Week 11: Details

The holidays are a time where details matter.

The right bow with the right wrapping paper, the proper display pieces on the mantle, the right music and food and the right… you get it, it matters.

Hockey is a daily grind where, as you may have guessed, details matter.

There is no comfort in gathering one standings point in an overtime loss because Thursday’s effort was like a Christmas tree without its ornaments. And you wonder if the little things had been different, would the result have been as well?

Head coach Cory Melkert is a stickler for details.

There are ways you practice and ways you play that require the little things to be in the team’s favor and even the team’s control.

Listen to a pre-game interview from coach, and undoubtedly you’ll hear, “compete,” “work hard,” “don’t have a letdown,” etc. Those phrases may seem like “coach-speak” but at the heart of it all is the simple concept of being a detail-oriented team.

Minor league hockey is a game that is played on razor thin margins as it is. While the Marksmen near the halfway point of the season, the time of reckoning is rapidly approaching with games again Quad City, Pensacola, and Huntsville all happening in the second half of the year.

Those teams, especially Quad City and Huntsville, have worked out their details and are consistently executing teams. And while the Marksmen approach that bench mark and remain within striking distance of the top spots, those “little things” can make all the difference.

Melkert has described each opponent this season as “a team that works hard,” which is categorically true for professional athletes. But how do you beat raw effort?


Keep a close eye for sharpness on the little things moving forward. Sometimes the strongest lessons are learned when the cost of learning is the highest—and you’d hope that missing on a chance to tie Knoxville for third was hefty enough to make it sink in.

We’ve told you in this blog before about culture beating scheme—and it’s true. But sometimes two healthy cultures collide—two good teams, however you want to phrase it is fine.

Watch closely, because if culture always won there’d be no point for strategy. This is the time of the year where identity is engrained for almost everyone and every game adds a little more importance on the most important implantation of those little things.

Details, and namely, executing on them.