Morning Free Association: Jan. 24 – On Player-Only Meetings

With the Bruins being under a ton of pressure to make the playoffs after two seasons of just missing the postseason and undergoing the present turmoil of this current losing skid, one thing that I find alarming is the lack of any player-only meetings. If any have happened, the media is not reporting it.

While doing some research, it was difficult to find much information on the effectiveness of these meetings but it wasn’t too hard to find a source to explain what happens in these meetings. Apparently, Ben Clymer was a former Bruins draft pick some 20 years ago who decided to not play for the team. But, he did manage to play over 400 NHL games before going to the KHL, so he does have some experience in these matters. Clymer gives a brief explanantion of why these meetings can help a team through open and honest communication about accountability.

This leader would normally start by colorfully reflecting on the recent loss and likely others that have preceded it. From that point the player would talk about things he felt needed to be changed to stop slide and get the team on track.

As you might assume these discussions are fully open to constructive and non-constructive criticism. The sole goal of the initial part of this discussion is to be brutally honestly and identify the problems, regardless of who you might offend in the process…I think by throwing thoughts out in an extremely honest fashion, all parties can come together much quicker than they would by beating around the bush and worrying about hurt feelings.

Clymer goes into some detail about the proceedings. One of the things that I found fascinating is that he referred to coaching as words of advice. He might just be referring to what the coach suggests to end the slump or he might be talking about what makes up coaching. Regardless, if your team is having this meeting, they’re probably beyond needing advice. Shit done got real!

Players participate regardless of leadership role and experience level.

One of my favorite things about these discussions is the fact young players and guys you don’t read about in the newspapers every day are free to speak their mind regardless of how many zeros they have in their contract.

It’s important to note that everyone is accountable for contributions to the team. Everyone. So it’s wise to get the younger players involved and heard to ensure every one buys in.

These meetings are not all that rare an event, and even winning teams sometimes have them. On December 7, 2016 immediately after an overtime win over the Bruins, the Washington Capitals held a player only meeting. Apparently, they felt they underplayed to a worse team. Deeper examination shows that they had recently been beaten by the Islanders, lost to the Bolts in a shootout, and barely pulled out two OT wins against the Sabres and the Bruins. That wasn’t good enough. Since then they have a record of 16-2-3. The Winnipeg Jets held the most recent players only meeting on January 13 because after two losses they felt everything was beginning to spiral. After two games.

Of course, just because a team has one of these meetings does not necessarily mean that it will be effective. Some of you may have seen this Zetterberg lecture from Road to the NHL Outdoor Classics.
Not very inspiring. And the Red Wings continued to lose more games than they won. Somehow I don’t think that having one of these meetings with cameras in the room is conducive to working through a team’s issues. As a rule, what happens in a closed door meeting, stays in the closed door meeting. It is worth noting that this particular one was more a case of a captain griping at his teammates than it was a players-only meeting. If only one or two guys are talking, it isn’t going to be very effective.
The thing is, the existence of such a pow-wow is an indication that the team actually has internalized the fact that there is a problem, and that they are a part of it, and that they are not ok with that. So what does it mean when a team has not had such a meeting?

It feels like such a long time since the last Bruins win on the 14th of January, when the offense worked well and the defense, including Tuukka worked well enough. They have lost 4 straight games, and 8 of the last 11. So why hasn’t the team had one of these meetings? Do they not think their leadership is strong enough? Do they see no value in airing their grievances? Do they not want to rock the boat? Or is it that at the core this group just doesn’t care anymore, after battling numerous injuries and a compressed schedule in which they have seemingly played 4-5 games more than other Atlantic Division teams? At the heart of it all is the leadership of the team and I wonder why they aren’t stepping up.

About IntentionallyWidenberg

Position: Power Forward. Occupation: I am the Egg Man. Contrary to popular belief, I am not the Walrus.
the german hammer

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the german hammer
Admin

Yesterday, we had the punch a Neo-Nazi thread goin on and it was great because we all agree upon that issue.

Here’s a nice remix for you.

White Supremacist Richard Spencer Punched in the Face NEW WAVE…

It's only okay to punch white supremacists in the face if someone remixes it to New Order afterwards!

Posted by We Are Pulse on Monday, January 23, 2017

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

Just make sure to wear gloves when you do it. You wouldn’t want to get Neo-Nazi all over your fist!

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Okay, FUCK TODAY!!!!! Curling up with a good book and a cup o tea.

the german hammer
Admin

Solid plan.

the german hammer
Admin

Hockey is hard. So is acting. #NHLAllStar Skills Competition: Jan 28, 7pm ET#NHLAllStar Game: Jan 29, 3:30pm ET
h/t @NHLonNBCSports pic.twitter.com/TfpdTTIepk

— NHL (@NHL) January 24, 2017

The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
Member

After requesting 7 days off from work, I discovered I still have a week and half of PTO. I am going to start taking random Wednesdays off.

the german hammer
Admin

I was able to take nearly the whole month of October 2013 off because of Vacation and banked holidays. I worked 5 days that month.

The Once and Future Bagel Bruin
Member

That’s awesome!

the german hammer
Admin

I should say 5 non-consecutive days.

carvinbass18
Editor

Julien said that both Kevan Miller and Colin Miller will be available for tonight's game.

— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 24, 2017

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the german hammer
Admin

That pairing be Millin’.

carvinbass18
Editor

Tuukka Rask said he's ready to play tonight. Ditto with Kevan Miller.

— Fluto Shinzawa (@GlobeFluto) January 24, 2017

Who knew I’d every say this, but thank God Kevan could return tonight

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

Public opinion does seem to have taken a major turnaround on Kevan Miller.

carvinbass18
Editor

His game has taken a major turnaround wink (okay maybe not major but he’s not crabwalking)

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

His game started turning around last year, but it too a long time for the Kevan-hate to dissipate.

the german hammer
Admin

I feel like we need to come up with a rating of this team and how they play based upon gifs of former and current players. So, there’s this one:

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and this one

http://31.media.tumblr.com/a115610c50c14a76db40ae4197de2f1a/tumblr_mtaqej2RsG1sxxkawo1_400.gif

I need some more positive ones, guys.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

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Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Oh, you said positive. To the google machine I go!

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Thetallest81
Member
Thetallest81

dont…just dont. this makes too many feelings happen.

the german hammer
Admin
the german hammer
Admin
Satan 81's Sister
Editor

This wouldn’t be complete with out a fist pump addition.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

If someone goes down hard:

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Seriously, that HAD to hurt. Who knows if Dougie wasn’t hurt after that? Dude has skills. Looks like he’s starting to put it together in Gulag, er, I mean Calgery.

the german hammer
Admin

Maybe but you know what? I don’t want to feel anything for Dougie. I just don’t.

carvinbass18
Editor
the german hammer
Admin

Oh Dougie, I don’t miss you at all.

carvinbass18
Editor

Only thing I miss about Dougie is posting
http://catplanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Bitch.jpg
Whenever he scored.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

I forget he’s a thing.

the german hammer
Admin

That’s a good game!

Also, we should put these in a pinned post so we can just borrow them all the time.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

This doesn’t have anything to do with what you’re asking for, I just like it:

MadScientist72
Member
MadScientist72

I’m particularly amused by how the ref turns away right at the most convenient moment for Marchy. It’s almost as though he was in on it.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

^I could watch this all day!!!!

the german hammer
Admin

I like it, too. Because Plekanec deserves it.

the german hammer
Admin

So obviously gif #1 was basically a terrible performance such as losing the game in a SO after having a 4-1 lead.

Gif #2 is your typical play of late.

Thetallest81
Member
Thetallest81

So a part of me wants to shave the beard to try to help end this losing streak…but its cold out and my face likes not being cold.

the german hammer
Admin

Keep the beard. It’s not your fault that the team is shitty.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

I agree. This team your face should suffer because of this team.

UnstableElement
Member
UnstableElement

Morning.

I’m in such a rut right now. This team isn’t helping. The fact that it feels like I haven’t seen the sun in days isn’t helping either.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

I hear you. I’m in “give no fucks” mode at work today. The past few weeks have been spent fixing my boss’s mistakes (though one wasn’t really his fault). Now that I’ve cleaned up the mess, I’m giving myself a mental break.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Joe Btfsplk

Satan 81's Sister
Editor

Well this is awesome:

Denna Laing, Bobby Carpenter Train For #BostonMarathon https://t.co/AvBqUT9kY1 pic.twitter.com/4GM6mtahX4

— WBZ Boston News (@cbsboston) January 24, 2017

carvinbass18
Editor

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wpDiscuz