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GULUTZAN'S UNIQUE APPROACH

Win or lose, Flames coach doesn't address locker-room after games

by TY PILSON @typilson / calgaryflames.com

It's the last guy you'd expect Flames coach Glen Gulutzan to have learned the lesson from.

As in, you'd-never-guess-in-a-million-years type thing.

Win or lose, the Flames coach has a unique approach to post-games - he doesn't say anything in the locker-room.

No matter how fantastic the result, or grim the night, not a word.

Kinda like the ol' 24-hour rule in minor hockey, Gultuzan prefers to take a step back, let cooler heads prevail and sleep on what happened before addressing his troops.

And what if they just thumped the division leader by a two or three goals? Same thing.

And that person he learned this unique approach from?

John Tortorella.

Ya, that Torts - the current Columbus Blue Jackets bench boss known as one of loudest, most bombastic coaches in the game.

Told ya you'd never guess.

"I like to take that emotion out of the end of the game," explained Gulutzan. "I'm emotional, the players are emotional, both ways, wins and loses, and look at it from a clear-eyed perspective."

"I used to go in, I can tell you that, for probably 10 or 12 years of my coaching career. And sometimes you say the right thing, sometimes you say the wrong thing, sometimes you're emotional.

"I worked with John Torterella and he doesn't go in after games. I just felt addressing it the next day was something I picked up on from Torts. When you address it the next day you have a clearer mind, you have fresher eyes, you've got perspective. If something made you mad that night and it still makes you mad in the morning you know it must be something serious. A lot of times when you look at the tape it gives you a different perspective. Maybe sometimes you thought someone made a mistake or tried to make a play and you watch it on video you see a little clearer what was actually going on."

For many of the Flames, Gulutzan's approach marks the first time they've had a coach who's operated like that.

"Some coaches come in every game and then there's others who come in once in awhile and this is the first time I've had a guy like Gully who sort of waits until the next day, whichever way it goes," said Mark Giordano.

A by-product of that style is that it allows the players to take a more active role among themselves when the game ends.

"After tough ones it's on us to hold each other accountable as players," said Giordano. "After wins, we sort of get the music going and have a little bit of fun passing out the hat.

"Most of the time you know how the game goes as players and what needs to be addressed. I like it. We take care of it and move on to the next one."

Giordano added sleeping on a game result also allows the players needed time to assess their own performance more clearly.

"It gives you a chance, too, to go through things personally," said Giordano. "I know there's a lot of guys, myself included, you like to watch clips of whether it be goals against or stuff like that and usually the biggest critic is yourself. You go through it, you absorb the game and then go from there."

 

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