February 15, 2005

Interview With The Coach, “We’re close enough to be first and close enough to be out.”

In his usual post-w/e interview with the TEAM 1200/Dean Brown and Gord Wilson, Killer had the following to say today [paraphrasing]:

I’m 24 hours late but at least we caught up with each other.

On the Jeckell-and-Hyde-type play of Friday [Mississauga win] and Sunday [Belleville loss]: We stared off in Peterborough [Thursday] pretty well. We had some good chances. It was encouraging because we played well and then played well on Friday. Then discouraging on Sunday because we only had one goal, and you can’t win too many with only one goal.

Will the team be travelling a day ahead again this week? Yes, we’ll be leaving tomorrow afternoon to go to Belleville, then carry on to Oshawa. We’re going to go and watch Kingston and Belleville play a game. We’ll be coming back a little later coming home, so hopefully we’ll still have something left for the game on Friday.

Will the whole team go to watch the game? Yes. It’ll be a nice night out for them. We’ve got 22 on the roster. All will go, except for Lahey and Akeson who will not be going. Maybe watching someone else work and seeing how it looks when they work hard will have an effect on them.

Are you disappointed with the work ethic? Yes, I’m disappointed with some of them and their work ethic. I’m disappointed because it was a game [Sunday vs Belleville] that would have meant a lot for points. We know that we have a good enough team provided they work. But we get into a situation some nights that we take too many dumb penalties. It gets to the point that the same guys have to work hard to kill off penalties and it wears them down for their offensive work. The same guys have to be out there to keep us in the game instead of being out there trying to score.

On the number of games left in the regular season, and the players not listening to Killer’s message re: consistency: If they aren’t preaching it to themselves at this point, they should be. If they don’t realize that if they don’t pick up their game their junior careers could be over soon. We’re close enough to be first and close enough to be out.

On the stretch of home games for the 67s over the last stretch: Last month will be an awful lot easier than going up and down the highway. March will be a good month. Hopefully we can get there still competitive and in the running for something.

On Battochio’s return to the line up: It was an incredible return for Danny the two games he gave us. Guadagnolo played a tremendous game in Peterborough. Goaltending is not the worry. I’m worried about the some of the others.

On Spezza remaining up with team, and possibility of getting another shot in net: I don’t know if he will. It depends on the health of the two goaltenders and the situation we find ourselves in. The reason Spezza has stayed up is because we couldn’t get him a floating release to Lindsay, and he couldn’t go to Smith Falls because they’re not a tier two affiliate. We had to use a card to keep him up here.

Why has he [Spezza] been bounced around a bit: A lot of teams have their own number one goalie, and back up. Rather than trade to get another – for them to gamble on Spezza well they don’t have to because they already have two. Kingston had three – that is why they released him. And it worked because we had the injuries. Matt has to really look after himself a little bit. When the summer comes he is going to have to get down and dirty a little bit because he’s going to have to think about if he really wants to be a goaltender. He needs to get in shape.

On the importance of getting off to a good start this week: I put an awful lot of importance on the game on Thursday. We need to start off well. A lot of things can happen on Thursday that will have a bearing on Friday and Sunday. [/paraphrasing]

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