FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The 10-0 Huskies may have a perfect record, but the coaching staff remains focused on taking each day as it comes and getting better as a group.
Coming off a pair of strong performances at home on the weekend, piling up 17 goals and only giving up three, it’s a fresh set of challenges this week with games against the Dawson Creek Kodiaks and Grande Prairie JDA Kings.
Coach Todd Alexander says it’s not about the score, though.
“One of the messages that I use with the team all the time is that I actually don’t care what the score is. I want to make sure that we’re playing the game the right way. You can lose a game playing the right way, hockey happens, but you give yourself a better chance to win a game if you’re playing the right way,” said Alexander, who added that his squad has been playing the right way for the most part through 10 games.
The coaching staff believes in putting the ownership into the players’ hands, rather than barking orders down from above. This coaching style enables the players to feel like they have a voice in the room.
“It’s super important that the guys are able to have a piece of it as well, it’s not just us that are coming to the rink. They’ve got to understand it, but they’ve also got to believe in it, teach it to each other, take constructive criticism from each other.”
With five more games in the Huskies’ season-long homestand, Alexander admits it’s nice to be spoiled a bit, but he’s mindful of complacency setting in.
“This isn’t a country club hockey team, so we’re still pushing each other here each and every night and the guys have responded really well. When we do stop something and have a conversation about it, we come to an agreement and get right back at it.”
Being able to focus on the finer points of coaching instead of having to coax effort and attention to detail makes life easy for a coach.
“That’s the nice thing about this club is they’re able to take advice, figure it out, and come through it when things aren’t going well. At the end of the day, it’s a secret sauce around here. We tell the team, if they want to be treated like men at this level, they’ve got to act like men. For the most part, we’ve been acting like men around here.”
Alexander says that treatment is a two-way street.
“If they start acting like boys, then they’ll get treated like boys, and the only way to change it back is to act like men. That’s just accountability and the discipline that we talk about all the time.”
Alexander says when his team has the discipline to hold itself accountable, it’s pretty impressive so early in the season.
The Huskies play the Dawson Creek Kodiaks tonight at 8 p.m. at the North Peace Arena for First Responders Appreciation Night.