Adapted from DAVID STAPLES, EDMONTON JOURNAL May 21, 2018
An expansion team, in their first season are off to the Stanley Cup Finals.
So what is Gerard Gallant’s super power? We can’t say for sure. We’re no expert on him and his team, so we can only speculate. But we were nonetheless struck by something he said to the media last week when he was asked a question about holding his players accountable for mistakes in a game.
“It’s a game of mistakes,” Gallant explained. “You’re not going to be perfect every time you’re on the ice, and then when mistakes happen, you forget about them and you move on. You can go over that game (Game Three of the Conference finals) and there’s not one player on the ice who didn’t make mistakes last night. Like I said, they’ll own up to their mistakes, but they don’t have to. That’s part of our game. You make mistakes, you move on, you play the next shift and you hope you make some good plays. Those guys are accountable guys and they work hard and they don’t got to apologize to me. They just go to go out and play their game and get better every shift they can do.”
The reporter then asked a follow-up question: “It’s obviously a big part of your success, though. Like, is accountability a big part of your success?”
Gallant shrugged. “I guess it is to a point. But, again, I’m not holding my players accountable for making mistakes. You got out there and if you worry about making mistakes, you’re not going to play a good game. I want you going out there and thinking you’re gonna make the good plays and do the right things on the ice. So, don’t worry about your mistakes.”
Wow, what a refreshing comment from an NHL coach. Think about this quote: “I’m not holding my players accountable for making mistakes.” It’s quite the mouthful,
The reporter evidently wanted him to say that accountability was indeed a key or the key to winning. Gallant refused to adopt that position because he clearly doesn’t believe in it. Again: “I’m not holding my players accountable for making mistakes.” And: “Don’t worry about your mistakes.”
Gallant is taking a confident, aggressive but also calculated approach to the game. It’s evident he doesn’t want his players to dwell on mistakes and perhaps shrink in fear on the ice by being too cautious. He takes a bold and audacious approach, one where his players focus on attacking hard, getting after the other team, and in a game of mistakes, forcing the opposition to make the majority of errors. Sounds like a plan, eh?
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