Skip to content
SLBAM: It’s not always easy to be demoted. It takes time and adaptation.

What’s up gang. I hope it’s not too cold in Quebec. Here, we still have good weather, so I’m taking advantage of it. A few questions for the week and we’ll get started right away.

We’re off.

I have to come back to this subject, which could be a delicate one. Above all, we need to take the time to analyze things properly.

When we were in the KHL, we didn’t have a player who went to the next level and then came back with us. But here, in the ECHL and LAH, it happens regularly.

The first thing we do when a player comes back from the AHL, we take the time to check on him, find out how he liked his experience and so on. But after that, we immediately talk to him about psychology and the shock of coming back to a lower league.

It often happens that good players, when they come back, try to find their game. And if, by some misfortune, they don’t manage to score in the first game, the players start to wonder, and that’s not good.

After that, it’s even worse if there are 2-3 games without a score. So we give them ideas for solutions, but above all ways of doing things to quickly get back to their style of play and regain their confidence.

Speed and execution are completely different and you have to adapt.

So for Arber Xhekaj, you’ll have to be cautious and patient. Especially as his style of play is different and he has to adapt to the speed of the AHL.

Everything to do with this approach, receiving the rush and so on, is at a different speed.

Now, I won’t be saying the same thing after several games. But it’s a reality you have to understand and accept.

We talk about the difference with Armia. But Armia is a long-standing professional. He’s got a lot of experience and he’s mature. We’re not talking about the same vision of business.

Allen in my opinion has to be the one to go and also, because I think he’s the one with the most value. He’s still an excellent2nd goalie who’s capable of taking the number 1 position once in a while.

Come January, line-up and injury issues could mean that teams will need a goalkeeper.

At that point, it’s hard to ask for a better backup goalie than Allen. He brings a lot of experience, a winning record and maturity to a team. Things that are incredible and very important factors, often underestimated by fans.

Leadership in the dressing room or on the bench is so important.

I’m going to give an out-of-context, non-comparable example. But today was the return of one of our veterans with the Nailers, Boomhower. He’s a typical3rd or4th trio player who likes to play hard and isn’t afraid of anything. This was his comeback after a2nd lower-body surgery.

He hadn’t played a single game this season, injuring himself at training camp. But in the room and on the bench, he brought incredible confidence, but a very quiet bench, compared to before.

We had the same look when our captain was here, but he’s been with Wilkes-Barre for several weeks now.

To answer the question, Allen would be my choice.

The family is doing incredibly well. She went back to Quebec in November since there was a week’s vacation here in Ohio. So my family was able to enjoy seeing extended family and friends before coming back here.

My wife made the trip with the four kids and two dogs while I stayed home, since we don’t really have any time off for work. And with a 12-hour drive to get there, it’s not worth it.

The family returns to Quebec for Christmas too. The children and immediate family are always very happy to see each other.

Otherwise, everything’s going really well with the adjustment, the new school and everything there is to offer. What’s more, the kids love the house we have here, even more than our other home in Quebec.

My wife takes full advantage of this by being the woman at home and taking care of everyone. In that respect, and with the commute and everything, she’s incredible – I still can’t believe it.

Every day, I see her grow and become a bigger woman.

Basically, everyone’s happy and there’s something in it for everyone. Not to mention that the five of them are now die-hard Wheeling Nailers fans, all wearing their game jerseys.

If you happen to watch a game on TV or online, don’t be surprised to see a mom with four kids having a great time in front of the camera.

This strategy is not uncommon. Sometimes more passive like Ottawa in the old days and sometimes a little more aggressive like many teams.

Do I like it or not? It all depends on the kind of team you have. We’re also seeing the 1-1-3 more and more frequently.

To answer the 1-3-1 question, defensively, it’s good because you slow down the opposing team in possession of the puck and force them to put the puck behind them.

Then, D2, who is normally the player positioned at the back, has to make sure he gets the puck back and that everyone else gets back in his path to facilitate the zone exit.

Offensively, we’ve had a lot of success against the 1-3-1, using a pass to a defender and then sending our opposite winger to the defensive blue line.

At that point, we can pass the puck “across” and we have a lot more speed, and normally we’ll be able to attack the player on the boards with a 2-on-1 since our players will be slashing where the puck is.

In the worst-case scenario, we’ll do a “hard rim” to place the puck on the opposite side from where the D2 defender is behind. That way, he has to pivot, turn and see where the puck is to adjust. We know where it’s going, and we’re very aggressive.

That’s the end of my article, once again, thank you all. Have a good Sunday and we’ll talk again @Mitch_Giguere.

More Content