One of the bigger developments the past few days in the world of the Blue Jackets has been the switch to a lack of morning skate. It’s something Tortorella has tried with other teams he has coached, and he has spoken over and over again about the importance he places on rest for his team. So in the past week, the head coach offered the leadership group of the Jackets the option to do away with morning skates on game days to reduce trips to the rink, times gearing up, and fatigue. While some players may still choose to come in on their own (routine is important to these guys), for many who have watched the Jackets for years, they don’t like the idea of a potential team that self governs itself.
Let’s take a quick look at some team’s that haven’t done a regular morning skate and what it all means.
The topic has been breached many, many times. Just scouring the internet you’ll see articles talking about the practice all the way back in 2005, it isn’t exactly new by any stretch.
Brett Hull was asked about the three worst inventions in hockey once, his response?
“The invention of the trap. The invention of the morning skate. And the invention of the extremely ugly uniform.”
Anything that helps the older players and the possibility of fatigue long term is going to be seen as a plus. The leadership group of Foligno, Dubinsky and Jenner are obviously going to like the lack of a morning skate. They are all rough and tumble players that have a bit of snarl to their game.
Most recently, the Sharks with Peter Deboer used a similar method, allowing the leadership group to call practices and morning skates. They have a different dynamic then the Jackets but in theory they have a lot in common. We all know how that went for the Sharks as they reached the Stanley Cup Final.
Assuming that the Jackets would reach such a pinnacle is silly and not realistic given where they have been within the past year. As Tortorella preaches accountability, this is a fine test for the team and how they react to it will tell us a lot about the team’s character. Regardless if they are winning or losing, these players are professionals and they come in to accomplish a job each night out on the ice. Giving the players that power is a forward thinking move by Tortorella and goes against a lot of player’s previous notions.
There have been no morning skates this week and the Jackets are undefeated since then, that will last right?