Home Sports Alex Cousineau takes on bigger responsibilities this season with the Stingers men’s hockey team

Alex Cousineau takes on bigger responsibilities this season with the Stingers men’s hockey team

by Alec Brideau November 12, 2019
Alex Cousineau takes on bigger responsibilities this season with the Stingers men’s hockey team

A hockey team’s coaching staff plays a key role in its team’s success. Yet, some coaching positions are less familiar than others. That would be the case of goaltender and video coaches, both occupied by Alex Cousineau with the Concordia Stingers men’s hockey team.

Cousineau joined the Stingers last season, leaving a similar position with the Collège Français de Longueuil in the Ligue de Hockey junior AAA du Québec (LHJAAAQ). It was when Stingers’s head coach Marc-André Élement looked to recruit players from the Collège Français that they met and Cousineau decided to join the team.

“He wanted to know my interest in joining their coaching staff,” Cousineau said. “I’m [now] starting my second year. It went really well last season. It was really fun. To go from Junior AAA to university hockey is completely different.”

When Cousineau joined the Stingers last season, his role focused more on the video aspect of the job. As a video coach, Cousineau works with and evaluates video sequences of the Stingers’s games. He also communicates a lot with the staff.

Cousineau takes more responsibility this season with Jim Corsi, the team’s other goaltender coach, who’s been hired as goaltending development coach by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the National Hockey League (NHL) in August 2018. He said it isn’t much different now, since he occasionally worked with Corsi and goaltenders last season.

“For sure, to be more alone this year is different,” Cousineau said. “However, the job remains similar. Last year, I worked with Jim, and we shared ideas. This year might be more about my ideas, but we’re still continuing on what we established last year. I know the guys more this year, so I’m more comfortable with them. Last year was a new environment with the goalies, so it was about getting to know them. This year’s going really well so far. I think it keeps going better and better with time.”

Cousineau said the goaltending part of his job relates a lot to the human side of the game. He explained that yes, he works with goaltenders to improve their game, and watches videos with them to see what they’re doing well and what needs work, but something key at this level is to make sure they’re in a good state of mind.

“[It’s also about their] mental preparation, you spend a lot of time with them on the road and off the ice,” Cousineau said. “It’s important to talk and make sure their life outside hockey is going well because if there’s something that doesn’t, it can affect them in hockey.”

Cousineau coached goaltenders of all ages and said that university athletes are professionals, and don’t need to always be told what to do to be better.

“With them, it’s more of a conversation,” Cousineau said. “We’ll try different stuff instead of [me telling them] to do specific things. There’s a relationship of trust with them. When they’re going well, then you know it will go well in games.”

Cousineau said the best part of this job is to be around the players and staff. Finishing a bachelor in management, the coach said this role with the Stingers is a big investment, but it’s worth it.

“We have a great group with a great coaching staff, so it’s super fun to be here,” Cousineau said. “It’s demanding weeks, asking for a lot of time, but it’s really fun and we couldn’t ask for more. The hockey caliber is also incredible. I think university hockey is underrated a lot. [People] don’t necessarily watch it, but when they come to the games they’re really impressed. I think that also makes me enjoy my job even more.”

 

Photos by Laurence B.D.

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