I am trying to do the same thing this guy is doing.For everyone.
The Coyotes put a lot of faith and trust in a guy who has not seen the ice during a game in years. Sequestered in an out-of-the-way room, he watches
several monitors and attacks a laptop computer with a vengeance, hoping that even one of myriad things that he sees can give the team an edge.
"All I'm doing is marking the entire game," said Steve Peters, the Coyotes' video coach. "Everything from all of our system play - from
neutral-zone forechecks, (offensive-zone) forechecks, hits, goals, penalties, power plays - we're marking anywhere from 600 to 800 different pieces
of information during our game.
"I see probably more hockey than anybody here, but it's always in a little room. . . . I've never seen the Coyotes play live for 15 years. I've
never seen them play hockey. It's frustrating."
Peters' calculations and data are pored over by the Coyotes coaches between periods, and it usually leads to adjustments as the game progresses.
During the night, he also is in contact with coaches behind the bench and in the press box.
The role of a video coach has evolved over the years. Peters is at the forefront of that movement and is gaining the confidence of coach Dave
"Best in the business, best I've ever seen in that role," Tippett said. "There's a couple things that make him excellent at his job. One, he
takes pride in what he does - his work ethic is excellent, his details are excellent - and he knows the game.
"All the intangibles you need in a person like that make him do a good job, he's got. He's a very, very valuable part of our staff."
Peters never slows down, either on game nights or during the week when he's looking at video of upcoming opponents, thriving on multitasking.
"I think that's when he's at his best," Tippett said. "He relishes that kind of thing. . . . As a player, you have excitement, get playing, and
coaches, you like to get into the game. He gets in there and he gets in game mode, and he does a great job for us."
Peters is a former college goalie at the University of North Dakota, also Tippett's alma mater, and both won NCAA championships. Though Tippett went
on to have a solid pro career, Peters, who backed up eventual Hall of Famer Eddie Belfour in college, knew he'd have to find a different niche.
When his collegiate eligibility ran out, he helped coaches with the video at North Dakota and realized it was something that came natural. He used
that early training as an eventual springboard, joining the Coyotes at the invitation of then-General Manager Bobby Smith after his resume was
rejected by 20 teams.
"It's an interesting job because you have to know hockey and because you have to be able to communicate with the coaches and the players," Peters
said. "You have to be a little tech-savvy; you got to be able to run computers and satellites and all that, so it mixes two things together for me,
so I feel like I'm challenged. Every day there's something different."
Technology has evolved rapidly since Peters joined the Coyotes, and the job has reached the stage of specialization. But in the not-too-distant past,
Tippett said, coaches were the ones who had that task.
"When I first started coaching, I was that guy; that's how much it's evolved," he said. "It's evolved into a regular person now. It's a big
part of the game now. Coaching staffs break down so many things, pre-scouts and things like that are all very important to the outcome of the game.
"He's by far the best guy I've ever been around in that role."
Players also seek him out to look at video or get his input.
"Petey does an unbelievable job," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "It's nice when you go in there and he's able to point things out quickly and
clearly and concisely to you. He just watches so much hockey, and he sees your own personal tendencies so often, that it's something that can
It has taken Peters time to build up those relationships with players, and it's reached a comfort zone now, he said.
"There's a lot of interaction with the players," he said. "They ask what happened on this play or what could I have done on this play, or we'll
sit down once in a while and they'll want to see things, and I think I'm safe - I'm a part of the coaching staff, but I'm not a coach."
"So they feel safe in communicating with me, so I think those relationships have grown, too, over the years. When I first started, I was in my 20s,
we didn't have that. Now these guys trust me."
Video coaches around the NHL share information but not all the secrets. And in this age of evolving technology, teams cannot afford to play
"It's kind of like the Cold War," Peters said. "Whatever the other team has, you better have."
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