DON STEVENS BLOG: FIRST 10 GAMES ARE IN THE BOOKS
Blogs | 10/31/2011 1:50:03 PM | Don Stevens


I don’t know about you, but to me the first 10 games have flown by.  It must be because there were so many things going on, so many new people to get to know and there were lots of games.  Reflecting on what happened in October, there were only three wins in 10 games, so it would be very easy to come down hard on this team.  On the other hand, they picked up points in six of 10 games and are 2nd in the division.  Over the past several seasons, we probably would’ve been happy with that, but with so many positive things that have happened since mid summer, it just doesn’t seem to be good enough.

There appears to be a tendency with this team to get behind early and then try and catch up late.  They’ve scored the first goal of the game only two times in 10 games; they’ve had several nice comebacks in the third periods, all through some very hard work.  Like the game in Binghamton.  As many shots in the third period (17) as the first two periods combined (17).  It seems like they’re always playing from behind.  Now, if they would just work as hard at getting the first goal as they do late in the game, perhaps take an early lead a few times, they’d make it a lot easier on themselves.  I think it’s more fun to play with the lead… it’s certainly more fun to watch.  

HOW THE GAME HAS CHANGED……or at least after the game:

So, here’s the scene on the bus after the game in Binghamton.  First thing… get the food out of the way.  Food is ordered and put on the bus so that we aren’t wasting time stopping somewhere to eat.  Every hour counts, especially those three-in-three weekends where sleep and rest time is at a premium.

When the food has been devoured, out come the computers… enough of them to open up a computer store.  The overhead lights in the bus are turned off, but the front of the bus is well lit with the coaches’ laptop screens rolling through the game replay.  There are five coaches in front of me and all five are going over the game, step by step.

Video Coach Kyle Smith during the game captures the video on his computer.  Then he copies it on all the coaches’ laptops, five of them, plus four smaller ones (they look more like notebook computers) so that the players can also go over the game.  It’s really something, this modern technology.  Kyle has it broken down so that each coach, or each player, can pick out whatever they want to see.  The player can select all his own shifts, so he’s not having to watch the whole game to see what he did with his ice time. 

The coaches edit it, dissect it, take notes on it and discuss it with each other.  Before we get home, they will have watched the game twice… once live and in person, and once on the computer.  Then they’ll prepare a video session for the players.  They’ll see very clearly what they did right, and not so right.  There’s no denying what’s on the video.  

The bus is a lot different from what it was when I started in this business.  There used to be laughing, talking, drinking, card games, and even an occasional disagreement which sometimes was carried too far.  Now, the bus is very quiet.   Most times the only sound you hear is if they’ve put a movie on (only post-game, no pre-game movies).  So far, there’s been no movies after a loss…

And, so that I don’t feel out of place, I’ve fired up my computer to write this blog.   Now I can feel like a part of the “computer crew” at the front of the bus.

MORE BUS THOUGHTS:

Talk about going from the “outhouse to the penthouse” in a very short time… Chris Taylor, all those playing years with the Amerks, always sat in the very last row, right next to the bus’s “one-wholer.”  Now he’s in the very first row, right behind the driver.  He’s climbed the bus ladder in a big hurry.

Now after 25 years of riding in the second seat behind the driver, with all the coaches we have, I’ve been bumped back to the 3rd row.  Can you believe it ?!?!?   Is that an indication of where my career is headed?

On the way to the game, I looked out the windshield, and saw our first SNOW of the season… and it’s still October !!!! I’m ready for hockey, but I’m not ready yet for “hockey weather.”

OK…..enough of this meaningless drivel for now.   Talk to you Friday from Binghamton.

VS.  Utica Comets  
        
 April 16, 2014 - 07:00 PM 1 2 3F
 Rochester Americans 1 2 14
 Utica Comets 1 0 01