shmenguin wrote:i've heard the players say (earlier in the series mainly) that if a few bounces went their way or whatever, that the series would be different. that's your accountability problem right there. i know they may have to say that sort of thing to reporters, but if they sincerely believe that nonsense, this issue runs very very deep. someone needed to smack them in the collective head and say, "wake up, idiots!". i sincerely doubt that bylsma is capable of that (though like HH said, as fans, this is speculative of course).
Why do they have to say that to the media?
I will argue that they said it because they believed it. And that is where you are correct, shmenguin. That is the accountability problem.
Know what they could have said to the media, if they believed it? "If a few bounces go our way, this series would be different. But we aren't working hard enough, we aren't playing disciplined enough, we aren't putting extra effort in on the details and little things that matter for playoff hockey against good opponents. And that is probably why those bounces aren't going our way. While we can't control the bounces, we can control putting ourselves in positions to capitalize when they go our way, or to limit damage when they don't. And that comes down to our entire work effort and outlook at this point in the series being too careless and expecting defensive performance to come easy."
THAT would show an understanding of where things went wrong. Namely, between the players' ears.
You can't wait until the 4th game of a series to decide and put in the work, and still expect to win series.
Henry Hank wrote:
Being tough doesn't mean they're always smart or working hard. I think it's like anything else. When someone lets you get away with stuff eventually you get used to getting away with stuff all the time and you get sloppy. Likewise if someone is always riding your ass eventually you get tired of getting berated all the time for not being perfect. It's a cycle in hockey and it looks like the Pens are at the end of the players coach cycle. Coaches with longevity appear to have the ability to keep players in line without wearing out their message. From all accounts, Therrien seemed to be too hard on the players. It looks like Bylsma is too soft on them.
There is a middle ground to be had.
Just like in our real life jobs, some bosses stray too far one way or the other. But the good bosses are able to toe the line and utilize both punishment and reward as necessary.
Some guys simply know no other way. You can be effective even at each end of the spectrum. But it will get old. Whether it's workers tiring of being hammered constantly, or the workers that eventually will take advantage of a softer boss. Sooner or later, playing heavily to one extreme or the other will leave you vulnerable.
Really, no matter the occupation (sports included)- managing people is the game. Because if you manage them right, they'll do what you ask and they'll work hard at it.