On Jason’s show tonight, injured d-man Newton made a comment that the coaching staff has been some of the most positive people around the players during this frustrating season. He said, and I quote, “…(during) a three game losing streak, we’d expect to go in and run down and backs after a loss, but instead the coaches would say, ‘all right, guys, that game’s done, let’s move on and work hard today.'” There are, apparently, no punishment sessions at practice at all, ever.
Now, I’m not one who believes that these guys should be punished all the time just because they’re losing. There are fans who are calling for an end to community appearances and games played at practice–such as the strip shootout that was reported last week–and I’ll admit, I don’t think that’s the answer. You can’t make these guys dread their life. Hockey is what they do. They can’t be afraid to wake up and go to work in the morning.
But, is there something to be said for having a practice where they run punishment drills after they’ve had a bad game? I’m curious how the fans feel about this. Personally, I don’t really like that these coaches seem soft on the players. As I said, I don’t think the players should live in fear. But, I do think there should be accountability and some kind of consequence during practice if games aren’t going well. This is their job, and right now many of them are not performing well. Therefore, shouldn’t there be consequences?
But, playing devil’s advocate here, I must ask the question: is losing enough of a consequence? We’ve had teams in the past where the practices have been punishing, and yet all it seemed to do was embitter and wear out the players. The coaches we have this season seem to think that it’s smart to let a loss speak for itself, and not “rub it in,” as it were, the next day. Maybe they’re right, as these are young guys and you don’t want to sour them too soon.
What do you think?