Saturday, February 09, 2008

Coach's Mailbag: The First Batch

A while back, THFB announced a "Coach's Mailbag" feature in which Jack Parker would answer your submitted questions. It took longer than expected to get this feature going but we now have the first batch of questions and responses. If you would like to submit a question for the next mailbag, send it

Q. My question has to do with evaluating recruits. After judging a player for his purely physical skills, how to do assess his grit and determination? I'm thinking of how he'll react when he realizes that it's not so easy to do the things that have carried him to the success he's had to date. That is, the skills that have always been necessary and sufficient, are now necessary, but maybe not sufficient. John
The toughest question to answer is how will he face adversity – does he have the competitive make up to try harder, adjust to a new role, etc.?

Q. I once listened to an away game on B.C.’s radio station. Before the game, the broadcasters were discussing their thoughts relative to the probable outcome. One of them suggested that the “U” would win, because, though he believed that B.C. had the better personnel, “Ricky Meagher would not let a B.C. team beat a B.U. team.” The other announcers agreed. What in your opinion made Ricky Meagher so much the quintessential Terrier, so much so that even fans of other teams understood it? Spencerslaw
JP: Ricky was the rare combination of pure skill coupled with a fierce competitive nature. Arguably, the best player ever to play here – the only three-time All American.

Q. Given the team’s struggles on defense this year, how much could be attributed to a change in system—that is from man-to-man coverage to zone? Or is it simply the change in personnel ? Mal
JP: No question we made a big mistake changing from man to man to what is known as the “layered look”. After the break at Christmas, we went back to man to man – my bad.

Q. What is this year’s team greatest strength and what is its biggest weakness?” Chris

JP: Biggest strength is offensive capabilities – we can create scoring opportunities off the rush and on the power play. Biggest weakness – goaltending. We have not been as solid as we need to be in this area.

Q. On a 2-on-1, from the attacking perspective, what should the player without the puck do to make the play successful? Terrier Blogger
JP: Create a good passing lane for the puck carrier to use him if necessary. He must be a threat without the puck so that the defenseman must worry about him.

Q. Over the years, the age spread among players on the squad has grown. While many players coming in after one or two years of junior might be 20 or 21 as freshmen, the recruiting successes through the USNDTP have ensured we still have younger first-year players, such as Colin Wilson. Can you comment on any challenges this creates (team unity, etc.) and what you, your staff, and perhaps your captain(s) do to overcome them? Doug
JP: It’s not really a problem re: team unity or chemistry in the dressing room. However it presents problems in recruiting. We are constantly trying to get “older” but at the same time we can’t pass on a Wilson or a (David) Warsofsky.

Q. Do you recall ever going this deep into a season without settling on a number one goal or an established rotation? Mark.
: Yes, similar situation in 2001 with Jason Tapp and freshman Sean Fields – Fields didn’t establish himself as our #1 until the playoffs. We lost at Providence in three games but Fields was great and I remember saying to my assistants that it was a tough year but at least we found our goalie. Sean had three great years after that for us.

1 comment:

Z-Brilliance said...

Very neat, thanks Coach Parker.

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