A three-time Stanley Cup champion who also won three Frank Selke Awards as the league’s top defensive forward, Guy Carbonneau knows what it takes to win the big games.
The veteran of 1,318 NHL regular season games who appeared in 231 career playoff contests to score 38 goals and recording 93 points, offers up his Top 5 bits of advice for young players when it comes to playoff hockey.
Guy Carbonneau's Stanley Cup Playoffs Advice
1. Don’t look back, don’t look ahead
“In the playoffs, you have to live in the moment. You and your teammates worked hard to get to this point, so you need to embrace it. Only one team can win it, so you have to stay focused on the task at hand.”
2. Remember what was said
“It’s all about the team concept. Before the playoffs started, the younger guys were likely talking to some of the veterans, players that have lots of playoff experience or have won the Cup. Whether it’s dinners on the road, or talking on the plane on the way back home, it’s good to understand what the playoffs are all about. It’s a time to ask, ‘What can I expect?’”
3. Short memory
“The playoffs are all about highs and lows. The unexpected can happen and mistakes will be made. That’s just part of the game. The playoffs are tough in any sport. You leave your ego at the door and when you have a bad shift or an off night, you have to let it go. It’s all about how you react.”
4. Short memory, Part 2
“When I played, the way we always looked at a big win was to enjoy it for a couple of hours. If you’re on the road, you go out and have a nice meal. But when you wake up in the morning, it’s done. The other guys are as mad as you are happy. Enjoy the moment, but come back even stronger the next game.”
5. All or nothing
“This is the most exciting time of the year. Regardless of what you did in the regular season, this is totally different. Every shift, every game, you have to put everything on the line.”