Coach Glen Gulutzan’s team chemistry building methods

As I mentioned on October 16th, the Dallas Stars have a bunch of new players this season. Mike Heika, of the Dallas Morning News, blogged today about head coach Glen Gulutzan’s efforts to build chemistry between the players, including the seven new guys.

To bring that group together quickly requires some “chemistry building games.” Donkeyball was one…

(Donkeyball, according to Heika, involves kicking a soccer ball over a makeshift net and trying to not let it hit the ground. The game is played in a hallway, so there are rules about ceilings. There are brief clips of one such game in some of the in-arena videos shown on the Jumbotron at Stars games.)

…while Stars coach Glen Gulutzan started practice with an 11-on-11 hockey game that included two pucks and wild youth soccer-like action.

It came up in today’s blog because there was a competitive game of Donkeyball between Dowell and Fiddler (see the 10/16 post) before today’s practice at the Verizon Center in D.C. (where the Stars will be playing the Caps tomorrow). The whole rest of the team watched and cheered. Dowell, who claimed to be the underdog, won, and celebrated by leaping over the net and ripping his shirt off.

First: I’d love to have seen that 11-on-11 game! All those guys and two pucks. That’s got to be some entertaining mayhem. (I was a dancer for many years — years and, yes, many pounds ago — and we were painstakingly choreographed and well practiced on stage. But sometimes, at certain events, some of us would get to take part in The Chicken Dance. And it was total chaos. When you’re used to something organized and orderly, that’s a real treat.)

Secondly: Smart guy, that Gulutzan. I think I get now why they’re winning.

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