh place in the ranking of the Western Conference.

Don Brown’s ‘direct, pointed’ teaching model embraced by Arizona Wildcat protection

With an entire unit to oversee, Defense Coordinator Don Brown doesn’t have time to hold all hands as he tries to prepare Arizona for each week’s new opponent. And his players are glad he doesn’t either.

“I like the way Coach Brown trains, I like this tough coaching,” Defensive Tackle Trevon Mason said last week. “He doesn’t care where you are, he doesn’t care if you are the star player, he will attack you, especially if you screw it up. Everyone needs that, I think. “

Brown made massive upgrades to his defense in his first year with Arizona, which has been in the bottom third of the Pac-12 in yards per game every year since 2014. In 2019 and 2020, the Wildcats were the dead last defense and scoring defense.

Arizona is still last in the conference on defense at 31.8 points per game, but that’s eight points better than a year ago and the yards allowed are even better. The Wildcats allow 381.3 yards per game, the fifth best in the conference, compared to 473 in 2020.

For 65-year-old Brown, who comes from the old school but still comes into contact with today’s players, his approach is simple: be honest and direct.

“They criticize the performance, not the actor,” Brown said on Tuesday. “It’s direct, it’s pointed. And I think that’s one of my strengths, I’m awesome. If I think something needs to be said, I will say it directly. “

Linebacker Jerry Roberts says Brown is “locked up” and “intense” during games, going through every play of the previous drive with the defense when they hit the sideline. If something has gone wrong, he will respond, but not single out individual sources of error.

“He criticizes the performance as a whole,” said Roberts. “For example, let’s say I go out there and give up a 50 yard touchdown. But he will not necessarily criticize me, he will criticize the entire defense. What could we have done better as a defense if we weren’t just concentrating on the individual? “

That’s not to say Brown doesn’t build close relationships with his players. That just happens not during training and games.

“If you’re out there practicing for two hours, you don’t have time to say, ‘Hey, come here and let’s hug,'” he said.

Brown used the spring and summer to figure out how best to train each of his boys and worked this out for the regular season. From Linebacker Anthony Pandy, who leads Arizona in Tackles and had a pick-six against USC, he said he’s gotten so much better since spring thanks to the relationship they’ve built.

“There were times in the spring when I would have traded it for two used soccer balls,” said Brown. “But that is no longer the case. And it really is by and large because of its approach to the game. We have an honest relationship. I can promise you that. He just wants it. And he wants the truth. The nice thing is knowing that I can be honest with the guy, you don’t have to cover it with candy. He has a chance to take what you tell him and bring it to the field and make the necessary adjustments. His trajectory in the last few weeks has been like this. “

As for the defensive ending Jalen Harriswho’s just having a breakout year: “Another guy who was ready to be coached. This guy is a smart guy, he could read the information and he took it to the field. Now a lot of people can do it in the drilling job, but they cannot bring it to the field. This guy brings it to the field. “

safety Jaxen Turner, who admits he has trust issues, said a face-to-face conversation he had with Brown prior to the start of the season made a big difference in his game.

“With a new employee, you won’t believe everything they say at first sight,” he said. “I am now fully on board, 100 percent inside.”

Turner was disqualified twice for targeting, including early against USC. Rather than pissing him off for costing his team, Brown just made sure Turner knew he was playing right and that mistakes sometimes still happen.

“I don’t know what you’re doing with it,” Brown said, saying that aiming “could be the worst rule in college football. They coach the tackling every day, we coach posture, head positioning and all those things. I thought he was under him, but I’m not the officer who runs the rule. Did you look at the piece and say he did it on purpose? It’s an absolute no, the answer is of course not. But for me you just keep going I had a player (in Michigan, Khaleke Hudson) a few years ago who had games in a row (with targeting). Then it went away. It’s a tough, tough deal. “

City Meyer’s ‘unhinged’ teaching type inflicting inner bother for Jaguars, report says

In Jacksonville, things are already jacked up.

Urban Meyers Jaguars’ tenure got off to a bumpy start, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, as coaches and players seem to disprove the head coach’s scratchy behavior in preseason, training and meetings during the first year.

La Canfora reports that Meyer’s temper allowed “red flags” early on as head coach, with some questioning his ability to last a season given his summer squabble with the team.

MORE: Why Jaguars’ Urban Meyer Experiment is already the subject of NFL jokes

“There is sometimes a gap between those on the staff with extensive professional experience and those who lack it, and morale has suffered as the outbreaks have continued,” says La Canfora. “His fiery remarks to players and coaches after the games have struck many as bizarre.”

La Canfora reported, citing sources, that Meyer had threatened the job security of his employees after the losses in the previous season and “downgraded coaches”. Meyer struggled to figure out the timing of the installation and other NFL planning elements, causing delays and further difficulties for the coaching team.

Jacksonville members also resent Meyer’s seemingly control freak demeanor, with Meyer taking over exercise drills if not done to his exact specifications and expectations. There are also questions about Meyer’s handling of NFL staff with the team, according to La Canfora.

“He’s already showing everyone over his shoulder,” a source told CBS. “He gets unhinged far too easily and doesn’t know how to deal with losing, even preseason. He loses it and wants to do the exercises himself. It’s not good.”

MORE: It’s not the first time we’ve heard of Urban Meyer’s problems with players

As a longtime and incredibly successful college head coach, Meyer is making his foray into the NFL sphere this year, his first as Jacksonville head coach. With the Jaguars’ hiring of Meyer and the election of child prodigy Trevor Lawrence as No. 1 overall, they signaled a new era in Jacksonville football.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have got off to a good start for everyone involved.

Karl Kuhn’s teaching type not a success with ex-Radford College baseball gamers | Native Information

“I’ve seen it on many, many occasions,” said a sophomore on the 2021 team who later switched. “He’ll pull you in there after a bad inning. You can hear screams. “

“He insults you, screams in your face,” said a top-class man of the team in 2021.

Radford sporting director Robert Lineburg said he was “100% behind” Kuhn.

“Coach is passionate and he will train hard,” Lineburg said on May 12 when he and Durand sat down with Kuhn for a joint interview with the Roanoke Times.

Durand confirmed two weeks ago that Radford University stood by Kuhn.

Three freshmen of the 2020 team said he moved to another school because he didn’t like playing for Kuhn.

“I loved 99.9% of my school. That 0.1% was him, ”said one of these players.

Kuhn, 51, spent 16 years as a pitching coach for the University of Virginia before joining Radford. He succeeded Joe Raccuia, who directed Radford for 12 seasons before stepping down.

“I was hired to take on a program, and if you do that, change is inevitable and change is difficult,” Kuhn said in the May interview. “If you either find yourself unable or unwilling to adapt or change, I believe there will be resistance.”

Jason Kidd’s teaching model described as ‘psychological warfare’ in Giannis Antetokounmpo’s biography

Milwaukee Bucks Superstar and NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo will release a new biography titled “Giannis: The Improbable Rise of an MVP” and talks about former head coach Jason Kidd, who was not very popular with the team’s players.

Kidd, a 10-time All-Star, trained the two-time NBA MVP and the Bucks from 2014 to 2018. In the book, Kidd’s coaching style was described as “psychological warfare” by a former Bucks player.


Excerpts from the book surfaced on social media this week. One incident that occurred during his tenure with the Bucks was that Kidd allegedly scheduled last-minute practice for Christmas Eve after the team lost to the Charlotte Hornets in what the former manager described as a “winnable” game .

According to the book, Kidd asked the players in front of each other if they deserved to be free after losing on Christmas Eve. The players gave their opinion on the matter, but Kidd scheduled a practice session at 9am.

EX-NBA coach received death threats after calling CARMELO ANTHONY “S-TTY DEFENDER”

“I don’t care,” said Kidd according to the book. “You get paid to do a job, so you do your job tomorrow. Things are changing. “

During practice, Kidd reportedly made the players “run like a college team”, calling former Bucks player Larry Sanders a “piece of shit” and a “terrible gamer”.

The book noted that the three-hour practice consisted mostly of conditioning exercises. He also told the players to train in the weight room and pool. The former center Zaza Pachulia said in the book that “everyone was so tired that no one thought of Christmas” and “had no more energy to open presents”.


“I don’t think I’ve done this since I left J-Kidd,” former Bucks security guard Brandon Knight told the book’s author, Mirin Fader. “That wasn’t normal.”

When asked to comment on Kidd as their coach, many players and coaches responded by asking whether they were on the record according to the book or not.

Not everybody can deal with Joe Decide’s robust teaching fashion. And most of them aren’t Giants anymore.

It is not for everyone.

If the past year and two days of Joe Judge’s tenure as coach of the Giants have shown us anything, it is that his methods require a certain kind of player personality to be successful. Because of this, while fans have been thrilled with the additions to the roster to bolster the playmaking in recent months, the more important process to the Giants’ success could be weeding out those who are not fully invested in the plan.

Whether Golden Tate or Marc Colombo or this week Kelvin Benjamin who decided he’d had enough before the training camp’s first full workout began in earnest, Judge is on a mission to prune every branch that tries to grow other direction than his vision.

Because of this, almost everyone in the Giants workforce has ancestry that runs through either New England or Alabama – specifically, Bill Belichick or Nick Saban, the two major influences in Judge’s philosophy. Because of this, many of the players who have joined the team since Judge took office in January 2020 have similar roots and personalities.

Richter does not hide his methods.

“We’re not trying to make this an easy place,” said Richter. “We want to make sure that through training the players are applying as much pressure as possible so that when they get into the games they can deal with a level of adversity and pressure that will help them function better.”

Subscribe to the Sports Now newsletter

By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

It’s a system that works as long as there are players who buy it. So far, the Giants have been able to keep more of these guys with them than those who can’t or won’t carry the judge’s flag for him. He has a dressing room with young executives in Daniel Jones, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard, and Leonard Williams who not only seem to tolerate the judge’s rules, but thrive among them. This is one of the reasons he dated Kenny Golladay for almost three days before the Giants decided to invest in him as a free agent this off-season to make sure he was that kind of person.

“He’s a tough coach,” said second grader Xavier McKinney (of Alabama, it should be noted) on Thursday. “He asks a lot of us, but we take on the challenge every day. It can be pretty brutal at times, but it is what it is. It wasn’t before … We love the process of going through it. “

But there is a countdown to how long such a culture can last without a very important ingredient. For Judge’s Way to work in the long term, the Giants have to win.

It started a little late last year, but the clock is now ticking towards a time when victories have to become far more mundane than has been the case with this franchise over the past decade.

There is nothing wrong with going the hard way, but it must lead to more success than the easy way. Something has to change in the team.

It won’t be a judge.

“Look, I’ll always be me, I’ll do it with my personality,” he said. “I think you have to do this or you will only lie if you try to be something else.”

The judge said he spent time this off-season investigating how he interacts with players. He said he was trying to hear as many wise voices as possible, from sports psychologists to professional lacrosse and women’s basketball coaches to Navy SEALs, to get a better understanding of the best ways to reach this current group of Giants players .

“I don’t want to miss anyone,” he said. “One of the most important things we want to do is evaluate our team and make sure we don’t put someone on the road who can help us win, who we misjudge because we don’t see through a shadow of a personality can to see what someone can really do. “

Despite Benjamin’s grievances, which he voiced to the media by complaining that Judge confronted him for failing to come into the camp with the weight the team wanted him to take, cursing too much and being a “know it all”, The Judge he never interacted with actually has a pretty good track record of listening to and understanding the players. The coach who gets players to run penalties in practice is the same one who did a “favor” to rookie Derrick Dillon last year by removing him from the training roster so he could be at the birth of his child, the same coach Kadarius, who was last at the mini camp this month saw Kadarius Toney in the locker room crying over the news that a close relative was sick and put him on the first flight home to be with his family there.

Because of this, several players came to Judge’s defense because of Benjamin’s farewell shots.

“He has a right to his opinion,” said cornerback James Bradberry. “I definitely think Coach Judge is tough. We have a lot of pressure in our shoes so I don’t expect him to give us our will all the time. A tough coach, that’s how you build structure, that’s how you build.” Discipline. That’s what he’s building here. “

Regarding the salty language, Judge didn’t apologize – “It’s a little different when you’re out there, kind of a heat of the moment,” he said – but insisted that he and his staff never use those words about players themselves .

“It’s very intense,” Dexter Lawrence said of Judge. “He respects us, we respect him … I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like him.”

At least not on the list.

No longer.

Notes & Quotes: Saquon Barkley stays with PUP, but he might get closer to his teammates. The running back, recovering from a torn cruciate ligament, looked much more active and explosive on Thursday than on Wednesday. The Giants are taking Barkley slowly, but Thursday’s presentation may have given them some evidence that he’s almost ready for action. . . First-round pick Kadarious Toney has yet to participate in training camp exercises or reps despite being removed from the COVID-19 / reserve list earlier this week. “We’ll keep it going up over there [on the side with the trainers]”said Richter.” We’ll take him day in and day out, “was quickly followed by center Nick Gates, and then a trio of culprits – Daniel Jones, Alex Bachman and Brett Heggie – who toured together.

Tom Rock began reporting on sports for Newsday in 1996 and has been the Giants beat writer since 2008.

Teaching type of Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton makes its solution to Nigeria sidelines

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (WTXL) – Luke Loucks’ career in the State of Florida was marked by setting the school record for the most games played as Garnet and Gold (136). And helped lead the FSU to its first ACC championship in 2012. All along the way, Loucks was soaking up information from one of the best coaches ever.

When he left the state of Florida, the coaching was out of sight from Luke. But when his time as a professional overseas player came to an end, he remembered all the times Leonard Hamilton tried to give him a chance. Loucks is now on the sidelines of the Nigerian men’s basketball team, ready to implement one of the most important lessons he learned during his time under coach Hamilton.

“I always go back and we talk about it all the time with the Warriors and even with Team Nigeria, exactly the defensive intensity he asked you to do. I learned that from day one when I played for coach (Leonard) Hamilton, ”says Loucks. “And it’s something I will always have wherever I train. No matter what kind of athlete I have, when you get on the pitch you will be on your guard. And that’s why it’s always so difficult for me to play Florida State. “

Blue Jackets’ star Patrik Laine criticizes Tortorella’s teaching model | Sports activities

Patrik Laine sings a new melody.

After taking the blame for the worst offensive performance of his career in May, the Blue Jackets forward passed a significant portion of the blame on to ex-manager John Tortorella this week.

Speaking to Finnish media company aamulehti.fi on Tuesday, Laine pointed out Tortorella’s requirement that strikers play a “responsible” two-way game – working both defensively and offensively – to contribute to a season-long goal drought.

“I think everyone has to have rules, but of course you always hope that you can use your strengths,” Laine told the publication. “Tortorella has not given anyone freedom. Strikers want to be aggressive. You have to “cheat” a bit if you want to be Goal King. It doesn’t work if the coaches think differently. But I do what they tell me. “

That wasn’t the end of it.

“I understand the need for a tight system, but all players are different,” said Laine. “I don’t even want to be like everyone else. I am who I am and do things my way. Everyone should have the opportunity to be themselves. Then of course you have to play in the team’s system. I think it’s stupid not to use my potential. But then it’s a different matter what the coaches think. “

Tortorella and the Blue Jackets parted ways after the season. Both he and Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen declined to comment on Laine’s remarks.

Laine had 12 goals, 12 assists, 24 points and a rating of minus 28 in 46 games – all career lows.

Two goals and one assist came during a season opener for the Winnipeg Jets, who put Laine in second place overall in 2016 and handed him over to Columbus on January 23, along with striker Jack Roslovic. The Blue Jackets sent Pierre-Luc Dubois, whom they had drafted a pick to Laine, to the Jets along with their pick in the third round of this year’s draft.

During a media availability at the end of the season in May, Laine was asked whether a new coach or a new offensive system could revive his goal effect.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I think it was just… the main reason was that I wasn’t playing as well as I needed to. It’s not the system’s fault. It’s my fault. I think it doesn’t matter who is behind the bench. I still have to go out there and do what I do. That wasn’t possible this year, but I’ll do it next year. “

Laine, who scored 140 goals and 110 assists in 306 games for the Jets, was also asked about his relationship with Tortorella, whose straightforward style has bothered some players in the past.

“I think it was pretty good,” said Laine. “I think we had some good conversations about the way I have to play or about… expectations and all that. I think that was good. I’ve definitely seen that if you don’t play well, you don’t play. This is good. It doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you make. You’re still the same You will be put on the bench if you don’t play well and I definitely have to see that this year. “

Laine was benched three games of his Blue Jackets career for another reason. He only logged into the Nationwide Arena at 11:14 am on February 8 and survived the entire third period of a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. Sources told The Dispatch the next day that Laine made a disrespectful comment on a member of the coaching staff, leading Tortorella to sit him down.

Dispatch has now learned that the comment was directed at Brad Larsen, Tortorella’s replacement as head coach. Larsen declined to comment when asked if he and Laine patched things up. A source close to the situation said there should be no ongoing issues from the incident, which was quickly resolved.

Larsen has also hired Pascal Vincent from the Jets organization as one of his assistants. Vincent trained Roslovic in the American Hockey League and worked with Laine during previous training camps in Winnipeg.

“That wasn’t a decisive factor for me at all,” said Larsen in June. “It’s kind of a bonus. He knows who they are and has worked with Jack, and Patty knows him from the same organization. I just have the feeling that this is a bonus. “

© 2021 www.dispatch.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

Granato’s teaching type permitting younger Sabres gamers to flourish

March 17th is better known for St. Patrick’s Day, but for Buffalo ice hockey fans, March 17th marks the end of one of the year’s up and down coaching terms Buffalo sabers History. Most Sabers fans saw Ralph Kreuger’s shooting as a relief after his docile and relaxed coaching style resulted in a team that seemed downright unconventional and incompetent.

Last off-season, this team had so many people who – once again – believed the team might be tied to the playoffs. It seemed like the team had made a real attempt to fight for one of the top 4 spots in the division. Unfortunately, after a terrible start to the season, the Sabers had more of a contender for their first overall victory than a playoff spot. Then, on St. Patrick’s Day, Ralph Kreuger was fired and Don Granato was appointed interim coach.

In the first six games after Granato was appointed interim coach, the results were the same as when Kreuger was still head coach. Sabers fans saw Don Granato’s first win as the Sabers head coach, with some less than stellar results for the team soon after. However, what became apparent to even the most casual of fans was the fact that the team now looked more competitive than they had all season before Kreuger was fired. Although there had been some one-sided results, we saw a team that at least partially resembled a fast-paced, aggressively coordinated ice hockey team.

Even during those first six games of Granato’s tenure with the Sabers, the team still allowed more goals than one would have hoped. But after the first few games, the team’s defensive style seemed to be moving in the right direction. The players are no longer afraid to attack the puck carrier in the neutral / defensive zone and now try to surprise their opponents. The snack to giveaway ratio rose dramatically when Granato took over as interim coach, and the overall aggressive and more offensive defensive game continued to improve.

The teams are no longer harassing the Sabers at the head of the net, and the players have worked together to block the fast lanes to break open and intercept the passes. In the offensive end and the neutral zone, Buffalo players swarm harder to put pressure on the puck bearers and primary pass options. That allowed Casey Mittelstadt, Days Thompson, and Arttu Ruotsalainen to achieve their success in the last few weeks. Don Granato made the most of this young group of Sabers called up for a late-season friendly and the results and the overall game were impressive.

It seems obvious that Ralph Kreuger preached a more structured defensive game while in Buffalo. There’s nothing wrong with this approach as many traditional old school coaches prefer this as the main focus of a team. However, the tactic in implementing his system was to be more passive, not incurring unnecessary penalties, and letting the opponent make the first mistake.

While this system makes sense in theory, the ebb and flow of hockey games today do not allow this system to work the way Kreuger envisioned. Hockey teams are aggressively faster and more aggressive today than ever before. By letting your team play passive hockey, you allow the aggressive opponent to use the passive game of defense against them – essentially handcuffed.

During Kruger’s tenure, an opponent was often seen taking the puck into the offensive zone while the Sabers defenders continued to give the opposition ground instead of challenging at or around the blue line. When this happens and the Sabers defense returns so quickly from the offensive, the zone opens up from the diamond markings along the circles to the blue line that only beckons to an opposing player like a “Kucherov” or a “Pastrnak”, to enter and shoot through screens.

At this point, when things like that kept popping up night after night, it wasn’t so much what the opposition did to beat this Sabers team, it was the Sabers who beat themselves, how they embraced the system from the point of view of the System approached. However, it was Ralph Krueger’s credit that this passive defense approach was a major reason the Sabers had imposed so few penalties throughout the season.

It has been said that Don Granato allows his players to play the way they can – unlike Krueger, who contented himself with getting Rasmus Dahlin to stay behind and stay home more and get Jeff Skinner to grind and begin most of his shifts in the defensive zone rather than being put offensively in more favorable situations Granato is respected by his players, also because he expects them to play responsibly.

The Sabers will miss the playoffs again but it’s hard not to see the silver lining at the end of this season. Don Granato’s ability to inspire and motivate and his instinct to know when a player should be who he is rather than trying to make him his ideal hockey player like the old school “Ralph Kreuger-like” coaches do League tries to do.

The Sabers face many important decisions about this ice hockey team and what the future holds for them during the off-season. I hope that Kevyn Adams embodies Granato’s hands-off coaching style in the best possible way and gives Don the opportunity to keep moving in a positive direction with this ice hockey team.