March 15, 2005

Interview With The Coach, “They worked hard and they went to the end.”

In his usual post-w/e interview with the TEAM 1200/Dean Brown and Gord Wilson yesterday (3.14.2005), Killer had the following to say [paraphrasing]:

On last night’s game vs Mississauga: We had just finished 6 games in 10 days and I know some of the kids were injured and some are just tired. That’s why we have some days off now. They worked hard and they went to the end. It’s been Bonello’s line that has been carrying us, and Bonello had a bad injury and couldn’t turn one way and that’s bad for a centreman, and consequently because he couldn’t turn one way he couldn’t get the puck to Mark for scoring opportunities. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. We had a shot and we had a rebound. That’s probably the most important part to me. We went hard and we went to the end.

On Guadagnolo getting the start: I was asked why did you put Guadagnolo in and my first answer was because I didn’t put Battochio in. [Playing Battochio two games in a row, then Guadagnolo was tactical.] It would have been natural for Anthony on Saturday. But if I didn’t play my number one goaltender against Kingston, then Belleville would be wondering if I’m using my backup goaltender. And because Danny played the week before and was brilliant. In Mississauga the last time Anthony had 54 shots but they beat us 4-1. He’s played brilliant against them, and he did it again. He’s earned it this year and he’s earned the opportunities to be seen and recognized and to let him know that he is an important member of this team.

On what Killer said in the locker room Saturday: [Can’t really say] . . . mainly because the kids that are listening. We weren’t playing as well as we could have. We didn’t have the desire, the determination, the discipline that was needed. I singled out a couple guys that could have done it a little better. Who knows what kids will respond to, but they did. I didn’t expect that we’d score 7 or that we needed to score 7. If it hadn’t been for Danny Battochio in the first and second periods we would have been down more the 2 or 3 goals. It turns out that the penalty [to Kotsopoulus-KIN] that got us started in the third was important. Some guys were floating through their shifts and gambling because they wanted to score goals.

On home ice: We’re hopefully pushing for home ice, which would be four. We’re a better team if we could start in our rink even though we can’t start in our rink because there’s a show coming in, but at least we’ll be in Ottawa.

On the health of the team: Well, there’s Lahey, who hasn’t had much of a season because of a concussion. Jeremy Akeson is staring to skate this week, and whether he gets a regular line the next couple of games we’ll see, to get him some conditioning. Bonello wrenched his neck and couldn’t turn one way, which is dangerous because it’s like a blind spot. It’s tough for him, but with this week of rest he should be ready.

In jest, did you take Mancari and sit him down and find out what is wrong, why the slump [since he didn’t get another hat trick]: Yeah, I came up beside him in the tunnel and said you owe us a game, you haven’t had a good game since last night. It was pretty inspiring to see him walk into that room in Kingston. He was mostly responsible for that win. Knowing full well that he drove all that way. For our team seeing him play the way he did was certainly inspiring for a lot of the kids. Credit to the Mancari family for their support. They made sure that he didn’t miss any games and his Grandmother would have wanted it that way. He got the hat trick that Friday that he dedicated to her, and she knew that that was her gift.

On the shootout: I’m old-fashioned, so I can say that I’m not for it. For a game to be decided because your shooters are better the their shooters or their goalie is better than you’re goalie. You don’t lose a game by a special event. To me it’s a gimmick. But if the fans want it, then so be it. But you should make the points different. If you want to put a clause there – for entertainment value – add up the number of points over the season that you got from shoot outs and add it some way to the overall points, but don’t tell me you won and lost it by that trickery.

Right now, on the spot, who would you select from the 67s all time shoot-out list: Bobby Smith, Jimmy Fox, Yvan Joly, Andrew Cassels, and Alyn McCauley.

And who would you want in goal? Jimmy Ralph would make them laugh on the way to the net. The one that had the most success – couple of Memorial Cups – Darren Pang. He would eat the puck rather than let it go in.

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