What’s up with the gang? I don’t want to bother you, but I’m currently in Orlando, my first time here.
I had a great Thursday at Disney Spring. We spent the week here with three games in four days against Orlando. It’s funny, because five years ago I had an interview to become an assistant coach.
In short, I take this opportunity to write you my article of the week.
Do you think Macklin Celebrini belongs to the lineage of Connor McDavid – Auston Matthews – Connor Bedard or that of Nico Hischier – Alexis Lafrenière – Juraj Slafkovsky?
— Martín Blanchette (@mblanchette1966) December 28, 2023
For my part, I don’t immediately put Bedard in the same line of names you mentioned simply because he’s still young and in his first year.
On the other hand, by watching Celebrini go to the NCAA and Team Canada, we can easily see why he is going to be good and why he made Team Canada and finished first in points on the team.
For Matthews, we’re talking about a player who has a chance to break the record for most goals in the NHL, because he’s on track to break it, statistically speaking. McDavid, he’s alone in a class. I mentioned last week that he was going to finish first in points this season and at least 15 points ahead.
But for Celebrini, we’ll see over time. I can’t tell you now what the NHL will be like. We saw it with Hughes, for example, he needed 2 or 3 seasons before he really established himself.
@Mitch_Giguere Hi Mitch, Happy New Year in advance. I don’t want to speak too quickly, but your weekend is going very well in the absence of Taylor Gauthier and Dillion, your best scorer. Do you change your game plan depending on who is in the lineup?
—Jp Tremblay (@JeanPoudd11) January 1, 2024
Thank you and I wish you a happy new year too. We adapt according to the rival with the “prescout” of the matches. But our structure or base doesn’t necessarily change with X player in the lineup or not.
If we go back to a few weeks ago when we had five forwards that were with Wilkes, our playbook was the same or almost the same. For example, a 2-1-2 pre-check became a 1-2-2. But we can make this adjustment even with full alignment.
Above all, we teach our identity and then emphasize our strengths to exploit the opponent’s weaknesses. By doing this, we always maintain the same mentality and improve our strengths.
And at some point, a zone exit is still a zone exit, how do you receive a run. So we’ll see more adjustments against an opponent than against our lineup.
Redgy Strial: Mitch, you who have had the experience of coaching women who practice the most beautiful sport in the world, what interest will you have in following the beginnings of the PWHL and do you think this new league will last?
-Mitch Giguere (@Mitch_Giguere) January 3, 2024
I love women’s hockey, I have worked with women’s hockey and I wish the best of luck and success to women’s hockey and the new league. But unfortunately no, I haven’t followed the start of the PWHL season and I don’t think I will in the near future.
As for our schedule, we are more than full and I have a lot to do with my own team. I hardly watch NHL or AHL games, so unfortunately I take my time putting them elsewhere.
On the other hand, it is obvious that I look at the reflexes on social media, because I’m curious.
To find out if the league will continue or not. We have seen in the past how difficult it can be to manage women’s leagues for a million reasons. There have always been several women’s leagues that wanted to have both in the same place.
Are we going to see the same thing with the PWHL? I think if it doesn’t work out the way the girls want, I wouldn’t be surprised to see another league emerge and want to compete.
It’s a bit of history repeating itself and why there was no partnership with the NHL over time and why the PWHL had to buy out their league to ensure control.
This is a great thing, because PWHL has bought a startup and can now do it its way. But honestly, I only wish girls beautiful and good things. They have a great product that deserves to be enjoyed.
They just have to find a way to keep riding the wave for as long as possible. I wrote to Danièle Sauvageau before the first match to wish him good luck. So yeah, I still have my eye on that.
What do you think of the rules of the new PWHL, that is, the end of the penalty if you score fewer points?
Personally I find it interesting…
— Martín Blanchette (@mblanchette1966) January 3, 2024
Honestly, I have a big problem with this. And with other things that I will return to later.
The rule that if you score a goal from a foul, you no longer have a penalty is not the first time in the world of hockey. If we talk about the world of women’s hockey or North America, yes, no problem.
But before the summer I had written an article about the changes introduced by the CHL, and that it precisely annulled the punishment if the team scored a goal, to favor the offending team and that we see more and more scarce goals.
So far, people in Europe love it. Even when I was in the KHL we talked about it and they take the risk of doing it. So to speak, this is the first time. I have a lot of misery.
The LHPS, when it was created, was not allowed to clean up staff shortages, same with Hockey USA. Question of not removing regulations to favor the offending team. I don’t hate this idea at all.
The new CHL rules were as follows: if a goal is scored shorthanded, the penalty ends.
The second rule is that if the penalty lasts two full minutes, the numerical advantage does not end after a goal, but only after the full two minutes.
The other regulation and I love this one. We saw it with the United States team against Sweden in the final. If the referee has a penalty on the arm, the team that normally has to run the power play removes its goalie to send a sixth skater onto the ice.
Normally, if the team counts when the referee has a penalty on his arm, the penalty is cancelled, but the new rule ensures that the penalty is still taken.
Several novelties appear here in the world of hockey in Europe, such as the neutral confrontations at the beginning of the period due to the numerical advantage in the KHL. You just have to be a fan of Europe to see the new regulations.
I have problems here too, since the PWHL is a new official league, everything is new and everything is the first time and everything is a record.
It’s a bit normal, because it’s new, but it’s not entirely legendary either, because before there have been professional women’s leagues (in which I then refused to coach) that are left behind as if they had never existed.
I understand that as much attention as possible is needed, but I think there is too much material in this great league to simply put the emphasis on other things.
The dressing room was the right place for tonight’s panel. 🍿 pic.twitter.com/zqpfHg3xdH
– Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 4, 2024
I’m curious, what are your comments on this? At first, to be honest, I’m torn between everyone. For my part, we must not forget that hockey changes completely once it reaches the playoffs and becomes an even more physical and, above all, more violent sport.
Just coming behind an ECHL or AHL bench to understand that the “bullying” is still there. And I put the word in quotes, because those are the words used in the video.
But for me it’s not about any kind of intimidation, but about wanting to bother the opponent and get into his head.
Where I lose Jennifer is when she talks about if he were my son. In fact, I am a father of four children and if my son plays in the NHL at 23 years old, for example, and a story like this happens.
I’m not going to pick him up on the ice and tell him to go home and look for a new job. We are talking about adults and they resolve this between themselves. If we’re talking about my 10-year-old son on the ice, yes I will get involved, like in any other situation in a parent’s life.
For me there is a big difference and it is at this level where I disagree.
The other reality is also that I always like to know the context, because without context we can imagine anything. You may not have seen it, but Ryan Hartman came out publicly about the incident. and we are very far from what the media has been talking about.
Nick Foligno makes Brendan Smith answer for his hit that injured Connor Bedard 👊 pic.twitter.com/olkWVSR1p6
– Gino Hard (@GinoHard_) January 6, 2024
We agree that, unfortunately, the player should have expected what would happen if this were the case. So what do you think about it? I leave you with this little video. A small incident that occurred after the attack on Connor Bedard. It’s hard to say that this no longer has its place…
Thank you very much for your questions and see you next week. @Mitch_Giguere.