An interesting read about Teddy Purcell and why he has found the success in Tampa Bay that he could not with L.A. Nothing new for Kings’ fans, right? We have seen this with Moulson and Boyle. Mismanaged by a coach unable to get the best from his players.
I have read Guy Boucher’s comments in other articles.
A quote from Boucher from St. Petersburg Times:
“He’s been through a lot. We sat him one time in the stands. After that, he had a tendency to understand faster,” Boucher said. “I always knew he had the skill, and I always knew he was a really good player. I don’t think he knew how good he was.”
It’s not difficult to see what happened with Teddy. When Purcell joined the Lightning, he didn’t understand the intensity it took to excel in this league. Is that on Murray? In part, absolutely. A coach, if nothing else, is expected to mold a player’s psyche and teach the player the mental toughness necessary to compete. Do not confuse that with being a grinding hack along the boards and trying to teach an offensive minded player to become a checking forward. That’s not teaching. That’s mismanaging. Teaching is taking the player’s inherent skill-set and bringing the best out of him while building the other nuances of the game.
Any coach that tries to turn Teddy Purcell’s game into that of a checking forward simply is out of touch with who his player is and what he brings.
Guy Boucher did not do that. He took Purcell’s game and injected it with psychological steroids. Purcell learned that if he is going to be a successful at HIS game with HIS skills, then he needs to work his ass off out there to get the puck on his stick, make crisp passes, be in scoring areas (the middle of the ice) and bury the puck in the net. That’s coaching. That is asset management on the ice level.
By analogy, you may want a quick point guard with a nice jump shot to play center and block shots, but at end of the day, when he fails, you failed and, quite bluntly, you were an idiot for attempting it.