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January 31, 2005

Interview With The Coach, “. . . it was a much happier bus ride home.”

Notes from the regular post-w/e interview with Killer on TEAM 1200/Dean Brown and Gord Wilson.

[paraphrasing] On the undefeated streak this past w/e: All I know is that it seems like a long time and it was a much happier bus ride home. It was something that we needed.

On yesterday’s game: The funny thing is, is that it was really Guadagnolo’s show yesterday. He was more responsible than anyone. They had different individuals on their side going out and working hard. But we settled down and played a better period from then on. You have to have good goal-tending to win, and he is a good goal-tending. He gave us a chance to win. I gave our guys credit for being able to hang on to win.

On the difference with the team this w/e: I don’t do a lot of analyzing. If things are good in the room, and they are good with each other, than the team improves. It takes time for new guys to adjust and the players to adjust to them. The w/e had an awful lot to do with confidence. Guys who hadn’t scored, scored, and guys who hadn’t played well, played well. I’m hoping in practice tomorrow they will have more life, energy. We went through a tough time. But we know our conditioning is good, for us to play strong in the third period. Conditioning and team confidence were big things. We’re in striking distance of anybody and everybody. Confidence is one thing, healing of our injuries another. Someday we’re going to have to sit some players. We haven’t had to do that really yet. We’re close to getting Akeson and Battochio back. That’s good – it pushes some of the other fellows. If you want to stay, you need to play well.

On the defence playing offensively: Lawrance has been playing left wing because of the absence of Akeson. Staubitz, a defenceman, got points this w/e on the PP. Same with Joslin and Reid. I like them to be offensive, only if they don’t leave the defence open – like if they join a rush, with no one back to protect the zone.

On Spezza: He played great. Give the kid credit they had some pretty good scoring chances. They were crowding him too. He went out and took care of business and got a penalty for it. I like his fire and the way he competes. He’s a good team man on the bench and in the dressing room. One thing though, he looks at goodies and they stay with him – donuts and bread – I think that he’s going to have to work on keeping the pounds off. I like him and the rest of the team does too. When he goes out on the ice, he competes and works hard. He’s a happy-go-lucky kid. But when he’s in the net, he’s all business. Just has to work on his weight. Guadagnolo is still the number one guy. Yesterday was his game. Battochio’s been practicing and looks good, but we’re not going to rush him. I think that Spezza’s really looking to play in Kingston this Sunday, to show them what they missed out on by trading him. I’m thinking of putting him net, not because it’s sentimental, but because he worked hard and earned it.

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