Guest blog by Tom Akins
â€‹Barb, wondering if you could do us all a favor and remind players through captains or otherwise against cherry picking. It takes the fun out of the game and is not fair to any of the players. It’s probably the most irritating thing that upsets everyone. Next to me of course. Just a joke I think.
At level 2 it seem to have gotten started with one particular individual and now others have caught the virus as well. A few guys will go immediately when on offense to the neutral zone or even the second blue line and just sit. Which of course is a 2-line pass if they should even get one.
But the main point is that if you’re on the same team as the cherry picker, you’re forced to work your buns off in the defensive zone because you’re short handed and can’t control of the puck because your teammates are elsewhere.
Likewise, if your playing defense on the opposing team it’s no fun. Instead of hugging the blue line and get involved with the offense, you have to sit back. Some guys don’t want to do that, so if the cherry picker gets the puck, you leave your goalie naked as well. It seems to affect the entire flow of the game.
As a footnote: I mean, we are level 2. Even if the guy gets a pass, most often he’s not going to beat anybody to the net. So he’s wasting his time.
From a coaching perspective, players are not supposed to break out until your team controls the puck. Granted, once in a while you sneak out or try to keep your defense honest if they’re pinching to much. But seriously, sometimes 1 to 3 guys will be standing in the neutral zone when the puck is in their own end just looking for a breakout.Very selfish play. The poor goalie getting peppered with no support on defense.
I get it, that some guys are so new to hockey and don’t know any better. JMS is not designed to have real rigged rules etc. But I think this should be addressed to make it fun and fair for all. What do you think?