We’ll cut right to the chase. Nieds is going to be working one on one with the young guys. In coaching parlance this means Coach Niedermayer’s primary responsibilities will be helping guys (1) read plays (2) working on the little things, the details.
Few players were better than Scott Niedermayer at leveraging his body during those one on one battles against bigger, stronger men. In one on one’s Scotty excelled at closing gaps and knowing when he could break rules like playing the puck first instead of the men.
While he will definitely help Cam Fowler. This move isn’t all about Cam Fowler. Guys like Devante Smith-Pelly and Kyle Palmieri are going to receive post grad quality instruction on the finer points of decision-making like when to shoot and when to pass. Luca Sbisa has shown the ability to take the biscuit coast to coast and create scoring play off the rush. Occasionally Luca hasn’t always chosen the most opportune moment.
What you won’t see from Scott Niedermayer is change in the system Coach Boudreau is establishing. Everything taught in one on one coaching is generic to all systems. It’s about the details.
What we can and should expect from Niedermayer’s on ice presence is improved execution. These are things you watch for over blocks of games and in specific situations.
Last season I devoted a blog to examining Cam Fowler’s one on one coverage of a rushing forward. This is the kind of thing Nieds will be working on with all the young guys.
I guaranty and promise you now that this will be a significant part of this blog’s Duck coverage this season. Frankly, how the young guys perform is going to drive this team. At one end of the spectrum they’ll be pushed by Nieds. At the other end they’ll be pulled by Perry, Ryan, Selanne and Getzlaf.
In our pre-season coverage, both last summer and this week, we’ve pretty much determined our Ducks success in this shortened season will be determined by how well the young guys do. Even Gabby opined that the current roster is short one winger. Bob Murray hasn’t acquired us one either. The GM might have done the next best thing though.
Today our Ducks have assigned those young guys a coach!
In his interview, Scotty said that he may not be travelling with the team. This is totally okay by me. You don’t want the guys focused so much on this part of the game when they’re on the road. Road trips are a great time for them to take a break from the instruction and let it sink in.