April 18, 2005

Interview With The Coach, “. . . hopefully Danny Battochio is enjoying this day off more than anyone.”

Some notes from the post-playoff Game 6 interview this afternoon with Killer on the TEAM 1200/Dean Brown and Gord Wilson. [paraphrasing]

(Congratulations on winning Round 2) Thanks very much. I just enjoyed today, not having to travel and not having to go anywhere. A day of rest. It’s good because a few of our fellows played a few minutes. When you get this deep you worry a little bit, but everyone has to play 60 minutes.

(On the one game in each city style) Going back and forth is not a hardship. They wanted to get that extra day of rest for the kids. I’m pretty pleased with the schedule.

(On the practice schedule) We’ll skate tomorrow and have a good practice. Thursday is not a hardship because Jeff has taken the hardship out the travel. The health of the team is good and hopefully Danny Battochio is enjoying this day off more than anyone.

Today is the day that we could have had an optional, but the trainer is the one going up early and getting things ready for the boys. It’s hard on Patafie. He needs a day off more than anyone. No, we’ll just stay away from the rink, enjoy it, hit a bucket of balls. We’ll start tomorrow.

(On not having to travel to Sudbury for a Game 7) I know that I hadn’t been feeling great and so if we had to get on a plane – its quick but still tough, an hour and half up – it would have been tough with their crowd behind them. I was really, really happy that we had last night off and we could just sleep in and do nothing today.

(On the better team effort last night) Yeah they worked harder and we eliminated their [Sudbury] chances and we put a few pucks in their net instead of having to go to the end depending on Danny. Made it a little bit easier for him.

(On Kaspar and Petruzalek elevating their games) I think it’s just understanding that no matter who you play against or how many minutes you play, you have to go and work hard. Had they been playing with the talent they’ve been given it might have been a different story with a few games. The good thing with our line up, the Talbot line did all the damage in Game one and yesterday they only got one – but a big one by Hulit. Yesterday they had a big game [Akeson, Kaspar, and Petruzalek].

(On what a SH goal can do to a hockey club) Well it’s one of those things that you have to understand. You anticipate pucks and move and skate. We can throw the puck around pretty good and a few fellows can read the puck really well. Sometimes on the PP you relax a little bit. We did it yesterday where we were nonchalant and they had a 3 on 2. Sometimes you get lazy and beat a little bit. They [Sudbury] were caught a few times, four I guess. Sometimes it bounces off the boards funny. It’s one of the those things if the situation presents itself, be ready for it.

(On an MVP of the Sudbury series who is not the goaltender) Yeah outside of goaltending I wouldn’t want to try because each and every night it’s a different story. Talbot was a star up in Sudbury the one night we had the game advantage. Bonello and Mancari had strong games. I don’t want to overlook Colbert or Staubitz. They would have to share it. I don’t interfere with the kids in the dressing room. They have their own methods and they award the hard hat. Except yesterday I grabbed it and I put it on Danny, and it was unanimous. There was a cheer in the room like we scored a goal. He gutted it out and gave us a chance to win.

(On Coach Dick Todd) I like Dick Todd. He’s done a tremendous job. You have to give the organization . . . they’ve made themselves a formidable foe. They beat London this year and they were leading the other until they ran into penalty troubles. You look forward to the challenge because you know that they’re a good team. We’re happy to be here because not too many people would have predicted that Ottawa would be here against Peterborough.

(On what Coach Todd has done to improve the team) He came from the school of hard knocks. He taught them responsibility in their own end and they do play better in their own end. They have an awful lot of talent and now they’re using it. They’ve got the four lines and their number one pick Staal is playing tremendous hockey and they use him to kill penalties.

Also, one of the most underrated players in the League is Daniel Ryder. I just love watching him play. He works as hard defensively as offensively and he kills penalties. If they had a vote for MVP I think it would be Ryder. I really appreciate his overall game.

They play very good in their own end. If you look at our team, we’re run and gun, sometimes a gamble. If you gamble against a good team you get burned. We’ll have to be smarter in our own end. Hopefully everyone learns to methodically get the puck out, keep the tempo up mind you, but be a little more careful of where you make your first pass.

(On the high SOG during the first 2 rounds; misleading?) Shots sometimes are a little misleading. You can give up a lot of shots if they’re not in the danger zone. You can get the angle shots and let the goaltender set up and clear them. But if you’re giving up quality shots you’re going to be in trouble. The shots we’ve been giving up are not all dangerous. We’re going to have to cut done some of the opportunities and some of the penalties. Peterborough had over 80 more PP opportunities throughout the year.

(On home ice being a factor) We won 2 here and we tied 2 here. They didn’t win here and we didn’t win there. I’m hoping that we can adjust to their rink. But they play well on the road too.

(On the play of the fourth line) Our fourth line has been playing really well. Pat Ouellette should get credit. He’s been playing really well. He’s really upped his game. It took him awhile to adjust on the ice. He’s winning his face-offs and they go out and they work and they bump and they’re playing well in their own end. If they go out and give us the minutes and hold the opposition even, then they’ve done their job. If they get on the board, that’s a bonus. [/paraphrasing]

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