May 23, 2011
Majors playing tight at Mem Cup
RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency
Dave Cameron travelled way back to the pre-XBox era to find the proper analogy for his hockey team's nervous-looking power play so far at the Memorial Cup.
The coach of the host Mississauga St. Michael's Majors pretended he was operating an old table-top hockey game -- a staple for Canadian kids in the 1970s and '80s, long before EA Sports -- while discussing how tight his team has looked at times in their first two games at the Hershey Centre.
"The telltale sign for me is the 5-on-3s," Cameron said. "In the old days, we had those hockey games where you had the rods. They were real stiff, the players, and they bumped the puck.
"We could audition for a table hockey game."
The Majors went a combined 2-for-13 with the man advantage against Saint John and Kootenay. They have barely registered a good scoring chance with a two-man advantage.
"Just relax," Cameron continued, "and play the way we're capable of. Don't be so stiff. They know what they have to do."
On a stage this size, that's a tough task for teenagers. There is no way, Cameron said, to predict how tight a team will be after the puck drops.
"They have their routines, it's always the same," Cameron said, "so you don't really know until five, six minutes into the game. That when you listen to your leaders, listen to what they're saying, and as coach, you're trying to figure out who's going to get through (that pressure) and who's drowning in it."