OK -- this was in response to lazer in the Marty thread asking about Larsson.
I have ZERO clue but I still went off on the subject. The bolded parts are the parts a normal person woudl have left this at.
Culture: Swedish psyche isn't second nature to me. So I can't make any sweeping cultural generalization with any confidence. Right now I feel that they are a people of great humor and darkness, and extreme subtly, until they hit a wall and appear to snap. When they snap in a negative way, people say "See? I KNEW they felt like that all along" but I don't believe that - just when they hit the wall they fall back on a snap assumption they pronounce loudly. When they happy snap, people think too much Aquavit (I'm watching a lot of Wallander on Netflix. Pontus rocks - he could be my son! I think the actor and I have the same birthday even. This show is for sure something to base assumptions on a whole society upon )
Age: I'm just not sure. Larsson's not so much mature as collected - which will be confusing to coach. I don't feel he's fully confident with his peripheral vision of the game - personally, I think that's what makes him slow. If it's age causing that, physical growth, and he's just not certain of how his body fits on this ice? It's a new body for him - how far do his arms reach exactly? Is he check how he's doing while he's playing because he doesn't feel sure where his stick is? He can't skate backwards or allow the instinctive puck stop because he's not sure where he is, literally, on the ice, unless he sees it with his own eyes first? Is it that he depends too much on his eyes? That's stressful and time consuming. When he tries to intuit, does it looks like a lapse in focus and then he gets punished?
Personality: This is where it becomes problematic. Is he just an overly exacting kind of guy? Just too detailed oriented? Does he have to play a slow, clean, purposeful game and can't roll with what's thrown at him?
What it would help to know:
How often does he honestly just wish he was back in Sweden?
What does he want to do in his off hours? Watch TV? Does he think "Oh gawd no" when it's time to get off his ass and go to work (like we all do in our normal jobs)?
When it comes easy, it's very hard to learn how to work (Gomez is poster boy for this).
You just know Lidstrom worked on himself, on his own time, purely for the joy of it - all the while being off radar in terms of fans and press. Neids did it on radar, he found a way to do it while hating to be under the microscope the entire time - this is really the most impressive to me. Stevens - same way but he had his aggression to screen his development - to take focus from expectation. His hits bought him the space to grow into a really aware player.
Does Larrson have that passion for hockey and passion for the physical movement, the art of it? I can't tell you if Larsson has that - or if they're drumming it out of him expecting to be able to teach the unteachable. When given space to learn, does he take it? I dont know.
When the staff benches him, this tells us with no knowledge, no, he doesn't. I'm not feeling that it's motivating Larsson to work harder in any way - I see it as only serving to undermine his trust thanks to us and TG and new players being held accountable for their shoddy play. - and I'm not sure these guys get that (Stevens & DeBoer) They are not delicate patient guys by nature.
This is a bad climate for Larsson at the moment, because he understands the lessons being taught, but he also can sense the air of injustice fans, reporters and probably some of the new teammates give off. So it ends up a mixed message and he can't be expected to hear just DeBoer/Stevens. It is unreasonable for coaching to expect that of him, because this staff is not so hot at communicating.
Their patience I'm certain reads as barely contained frustration. He's not quite secure enough to be patient with them, where their patience in return is not readily apparent. He's been here long enough that a two-way street has developed and coaching needs to work with that. Coaching needs to be able to tell him that BECAUSE they need him NOW, he has to be pulled from some games to not fortify bad habits. It's not out of lack of trust that he's benched, but for his development. He may know that... but fans don't