Doucet and his revealing bench experience

Gui Doucet, Nottingham Panthers (Image: Panthers Images)

Nottingham Panthers Director of Hockey Guillaume Doucet admits it was a different experience to view the game from the bench like he did recently.

Doucet had to step in for head coach Tim Wallace after Wallace was forced to self-isolate for their game against Coventry Blaze after it was revealed a fellow passenger on Wallace’s flight to the UK had tested positive for coronavirus.

And, speaking on this week’s BIH Show, he admits to being nervous about it beforehand, but took the positive out an experience he’s not keen on doing too often.

“It was interesting to be behind the bench for that game,” he said.  “I won’t lie, I was nervous about it, but as the game went on, it clicked and I think I did okay.

“I’ve been a player for a number of years so I know what it’s like (on there), but it’s not something I want to be doing too often.

“It was a good experience and I got to see the game from that kind of view.  When I usually watch, it’s either on video or from an elevated seat in the stand, but it might be something for me to do in terms of getting closer to the action and the guys and see more from the angle.

“It opens your eyes on how quick coaches make decisions in that situation.  When you’re in the game, you focus on your game. As a coach, you have to focus on 20-22 guys and try to get the best out of them.

“Making a split second decision can be hard, like who’s going or what needs changing.  I’ve always known coaching was a tough gig and I’m glad I did it.

“I also know Tim learned from having to watch that game in his hotel room, he probably saw things live that he maybe didn’t pick up on at the time so we both got something out of it.  We didn’t get the result, but we learned from it.”

As the tournament heads towards the business end, the games are coming thick and fast in the final week or two and Doucet gave an insight into the time management side of things in how they prepare for games.

Tim Wallace had to miss a night behind the Panthers bench due to self-isolation, but it’s very much his domain (PHOTO: Panthers Images)

“It’s a different challenge for Tim and I in terms of preparation,” he added. “We had some good, hard practices earlier on in the Series, but I would say, for the last couple of weeks, it’s been a quick skate just to get the legs going.

“We definitely don’t any hard practices now.  When we do get on the ice, we make some adjustments, systems wise and for the most part, it’s been about that.

“We’ve been focussing on recovery mostly and a lot of teaching and preparation is being done virtually.  It’s a lot to ask guys to be at the rink together and they play enough games.

“It’s not the best idea to get them all at the rink to show them videos or get them on the ice to work on a few things.  Our practices have been optional a day after games, but a lot of them take part because they feel they need it.  Recovery and rest is key at this point.”

The full interview with Guillaume Doucet is part of this week’s edition of The BIH Show, available to watch on YouTube or download the audio version, available from all podcast providers.

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