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Random Monday Thoughts

Well, now that I finally have both power and internet again, I can actually post a few things.  Being without power and trapped in my house did give me an excuse to finally finish the biography of Herb Brooks I’ve been reading for way to long.  The full title is Herb Brooks: The Inside Story of a Hockey Mastermind.  I found it very interesting.  Beyond his actual life story, I found it really intriguing how Brooks approached the game of hockey, from both a motivational and strategic method.  Motivationally the guy was an amateur psychologist, knowing just what buttons to push and how to push them for each player or collection of players he had.  Strategically, he’s of course known for his ground-breaking adoption of European styles and incorporating them into the North American type of hockey.  But I found it interesting that despite his love of these innovative ways to play, above all else he believed in adopting his style to his the players he had at his disposal.  It’s kind of interesting to think about in context to what Coach Cahoon is trying to do at UMass, recruiting small, fast, and maybe under the radar type players and figuring out a way to use them to bring down the big goliaths of Hockey East.  In recent years it’s looked like that’s worked extremely well, until they run into a team or series of teams which completely destroys them on the ice.  There were some insights to be taken from the book though and I highly recommend it.

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No college games means no polls or awards on this Monday, but there is still some great hockey being played.  The World Juniors got started out in Buffalo and it an interesting opener for the host squad.  USA took a 2-1 lead into the third until Finland tied it.  But the Americans ultimately won on an overtime gamewinner by Nick Bjugstad, who UMass faced out in Minnesota.  The other team I’ll be watching is Sweden, which UMass of course beat.  The Swedes blasted Norway 7-1 in their opener.

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Lastly, you may notice the addition of a new logo on the right hand side of the blog, which was a Christmas present from my wife.  Big thanks to her and our friend at Lynnette Poe Design who did a great job in creating the logo itself.

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2 Comments

  1. Just catching up on your thread, and saw you had noted this “It’s kind of interesting to think about in context to what Coach Cahoon is trying to do at UMass, recruiting small, fast, and maybe under the radar type players and figuring out a way to use them to bring down the big goliaths of Hockey East.”

    Coach MacDonald has been doing this for a while at Lowell now, going away from the bruisers (Kyle Kidney anyone) and more to the faster, more skillful players. It really is interesting (from my POV) to wonder if it works, because I think it took away one of the plusses that a team like Lowell has. I think what MC is doing might be better, do a good mix of the bigger, tougher players, as well as recruit some of the skillful players. The tougher players give you a bit of an advantage when playing a BC, BU, etc … you’ve got 21 year old freshmen that are 40-50 pounds more than some of the very talented freshmen those schools bring in. That helps even the ice a little bit.

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    • Yeah. I have no idea how successful it’ll be. You can already see teams taking advantage of the lack of bruisers by being really physical (dirty) with guys like Syner, Marcou, and the goaltenders.

      Success or not it’s at least more entertaining than the trap days of the past.

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