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"We've got to be tougher to play against." Phil Housley

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5 hours ago, inkman said:

And being tough to play against doesn't equal toughness. We can get into the 100 definitions of toughness but in hockey it's almost always related to physical play and fighting.  

I don't think "physical play and fighting" is what Phil is talking about.

A better word would be "tenacity" like refusing to give up the puck when you have it and trying like hell to get it back when you don't.  That has nothing to do with fighting or lighting up a player with his head down in the middle of the ice.

A guy like Zemgus, when he is at the height of his game, is playing "tough" the way Phil is describing.  Has nothing to do with hitting or fighting.

 

 

 

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16 minutes ago, darksabre said:

 

It always amuses me how the media and most others complain about the players using the same pat answers to questions and then when someone who obviously is ticked off after a tough loss and says out loud what he's thinking and then he gets lambasted over it. STFU, let the players have some leeway. If Sam said those things today, I'd say ok, he's had time to soften that stance, but right after the game..... just let the guy be. 

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Just now, jsb said:

It always amuses me how the media and most others complain about the players using the same pat answers to questions and then when someone who obviously is ticked off after a tough loss and says out loud what he's thinking and then he gets lambasted over it. STFU, let the players have some leeway. If Sam said those things today, I'd say ok, he's had time to soften that stance, but right after the game..... just let the guy be. 

It's part of being an NHL player (and a head coach). You have to think about what you're saying to the media because if you want to start dumping on teammates or players outside of the room you better be ready for the consequences. 

You can be honest with the media without being a bad teammate. 

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1 minute ago, jsb said:

It always amuses me how the media and most others complain about the players using the same pat answers to questions and then when someone who obviously is ticked off after a tough loss and says out loud what he's thinking and then he gets lambasted over it. STFU, let the players have some leeway. If Sam said those things today, I'd say ok, he's had time to soften that stance, but right after the game..... just let the guy be. 

When a young kid makes a huge mistake you don't let him be.  You grab him and make it clear to him he can't be doing that crap and get your house in order.  Which is what they have obviously done.

I totally understand that 99.9% of all questions, ever asked to any athlete, and the resulting answer, are all a giant waste of time.  The questions in this post game interviews are absolutely ridiculous and usually don't have any answers.  The players are trying to come up with something the best they can, and they end up relying on trite catchphrases that also make no sense.


And on and on the dance goes.   

Paul Hamilton was asking players last night: "What was happening to let in all those goals?" or words to that effect.  Like basically asking the player to provide a schematic overview of the team's defensive play, collectively, for 60 minutes, and explain tactically why it wasn't sufficiently keeping the puck out of the net.

Come on Paul.  These are kids, and not very smart kids.  Ask them questions they can actually answer.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Weave said:

I used the word tenacity in another theead.  That is what is lacking and it is often misconstrued as toughness.

I agree.  Although, in some ways, playing against a tenacious team would be tougher than not.  So, one kind of begets the other.  Just like playing more physical would make a team tougher to play against.  English.. we love it!

4 hours ago, SABRES 0311 said:

I think PH is feeling the pressure now and this was more of a deflection from him than trying to call JBott out. Still a weak move. Sam on the other hand pulled a DBag move and if I was a goalie his face would meet the wall. Reason being, how many goals did Sam score when Ullmark got let down against Dallas? 

Sam said what he said in a room full of people instead of pulling the goalies aside like a man. No balls. 

This is an opportunity for Jack to be a Captain and tell Sam to STFU. Preferably he does it in front of the team with no reporters around. Gives him credit with the other players and might spark some emotion.

 

Why would you assume that these accusations haven't been said in the locker room prior to this?  Perhaps Eichel feels the same way but as the Captain he can't say it, so Sam does. There are lot of aspects to this to consider other than what is right in front of your face.  

Just food for thought... we have a game where the Sabres collapsed and the goaltending was once again a let down (defensive coverage aside). The Captain would LOVE to say something, but he just rang a shot off the glass that led to the game winning goal. It's not going to sound good coming from him.  Reinhart on the other hand set up two very nice goals including the game tying goal.  He's got some leash to play with.  So play with it.

I'm not saying that's what happened. I am certainly suggesting it as a plausible possibility.

1 hour ago, MakeSabresGrr8Again said:

It also seems that the direction of the NHL is at fault to some extent.

D-men are getting smaller and more offensive minded, while the forwards are getting bigger and faster. It seems that more races for the puck and battles in the D-zone are being lost by the team defending because of this. Dahlin might be an exception to this in a couple years with speed, O-skills, and toughness. We need more of that. Risto is close.

I remember reading about Karlsson's coach telling him if he takes care of his D-zone responsibilities that the offensive chances will take care of themselves. He really took off after that.

Tough or tenacity?  A bigger, more physical player may win a puck battle over a smaller one.  However, if the smaller one can be quicker and more tenacious it might offset the physical differences.  Pavel Datsyuk was many things, but he was not a big physical player. He was still incredible at obtaining and retaining possession of the puck. 

Mittlestadt often shows that level of tenacity.  It doesn't always translate, but at least he shows it.  Some other players do not.  Those who peel off from a play or delay their skating routinely after the puck is taken from them. 

3 minutes ago, Kruppstahl said:

I don't think "physical play and fighting" is what Phil is talking about.

A better word would be "tenacity" like refusing to give up the puck when you have it and trying like hell to get it back when you don't.  That has nothing to do with fighting or lighting up a player with his head down in the middle of the ice.

A guy like Zemgus, when he is at the height of his game, is playing "tough" the way Phil is describing.  Has nothing to do with hitting or fighting.

 

 

 

Yep..

Bottom line, I want to see players who instill one of two things into my head.

"I'm going to the net, you are not going to stop me unless you kill me."

"That was my puck, I want it back, and I am going to be all over you until I get it."

You know it when you see it.

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40 minutes ago, LTS said:

Yep..

Bottom line, I want to see players who instill one of two things into my head.

"I'm going to the net, you are not going to stop me unless you kill me."

"That was my puck, I want it back, and I am going to be all over you until I get it."

You know it when you see it.

That's a pretty clear way of articulating what we are getting at. Nicely done.

For an extreme example, I think of how Nathan Gerbe was able to carve out some NHL time by personifying the bolded. He wasn't good or big enough to be a consistent NHL'er, but he played with the tenacity you need.

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I agree that more tenacity would help. But all I really care about is results.

People are always going to like the guy that runs through walls more than the guy who finds the backdoor. Doesn't matter if the second guy is the one who gets the warm seat on the couch and the first guy end up with a broken nose.

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7 hours ago, LTS said:

I never understand this line of thinking.  Housley's skill set doesn't preclude him not understanding other aspects of the game.  It's not like he wasn't around some tough as nails players in all of his time playing and coaching. 

More over, toughness does not mean physicality. It's one way to be tougher to play against. It can also mean that the team is not tenacious enough in its defense. It can mean that it is too easy to get the puck from them when they are on offense.

I had a tough teacher more than once. They didn't beat me over the head.

It's easy to blame the coach, because it's one person.  It's one person whose job it is to motivate the team. However, if you've ever tried to lead a team you may have come up against the situation where a few bad eggs on the team will consistently undermine anything you are trying to do. It's compounded if those bad eggs are also some of the more talented on the team.

Right now, this team is back to being fragile. Okposo said it a few weeks ago (or last week).  The coaching card that was posted in the Carolina thread says it.  Their mental state is fragile and that's not something a coach can necessarily fix. The team has to resolve that issue.  It's beginning to sound like the locker room problem hasn't been totally eradicated and that someone in there still needs to get bounced. 

If Housley and Botterill are not on the same page I wouldn't necessarily point the finger at Housley.

Right now I think it's safe to say that the whole team is at fault for sucking it up.  I wouldn't point the finger at any one person. They suck and they need to stop feeling bad about it and decide to play hockey and that doesn't come from 1 person.  It comes from all of them.

But Housley's skill set doesn't necessarily mean he fully understands other aspects of the game.  Just like Lindy being rather solid in the defensive end as a player but not understanding how to coach power play, which was longtime problem for him.

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2 hours ago, dudacek said:

I agree that more tenacity would help. But all I really care about is results.

People are always going to like the guy that runs through walls more than the guy who finds the backdoor. Doesn't matter if the second guy is the one who gets the warm seat on the couch and the first guy end up with a broken nose.

Tenacity gets results though. It'snot about running through walls.  It's about not giving up on a play, or a possession, or an off target pass.

 

Post Drury, Greer, McKee, Campbell Sabres suffered the same problem.

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4 hours ago, LTS said:

I agree.  Although, in some ways, playing against a tenacious team would be tougher than not.  So, one kind of begets the other.  Just like playing more physical would make a team tougher to play against.  English.. we love it!

Why would you assume that these accusations haven't been said in the locker room prior to this?  Perhaps Eichel feels the same way but as the Captain he can't say it, so Sam does. There are lot of aspects to this to consider other than what is right in front of your face.  

Just food for thought... we have a game where the Sabres collapsed and the goaltending was once again a let down (defensive coverage aside). The Captain would LOVE to say something, but he just rang a shot off the glass that led to the game winning goal. It's not going to sound good coming from him.  Reinhart on the other hand set up two very nice goals including the game tying goal.  He's got some leash to play with.  So play with it.

I'm not saying that's what happened. I am certainly suggesting it as a plausible possibility.

Worse case scenario, Eichel scores an own goal. He still needs to say what needs to be said. No leader in any aspect of life will have a perfect opportunity to correct someone. Any leader who thinks they need to be perfect to say something is no leader at all.

Sam is not the Captain and for good reason. Eichel would have enough respect to not do it into a mic. This would resonate with the goalie and other players. There’s also a time and place. The next day pull the goalies aside and do it. Immediately after the game there is too much emotion to make a point.

I do not believe any real emotional discussions have happened. I would suspect they lead to confrontation. Fom what we see on the ice there are only a couple of guys who look like they are comfortable with that sort of thing. Sam is not one of them which is why he did it in a room full of outsiders.

A players only meeting where they verbally go at it is needed. Tell reporters to GFY. They are trying to write articles their publications need to sell papers. IMO some of those questions led to prescribed answers. Sam fell for it and so did Phil to an extent. Jack will be a good Captain someday and if he talks to Sam about his comment it will be a step in the right direction. It also shows the next guy he says something to that he doesn’t care who it is. 

Edited by SABRES 0311

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5 hours ago, Weave said:

I think our captain lacks tenacity as well.  

For all of the non-Pittsburgh fan abuse he got as being less than masculine, Sydney Crosby has been one tenacious MFer to play against.  Jack needs that level of tenacity.  

Make a couple plays every game with the tenacity Skinner displayed on that late goal and Jack would be compared more directly with McDavid.

And he’d be a much better captain as well.

No doubt Jack is a highly talented player, with great speed and a dangerous shot (which he does not utilize enough).  That being said, I completely agree with the statement above in terms of 200 ft. tenacity.   Imagine what kind of numbers he would have if he gave 100% instead of gliding.  In addition, Sydney has the supreme hockey "sense" that I wish Jack had, but he simply does not.  This is why Jack will be a very good player, but he will always be a tier below a Syd, Ovie, Connor.  Others may argue about supporting cast members, but I would contend those other players are still more tenacious.

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5 hours ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

The only thing worse than an ill-advised comment, but a reasonable accurate one, is walking back from it.

I can't agree more.  Sam's "explanation" was *****.

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OK, fine sir Eleven has given me an opening. Incoming hot take...

The Pegulas want the Sabres organization to be more honorable, want employees who reflect their values. For example, Terry said he didn't have much to say about hiring GMTM, and he ended up with a guy who admitted to not communicating well with his players and coaches. There's also an allegation about Murray using the C-word when referring to Kim. So the Botterill hire was Terry really paying attention and enforcing his will on the hiring process. The resulting contrast in personalities and maybe even character is pretty striking between the last two Sabre GMs.

And the Pegulas recently fired two execs, creepy and middle aged (attributes pointed out by the alleged focus of their attention), after claims of naughty, aggressive, maybe harassing bar talk. That's fine and good.

Now we apparently have someone on staff who coached Reinhart into this farcical coverup. That person is probably named in the News piece. "We need more for our goalies"? It doesn't even make sense. Is this an honorable way of doing business and in the spirit of the corporate values of PSE? Does it matter if the purpose of said coverup is to protect and further the interest of the hockey team? Does the end justify the means?

Just some food for thought for a cold and blustery Friday night.

Edited by PASabreFan
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11 hours ago, inkman said:

And being tough to play against doesn't equal toughness. We can get into the 100 definitions of toughness but in hockey it's almost always related to physical play and fighting.  

This is dead on. carolina is actually a fast team that is harder to play against because their forwards back check better. Tough in front of the net isn't just about the D. It's about a team concept where if you expect the D to lead the rush and move the puck out all the time you have to also expect the forwards to cover for them defensively. 

Having said that, Bogo's play has dropped off second half and that has had a big impact. Maybe he simply can't keep up the pace for a full season dunno. And I know many of you love Pilut, and he is pretty good offensively, but he is a dead loss in terms of tough D in front of his own net. Dahlin gets a pass from me at 18, but expecting him to outmuscle guys in front is also unrealistic at this stage, so really what do you expect would happen?  If we play this system, we do in fact have to win games 6-5 or 7-6.

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6 hours ago, Kruppstahl said:

I don't think "physical play and fighting" is what Phil is talking about.

A better word would be "tenacity" like refusing to give up the puck when you have it and trying like hell to get it back when you don't.  That has nothing to do with fighting or lighting up a player with his head down in the middle of the ice.

A guy like Zemgus, when he is at the height of his game, is playing "tough" the way Phil is describing.  Has nothing to do with hitting or fighting.

 

 

 

I was implying this sentiment but must have done a poor job explaining.

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2 hours ago, SABRES 0311 said:

Worse case scenario, Eichel scores an own goal. He still needs to say what needs to be said. No leader in any aspect of life will have a perfect opportunity to correct someone. Any leader who thinks they need to be perfect to say something is no leader at all.

Sam is not the Captain and for good reason. Eichel would have enough respect to not do it into a mic. This would resonate with the goalie and other players. There’s also a time and place. The next day pull the goalies aside and do it. Immediately after the game there is too much emotion to make a point.

I do not believe any real emotional discussions have happened. I would suspect they lead to confrontation. Fom what we see on the ice there are only a couple of guys who look like they are comfortable with that sort of thing. Sam is not one of them which is why he did it in a room full of outsiders.

A players only meeting where they verbally go at it is needed. Tell reporters to GFY. They are trying to write articles their publications need to sell papers. IMO some of those questions led to prescribed answers. Sam fell for it and so did Phil to an extent. Jack will be a good Captain someday and if he talks to Sam about his comment it will be a step in the right direction. It also shows the next guy he says something to that he doesn’t care who it is. 

I disagree with this part. Eichel has no business critiquing Sam’s comments when he was one of the most egregious offenders of what Sam was talking about. Also,  it’s not the captain’s job to silence the locker room. That’s how you lose a room.

 

Eichel also can’t come out and say anything worthwhile about his play because the last time a player got too down on himself he was ran out of town. The biggest difference is that O’Reilly needn’t be as down on himself as Eichel should be. Lead on the ice and the room will follow or step up in the room and make your presence felt, but lately Jack has been lacking in both respects (speculating on his lack of room presence.)

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7 hours ago, LTS said:

I agree.  Although, in some ways, playing against a tenacious team would be tougher than not.  So, one kind of begets the other.  Just like playing more physical would make a team tougher to play against.  English.. we love it!

Why would you assume that these accusations haven't been said in the locker room prior to this?  Perhaps Eichel feels the same way but as the Captain he can't say it, so Sam does. There are lot of aspects to this to consider other than what is right in front of your face.  

Just food for thought... we have a game where the Sabres collapsed and the goaltending was once again a let down (defensive coverage aside). The Captain would LOVE to say something, but he just rang a shot off the glass that led to the game winning goal. It's not going to sound good coming from him.  Reinhart on the other hand set up two very nice goals including the game tying goal.  He's got some leash to play with.  So play with it.

I'm not saying that's what happened. I am certainly suggesting it as a plausible possibility.

Tough or tenacity?  A bigger, more physical player may win a puck battle over a smaller one.  However, if the smaller one can be quicker and more tenacious it might offset the physical differences.  Pavel Datsyuk was many things, but he was not a big physical player. He was still incredible at obtaining and retaining possession of the puck. 

Mittlestadt often shows that level of tenacity.  It doesn't always translate, but at least he shows it.  Some other players do not.  Those who peel off from a play or delay their skating routinely after the puck is taken from them. 

Yep..

Bottom line, I want to see players who instill one of two things into my head.

"I'm going to the net, you are not going to stop me unless you kill me."

"That was my puck, I want it back, and I am going to be all over you until I get it."

You know it when you see it.

I thought I was speaking in English when I mentioned winning battles and races for pucks. That does not solely allow for physical play to the accentuated factor.

If you want to twist the meaning of things, I can do the same.....

How do you get say things like "unless you kill me" and "I am going to be all over you" which would take being tough or at least physical? Or was the Bundy just "tenacious?

The problem is some people "think" that when other people talk about toughness that they mean physically. They "think" they are the only ones that  can distinguish between the physical part and the tenacity and use it as an excuse to make a play on words to promote some perfectionist attitude and agenda.

And please don't treat me like some idiot that doesn't know that size isn't always a factor and continue on a rant with Datsyuk as an example like I've never seen hockey before. Oh, and just so you know, I've seen Marty St. Loius play too.

Yes, in all facets of life you can find examples of the "underdog" finding a way to over come adversity by adapting their attributes favorably in a given moment.

 

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1 hour ago, PASabreFan said:

OK, fine sir Eleven has given me an opening. Incoming hot take...

The Pegulas want the Sabres organization to be more honorable, want employees who reflect their values. For example, Terry said he didn't have much to say about hiring GMTM, and he ended up with a guy who admitted to not communicating well with his players and coaches. There's also an allegation about Murray using the C-word when referring to Kim. So the Botterill hire was Terry really paying attention and enforcing his will on the hiring process. The resulting contrast in personalities and maybe even character is pretty striking between the last two Sabre GMs.

And the Pegulas recently fired two execs, creepy and middle aged (attributes pointed out by the alleged focus of their attention), after claims of naughty, aggressive, maybe harassing bar talk. That's fine and good.

Now we apparently have someone on staff who coached Reinhart into this farcical coverup. That person is probably named in the News piece. "We need more for our goalies"? It doesn't even make sense. Is this an honorable way of doing business and in the spirit of the corporate values of PSE? Does it matter if the purpose of said coverup is to protect and further the interest of the hockey team? Does the end justify the means?

Just some food for thought for a cold and blustery Friday night.

It's not much food for thought.  It's a single french fry when I wanted a burger.

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1 hour ago, IrwinNelson said:

I disagree with this part. Eichel has no business critiquing Sam’s comments when he was one of the most egregious offenders of what Sam was talking about. Also,  it’s not the captain’s job to silence the locker room. That’s how you lose a room.

 

Eichel also can’t come out and say anything worthwhile about his play because the last time a player got too down on himself he was ran out of town. The biggest difference is that O’Reilly needn’t be as down on himself as Eichel should be. Lead on the ice and the room will follow or step up in the room and make your presence felt, but lately Jack has been lacking in both respects (speculating on his lack of room presence.)

Who said anything about silencing the locker room? 

As far as disagreeing, that’s what I love about a free country. 

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8 hours ago, Eleven said:

It's not much food for thought.  It's a single french fry when I wanted a burger.

No you're wrong .  I don't get to say that often.

@PASabreFan is right in this.  The org has gone from one extreme to another and extremism of any kind is very dangerous.  

How could you agree with my comment above about Sam's 'explanation' and not think PA is onto something?  It is obvious that the Sabre spinners are spinning away and that Sam was told what to say and how to say it.  PA is right that it's a farce.  The Sabres, while I love them as I always have, are a joke right now.

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2 hours ago, New Scotland (NS) said:

No you're wrong .  I don't get to say that often.

@PASabreFan is right in this.  The org has gone from one extreme to another and extremism of any kind is very dangerous.  

How could you agree with my comment above about Sam's 'explanation' and not think PA is onto something?  It is obvious that the Sabre spinners are spinning away and that Sam was told what to say and how to say it.  PA is right that it's a farce.  The Sabres, while I love them as I always have, are a joke right now.

I agree with PA.  I just didn't think it was especially deep!  The "coverup" is completely ridiculous and clumsy.

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11 hours ago, MakeSabresGrr8Again said:

...please don't treat me like some idiot that doesn't know that size isn't always a factor...

 

Much to learn, he has.  

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10 hours ago, SABRES 0311 said:

Who said anything about silencing the locker room? 

As far as disagreeing, that’s what I love about a free country. 

If the captain comes up to you after an interview and says “hey, don’t say what you think like that anymore,” to me, that’s silencing. It’s a position of authority telling you what you can and can’t say. 

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2 minutes ago, IrwinNelson said:

If the captain comes up to you after an interview and says “hey, don’t say what you think like that anymore,” to me, that’s silencing. It’s a position of authority telling you what you can and can’t say. 

I’m not in the locker room but I hope he said something to the goalies when it was just the players. If he only said it to a bunch of reporters it’s weak.

I never said Jack has to tell anyone not to speak their minds. In fact I want it to happen as much as possible. It’s the audience I don’t like. If Sam is going to call anyone out I hope the Captain tells him to address it with the individual(s) directly as well. 

Of course I could be wrong and maybe Sam told both goalies to play better to their face before the interview. If so then my point is moot. As far as Jack Eichel being someone of authority, I’m not touching that. 

😂

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1 hour ago, Eleven said:

I agree with PA.  I just didn't think it was especially deep!  The "coverup" is completely ridiculous and clumsy.

Gotcha.

We have a motto around here, well PA and I do ... the more far-fetched and ridiculous the better.  And all the more likely to be accurate and true.

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