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Behind the Bench: 10-12-09

by Staff Writer / Washington Capitals
 Yesterday was a day off. Nobody came to the rink at all. I wanted the players to take the day off and relax, and when I say relax, I mean they should do nothing and conserve their energy because we play three games this week.

            We are 0-2-1 in our last three and it is a fine line between having them come in and skate or giving them a day off. I was mad after the Rangers game, but now it is time to build them back up and not let them feel bad about themselves. Hopefully we made the right choice. The day off had nothing to do with the way they played.
            Most of the time I make this decision based on feel. I have often compared coaching to parenting and as a parent, when your kids do something wrong you either scold them or you cajole them. It is the same thing here.
            In the minor leagues, I never wanted to have a day off before a game. However, in the last year and half here, I have found out that it is something that has to be done in the NHL because you do not just play on the weekends. You play Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. We also have a condensed schedule this year because of the Olympics and are missing 17 days in February, where we cannot do anything.
            If this was a new team, I would think that we would have done some video yesterday, but these guys should know how to play. They have been together since I got here. We have injected two or three guys a year, but for the most part everybody has been here.
            So as long as the day off is being used for what it is supposed to be used for then it is a good thing.
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