By Michael Moore
HERE. WE. GO.
The time of the inevitable Campapalooza is upon us. As teams hurry off to their respective championships, the onslaught invitations have hit inboxes. Chances are you have seen a few (many have been circulating since December) all ready. If you have not, restart your phone/computer (because they are there!). Because of this, it is time for me to reboot my annual letter addressing the madness. Yes, this newsletter is a reboot. You may have read it before but it bears repeating. If this is new to you, pay close attention because wasting your time, energy and money on frivolous camps helps no one.
Overall, do not get (and do not allow your child to get) too excited about any invitation you receive. Yes, the scout saw you. Yes, the coach has expressed an interest in you. Yes, the NCAA will be recruiting exclusively from this event. It is all the same. AND EVERYONE gets the EXACT same invitation. The whole point is to make each recipient feel like they are unique and somehow more worthy to be in attendance, than the thousands being invited to the very same event in the very same manner. Be ever vigilant for the (seemingly personal) disguised mass email from the Constant Contact, Salesforce or Mail Chimp software systems.
I typically tend to tell families to evaluate, the invites you receive, on these three parameters:
· First parameter is interest. Is the camp something that your player really WANTS to do? Is he excited about it? Or is this just something that all his friends are doing and he feels like he must as well? Is he bored and just trying to pass the time? If it is something he is genuinely excited about, then that is worth taking note.
· The second parameter is worth. It is no surprise that the majority of camps are financially motivated/ money-grabs. Is this event of value financially to you? Is it worth it to your player? That is, is this a two-day event where he gets maybe two, three games and they’re charging you $1,000 for it? Or is this an extended weekend with four or five games per day? I would want my money and my kid in the latter. If it fits what YOU personally feel is worth it then it’s maybe worth considering.
· Lastly, the third parameter is expectations. What are your expectations and what are your player’s expectations? The reality of such events is that they are highly unlikely to be THE occasion where your son will be scouted and picked up by a university or an NHL program. No camp is likely going to be the moment that spells out the rest of your player’s hockey future. That nearly never happens. However, that is not to say that these events don’t still hold value. These events can be good opportunities to network with coaches and with programs. Much of the Junior level of play is about networking and forging relationships with players, coaches AND team managers. More than anything else, these types of events provide an opportunity to measure one’s own play versus the level of play of high-end players that one will skate with and against in Juniors.
Most of the aforementioned, is ear-marked for “Pre-Draft Camps” but the same evaluation can be used for a variety of similar events and showcases. In fact, many teams have started to rename “Pre-Draft” camps because of this. I am sorry but a “Pre-Main Camp” is the exact same thing. “Main Camp” and “Training Camp” are the events that should hold your attention. Everything else needs to be evaluated by the parameters outlined above.
If ever you are stuck on whether or not a camp is worth consideration, you are free to ask me to look at your invitation. I will always investigate the opportunity to determine if it holds any value.
PATRICE BERGERON REMAINS ‘GOLD STANDARD’
Captain continues to chug along
By Steve Conroy, Boston Herald, February 19, 2023
Nick Foligno was holding court in front of his locker after the Bruins’ 6-2 demolition of the New York Islanders on Saturday when one of his favorite subjects – Patrice Bergeron – came up.
At the start of his effusive praise for the captain, the savvy veteran decided to have a little fun.
“Can’t wait to see what next year brings,” said Foligno with a mischievous grin.
Bergeron, of course, is on a one-year, team-friendly contract and, if he’s made his mind up about whether this season is his last or not, he has not made that public.
But if this is the “one last run” players and management spoke about when the season began, Bergeron is making it count. With a 42-8-5 record, the team is on a historic pace. On Saturday, he scored his 20th goal of the year, making it 10 years straight in which he’s had 20 or more goals. A record sixth Selke Award is not out of the question.
The goal he scored on Saturday was a bit fluky. It took a funky bounce off a stanchion and popped back over the net to him and he bunted it out of mid-air into an empty net. But, in a way, it was vintage Bergeron, a situation in which he seemed to be the only player on he ice who was able to track where the puck was.
Considering this is his 19th season of being in the right place at the right time, it’s a good bet that there was more to that goal than luck.
“The gold standard” is how Foligno referred to his game.
“He’s the model of consistency in this league,”said Foligno.
“The way he gets it done on both sides of the puck, gets it done offensively, gets it done even more defensively. He’s a guy that I’ve admired a long time. All of us do.
He plays the game the right way.
That’s one of the best compliments you can get as a player. That’s a pretty goal he scored to get his 20th. That’s a sick goal. But it’s no surprise. He just does things the right way.
He’s a guy that cares a lot about his craft, too, and there’s a reason he’s scored so many goals over so many years. I don’t think he’s slowing down any time soon.”
It was a play that didn’t show up on the scoresheet that got the ball rolling, and one that helps to define him as much as the goal he scored. It happened on the B’s first power play that resulted in Jake DeBrusk’s goal. A loose puck went to the left boards and it appeared that Kyle Palmieri had a good chance to clear. But Bergeron simply lifted Palmieri’s stick while the Islander veteran could only kick at the puck. It went to David Pastrnak, who made a terrific backhand pass to Brad Marchand who in turn relayed it to DeBrusk for the pretty five-hole tuck.
“Everyone doesn’t realize how much he keeps plays alive,” said coach Jim Montgomery. “If he’s not where he is, that puck’s cleared.”
Despite the clear sailing that a 42-8-5 record suggests, it hasn’t been what you’d call the easiest season for the 37-year-old Bergeron. In Thursday in Nashville, he snapped a six-game scoreless streak with a goal and an assist. He’s also had some off nights in the faceoff circle lately. But he looked like his old self against the Preds, deftly executing a give-and-go with running mate Marchand before sniping a shot past Juuse Saros.
Both he and Marchand looked further energized on Saturday with the return of DeBrusk to their line.
“He looked awesome, especially after missing 17 games,” said Bergeron. “It’s not easy to come back after missing a long time. Kudos to him. He did the job on the ice and off the ice to make sure he was ready and he looked ready to go. I thought his legs were there. Obviously, getting that goal early I’m sure is helpful to get himself back. Yeah, it was nice to have him on our side.”
And as for his own milestone?
“It’s nice,” said Bergeron, with a bit of a “meh” shrug. “I’m glad it went in, but that being said, you move on to the next one. I’m playing with some great players and obviously it’s been a special year in a lot of ways. I’m just thankful to be a part of it.”
WHAT IS THE DOT LINE AND MIDDLE ICE?
Working the dot-line, for defense & offense
Greg Revak, February 19th, 2023
Looking at more refined hockey tactics, you’ll soon come across the idea of using “middle ice” or “the dot lane/dot line”. Another phrase used as part of the tactic would be talking about “getting inside the dots.”
Here is a graphic looking at the “inside rink” using the dot lane/dot line as the guiding ice geography.
The dot lines are used as reference points for players.
- Inside = high danger
- Outside = low danger
When teaching young defensemen how to play the rush, coaches will start by using the dots as a guide to where they should position themselves.
Then the next step is working to keep inside leverage to where the defender’s outside shoulder is matched up with the offensive player’s inside shoulder.
When recovering to defend a rush attack, players should be recovering and pivoting inside the dot line.
Even great defensive positioning and route for centers in the defensive zone use the dot line as a reference.
On offense, getting off of the wall and into the dot line is a major advantage. By getting off the boards/wall, the offensive players allow themselves more options (left, right, and forward) compared to being along the wall (middle or forward). This also allows for great spacing between teammates.
We’ve covered in the past how centers should use the dot line as a reference point on the breakout. Going further, this can be used all the way up the ice.
Watch Connor McDavid follow the dot line all the way up the ice in the playoffs against the Kings. He uses the dot line as reference when skating with the puck and skating without the puck.
In the below video, watch how Troy Terry uses the dot line both for a zone exit and zone entry.
And this great play from Tomas Hertl leading to a goal:
When it comes to more refined and detailed hockey, players are using the dot line as a reference point.
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Application link https://jlgice.com/scholarship/
Players and families, we want to hear from you. If there are any questions, concerns, or if you just want to have a conversation, please feel free to contact us directly. We want to hear from you. Good Luck and Great Hockey!