Хроника Хоккея


Canada's coach leads by example
26.12.2002. Wharnsby, Tim. The Globe and Mail

 Habscheid won gold medal as member of 1982 championship team

Marc Habscheid has the gold medal he won 21 years ago as a key member of the Canadian team at the 1982 world junior hockey championship.

The head coach of this year's team has yet to decide whether he will use his prized possession as inspiration in the next 11 days.

"Yeah, I still have it," Habscheid said from Halifax, where his team will begin the round-robin portion of the world tournament against Sweden tonight. "I don't have it here, but it may be coming. Right now, though, I don't have any plan to use it.

"I was lucky 21 years ago. I'm grateful to have been part of that team [the first Canadian team to capture a world junior championship]. But the next two weeks is about this group of players.

"It's special for them to be wearing the Canadian sweater, competing at home for this country, being cheered on by this country. For us as a coaching staff, it's important to give them every opportunity to have success."

Habscheid has firsthand experience of achieving success in a world tournament. For that, he is forever grateful to head coach Dave King for giving him and his teammates every opportunity to win.

When Habscheid recalls the journey, which culminated with a golden celebration on Jan. 2, 1982, after a tournament-clinching 3-3 draw against the former Czechoslovakia, he has nothing but the fondest respect for King.

He remembers the jubilation of the moment and would like nothing more than his players to experience their own success on Jan. 5, when the gold-medal game is scheduled for the Halifax Metro Centre.

That's why one of the last telephone calls Habscheid made before the beginning of the Canadian team's selection camp 15 days ago was to King, now in his third year behind the bench of the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League.

"He told me to be yourself," Habscheid said. "And he told me to make sure the players enjoy themselves."

Habscheid, 39, who is in his fifth season behind the bench of the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, has always been able to enjoy himself. Ask any one of his former coaches or teammates (there are more than a few because he played for 19 teams from 1981 to 1996) and they will tell you about his tremendous sense of humour.

"I have never coached a player who enjoyed a joke or a prank as much as Habby and Randy Gregg," said King, who coached the two on the 1988 Canadian Olympic team. "They would call guys on the team, pretend to be me and tell them they were being let go.

"But when game time rolled around, Marc had tremendous focus. It was amazing how he could be so loose one moment and then switch on this razor-sharp concentration."

It was this razor-like concentration, along with his humour, that made Habscheid an ideal coach, in King's opinion.

"When I coached him, I felt he understood the game so well," King said. "There was no doubt in my mind he was coaching material. When you add his sense of humour, it's an added bonus for a coach. I know it will be a big factor at the world junior because you have to make it fun. The fun can be squeezed out of a tournament like the world junior because of all the expectations and attention."

As a player, Habscheid faced tremendous expectations. The native of Swift Current, Sask., was an offensively gifted player. In his final year of junior with the Saskatoon Blades, he scored 64 goals and 151 points in 55 games. At the world tournament that year, he scored six goals and 12 points in seven games.

"His line started and finished every game," King said. "Marc was known for his offensive ability, but when you start and finish every game, it says something about your skill and defensive awareness."

Habscheid, a natural centre who shifted to right wing later in his career, was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in 1981. He never caught on full-time with the Oilers, splitting parts of four seasons in the minor leagues and NHL. With the Oilers, there was little ice time playing behind Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier, so Habscheid requested a trade.

He bounced around with the Minnesota North Stars, the Canadian national team, the Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames before departing for his final seasons in Europe.

Although he never lived up to his billing as a top-flight player, Habscheid had a passion for the game that still burned bright at every stop. In fact, he kept extensive notes on the strengths of his different coaches and often jotted down practice drills he found useful.

"I was lucky because I had a lot of different coaches," said Habscheid, who scored 72 goals and 163 points in 345 career NHL games. "I also played in a lot of different parts of the world, so it was quite a hockey education. The biggest thing I did was to keep an open mind."

King and former Oilers coach Glen Sather were easily the biggest influences in Habscheid's coaching ways. But he says every single coach he has played under has contributed to his beliefs.

Entering the biggest highlight of his young coaching career, Habscheid's No. 1 belief is that this is the players' time to shine. He won't be mindful that the NHL scouts in the stands will also be grading his performance behind the bench.

"It's about helping the players perform up to their abilities," Habscheid said. "I want to be there for them, to answer questions about the game or about life. I want to help them move on in their careers and life. You want to make a difference."

Habscheid, assistant coaches Mike Kelly and Mario Durocher and head scout Blair Mackasey have constructed a team that demonstrated speed, skill and a physical game in exhibition victories -- 5-0 against Slovakia and 6-3 over Finland.

But when the games count, the difference will be the goaltending. The past two years, the Canadian junior team has been let down at key moments of the medal round because of poor goaltending.

"It's a pressure-packed situation and things can change in a hurry," Habscheid said. "That's why I'm trying to create an environment that gives then a good opportunity to win." Just as Habscheid had 21 years ago. ...Halifax rallies. S2. World junior primer. S2. Canada's lineup Forward units

Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Brooks Laich

Scottie Upshall, Kyle Wellwood, Boyd Gordon

Daniel Paillé, Jay McClement, Jordin Tootoo

Gregory Campbell, Derek Roy, Joffrey Lupul

Matthew Stajan Defence pairings

Steve Eminger, Brendan Bell

Alexandre Rouleau, Nathan Paetsch

Carlo Colaiacovo, Jeff Woywitka

Ian White

Goaltenders Marc-André Fleury, David LeNeveu 

Первая страничка молодежных чемпионатов мира 2003 года
Подгруппа А - подробнее
Россия, Швейцари, США, Словакия, Белоруссия
Подгруппа В - подробнее
Канада, Финляндия, Чехия, Швеция, Германия
За 7-10 места - подробнее
Швейцария, Швеция, Германия, Белоруссия
1/4 финала - подробнее
США - Чехия
Финляндия - Словакия
1/2 финала - подробнее
Россия - Финляндия
Канада - США
Финал - подробнее
За 5 место. Словакия - Чехия
За 3 место. США - Финляндия
За 1 место. Канада - Россия
Страничка статистики

Молодежные чемпионаты мира (до 20 лет) 2003 года.