No matter what your experience level, where you coach, or who you might have played with, coaches are notorious for questioning the tactics of other coaches.
Most of us are still hockey fans at heart, after all, right? We grow up cheering for a certain team because we were born in that city or our parents indoctrinated us, usually, hindsight willing, against our will. Hey, the heart wants what it wants, right? Even if it wants a decade of straight playoff misses.
Anyways, it’s not often we get the chance to absorb insight from coaches who were actually on the bench with the big games in question. Until now, of course.
One of our guests at this year’s 2019 Hockey Coaches Conference in Toronto is San Jose Sharks head coach Pete DeBoer. As you’ll recall, DeBoer was 5 minutes away from elimination in the second round of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs when the Vegas Golden Knights’ Cody Eakin received a phantom call for cross-checking Joe Pavelski. The unfortunate injury to Pavelski aside, the Sharks received a 5 minute powerplay. Down 3-0, the impossible happened.
How did DeBoer manage that powerplay? To score three straight on any powerplay is just short of a miracle, let alone with 5 minutes to go in a series-deciding game 7. But score three straight they did! San Jose took the lead, Vegas tied the game back up, but the Sharks would eventually ride the momentum wave and win in overtime on a dandy goal by Timo Meier.
What a ride. And at this year’s conference, The Athletic’s Craig Custance will show us a first-hand glimpse into what was going through the normally stoic DeBoer’s head the entire time.
From last week, in case you missed it…