Lost in all the dazzling over the developing Jamie Benn-Loui Eriksson bromance after yesterday's 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes, I found this wonderful gem that made me love Dallas Stars coach Glen Gulutzan a little more.
While many coaches (hi new St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock!) would have spent hours breaking down all the defensive miscues that led to the 7-6 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, Gulutzan took a radically different approach.
He didn't do any team video. Instead, he trusted the players to analyze themselves and correct their own mistakes.
"We didn't do any group video from that game. What we did is we just had the guys look at their own shifts and they wrote down comments on each one of their shifts," Gulutzan said. "Then we went through those shifts and wrote down our comments and gave them back to the players so we could all get on the same page. It's funny, you make the players write down what they think of their game and they're a lot harder on themselves than us coaches are."
Gulutzan’s said he’s used this approach before, but he doesn’t do it often.
"Usually, we do it once a year. Most of the players watch their own shifts anyway, but when you write things down, you're committing them to memory. I think it's a good learning tool every now and then," Gulutzan said. "If you tried it every day, you'd have a mutiny, but if you do it once or twice a year over 82 games, it isn’t a big thing and I think some of the guys liked it."
It's a remarkably adult way to treat the players, and I suspect they learn as much or more from it than they would from a team session. In addition, I would assume it makes the players feel like the coaching staff trusts them, something that can go a long way to making both sides work together well.
After the jump, more on the Stars victory over the Hurricanes, the national media takes on the Stars road trip and everyone person in professional hockey has been tempted to go after a fan with a hockey stick at least once.
- Mike Heika steals from the movie Gladiator and maybe a little bit from Razor with perhaps the perfect lead paragraph to this paywalled story. [DallasNews.com]
- And Mark Stepneski offers us the quick and dirty recap with a wonderful coach from Canes coach Paul Maurice. [ESPN Dallas]
- Meanwhile, our friends over at Canes Country were not impressed with the boys in red and white.[Canes Country]
- Before we even get to this story, this might just be the best picture of Mark Fistric I've ever seen on top of the story. Also, the Canes admit to being outworked. [News & Observer]
- You can all relax now. The folks at PHT have dubbed the Stars officially the surprise story of the season. I know I feel reassured. [ProHockeyTalk]
- While I appreciate the acknowledgment that the Stars are playing well, the folks at NHL.com know the Stars already had a big West Coast road swing, right? Please? It's only their league... [NHL.com]
- The St. Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets and everyone else involved aren't really talking yet about the firing of Davis Payne and hiring of Ken Hitchcock in St. Louis. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]
- As a bonus meet the enemy about the only Western Conference team on this road swing, I bring you what the Detroit Red Wings are thinking about facing some of the best teams in the league - the Stars and Edmonton Oilers. We all had this season drawn up that way, right? [USA Today]
- Meet the enemy: Even though the Washington Capitals have been the top team in the Eastern Conference, they are looking for consistency after a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders. [Washington Times]
- Around the Pacific Division: The other four teams had Sunday off, but Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is undoubtedly thankful for his decision to wear a visor after Pittsburgh Penguins post specialist James Neal put a shot dangerously close to his eye. [Puck Daddy]
- Oh KHL, you bring me such surreal videos. While this is not quite at the level of Mike Milbury beating a fan over the head with his own shoe, it does deserve a place in the "crazy coach" hall of fame when former San Jose Sharks player Andrei Nazarov tries to whack a fan behind the bench with a hockey stick. [Puck Daddy]
- Be on the lookout for the rare Jamie Benn personality and humor later today, but I bring to you Glen Gulutzan talking about a wonderful start to the road trip. Also, witness the bafflement of the Eastern Conference media, who apparently hadn't gotten the memo that this team is pretty good so far.