(Denver) Last week, on Media Day, Julien BrisBois said he spent part of the summer of 2021 looking for answers.
Posted at 8:09 p.m.
What is the answer? The secret of three championships in a row. Why is this so difficult to achieve? Why are dynasties once so prevalent in hockey and basketball, and in Roland Garros only Rafael Nadal and Nathan’s Joey Chestnut create championships (our examples are not his)?
“I’ve talked to people from different organizations who have won two titles,” BreezeBoys explained nine days ago. “Until the third year, the players weren’t hungry. But I never felt that way with us. »
One of the resources Jacques Martin advised BriseBois. The Franco-Ontarian was an assistant to the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were aiming for their third consecutive title in 2017-2018. Their course was suspended in the second round.
According to Martin, this is not a matter of will. “The key was in the depths,” Canadiens said in an interview with the former head coach. Press. “We lost Nick Bonino after the 2017 Cup and we couldn’t replace him.
“Above all, the depths bothered us. Strange because Julien lost his third line last summer. But he replaced it. »
Martin is referring here to Janny Gurd, who was lost in the expansion project, as well as to Barclay Goodro and Blake Coleman, who took advantage of their autonomy.
Dave Lewis was an assistant for the Red Wings when he won in 1997 and 1998, and lost in the second round to Avalanche in 1999.
These Cups were won under special conditions. A few days after the 1997 victory, Vladimir Konstantinov ended his career in a car accident in a coma.
“The second of us, I knew from the start that we would win,” Lewis said on the phone.
Under such circumstances, Lewis writes in Julien’s thesis on the psychological challenge. “It has withered physically and mentally. The guys used so much emotion to win that Konstantinov lifted it into the middle of the ice … It was like a third-year break. »
Shooting was blocked
Building a dynasty takes a long time. Think of lightning. If the team loses this week, the next chance to become a true dynasty will not come until 2025.
Martin recalls the “big disappointment” when the Sydney Crosby team lost in 2018. “You were very determined to build a dynasty,” he recalls.
Lightning’s commitment seems truly impeccable. Shoot blocked shots. The three strikers who conceded the most goals on Wednesday were: Andrei Palat (5), Stephen Stamkos and Anthony Cirelli (4 each). All members of the first two lines, they are not blocked so much during the season.
Therefore, the depth of lightning can be quite problematic. The avalanche welcomed Nazem Qadri’s return on Wednesday, leaving Tampa Braden without a point and losing Eric Chernak. Not to mention Nikita Kucherov, who seemed far from 100%.
Patience was rewarded
Jacques Martin also wanted to emphasize the “tolerance” of Lightning and Avalanche. John Cooper and Jared Bednar are two of the longest-serving head coaches in the NHL.
“The coaches have been there for a long time. Tampa lost to us in the final in 2015 and then in the semifinals. They missed the playoffs once and were swept away by Columbus in the first round. Nevertheless, they kept the same coach. I lend a lot to these organizations because they have never panicked. »
The hockey school is back
Jacques Martin finally reopened his hockey school in Riga with a certain enthusiasm. He has put it on hold for the last two years for reasons you expected. The two-week event begins on July 31. There are a few more places left as I write these lines.