Hockey players are generally pretty good at checking their emotions. Anyone who’s seen an interview by New York Islanders captain John Tavares will know. But on some occasions, players, and coaches let their emotions get the best of them.
New York Islanders head coach is a fiery guy. We all know this. And we all love it about our bench boss. We love to see him leap out at the first sign of injustice towards our team. It shows passion. It shows he cares about something we all care about.
But it can go too far when players start taking the emotional cue from the head coach. Like what happened against the Florida Panthers on Monday night.
After a tussle between Cal Clutterbuck and Florida Panthers forward Vincent Trocheck ended with the New York Islanders fourth liner receiving the only penalty, Doug Weight was furious. Fuming. Absolutely enraged. And he let the refs and the 20-30 people huddled around the lower bowl of the BB&T hear it.
The call was admittedly bad. Aaron Ekblad had no qualms about getting involved himself. Ekblad landed a few hits of his own before Hickey pulled him away, and Hickey himself was on the receiving end of a few. But out of eyesight of the stripes, Ekblad escaped punishment.
The refs can’t always see everything. It’s fine to be mad about the call. Doug Weight did what head coaches do and let the referees know. His delivery was…passionate but it got his point across.
His delivery was so passionate that it resonated with an already irate Cal Clutterbuck. Clutterbuck had to be held back by captain John Tavares as he let the refs have it following the Panthers equalizing during his two-minute roughing penalty. Earning him a ten-minute misconduct penalty.
In serving that misconduct penalty Florida put up another power play goal and took a 3-2 lead in the game.
This can’t happen again. As in, the team getting emotionally carried away.
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Doug Weight has to get control of his players. I’m fine with Weight being firey behind the bench, but that can’t so obviously affect the players in such a way. Wear your heart on your sleeve that’s fine. But use that emotion constructively.
What did Cal Clutterbuck’s outburst actually give the New York Islanders last night? Doug Weight had already serenaded the officials with a possible explicative laced recounting of the events. And as coach Weight was probably going to get a one-on-one with the officials between periods to talk things further.
All that Clutterbuck gave the Islanders was one fewer forwards and a disadvantage in the game. It was a net negative for the Isles. Weight needs to control his bench going forward. If he wants to remain as vocal as he is that’s fine. But Weight has to convey to his players that such emotional display ends with him.