Toronto’s hockey team is in a freefall as the playoffs are nearing, and the finger pointing is in full swing. On Tuesday evening the Leaf captain, defenseman Dion Phaneuf, had one of his worst games, which even he had to admit yesterday on talk radio. Humbling, indeed.
In a Globe and Mail article this morning, James Mirtle did a good job analyzing this using expectations. As the title says, “Phaneuf a victim of the expectations game”. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/mirtle-lofty-expectations-see-phaneuf-under-fire-as-leafs-fade-in-the-playoff-race/article17689999/).
He points out, “They (Calgary, his last team) didn’t trust Phaneuf to do the heavy lifting. And it makes you wonder how much he’s been miscast in Toronto.” He goes on to say that Phaneuf’s role here places him in more shifts in the defensive zone, while his strengths seem to lie at the other end.
So what to do? Mirtle’s concern is that the Leafs are miscasting their top defenseman. “He is a good but flawed player….but if the Leafs continue to cast him as a king….the mixed results are at least partly on them.” His conclusion: “More reasonable expectations wouldn’t hurt either.”
Whether we are drafting, trading, hiring, appointing – however we are putting someone in a role to succeed, if we do not take into consideration their abilities and strengths, we are being unrealistic. And that way, everyone loses.
© Brian F. Reynolds BFRspace 2014
“What do you expect? The question you need to ask!” is now available in paperback for $20 (Can) from Scarlet Cord Press (www.scarletcordpress.com).