January 29, 2007

Interview with the coach - Jan 29

Notes from an interview w/ Killer on the TEAM 1200/ Buzz and Glenn Kulka this morning.

The Plymouth game was tough for the team, but it was probably the best game they played all weekend. Everywhere they went, everybody kept saying that Plymouth was the best team in the League. The 67s played well and probably deserved better than the score (4-1) indicated. The Plymouth goalie (Neuvirth) played well.

The 67s only allowed one PP goal all weekend [Sunday versus Guelph] and that was when they were down 2 men. And there was only 12 seconds left out of an almost 2 minute 5-on-3. Flueler played well. [He was named first star on Saturday]. The 67s had 5 PP goals this weekend [they went 5-for-24]. Maybe they're getting their PP back on track, but they had trouble scoring even strength.

They didn't realize how much they would miss Methot. He's a big body. They'll find out this week when he might be back. Losing Ryan to injury in Saturday's game hurt them. He's been playing well lately. It looks like it's a Charlie Horse. He was walking a little better on Sunday. They'll have to wait to see how bad it is.

Flueler made an important acrobatic save in Sarnia to keep the 4-1 lead. He reached back to grab the puck. [Since the beginning of the season,] Flueler needed to work on being quicker, getting up and getting the puck. He played great. Looking forward to seeing him play this weekend. He's only 18 years old and had never been away from home. His girlfriend and family are all back in Switzerland. At the WJC break, he realized that he came over here to play in North America to get better and get noticed for the NHL Draft. He has a great attitude and is a real booster of the team. When Morrison has a good game, Flueler's the first off the bench to go over and congratulate him. He's a complete team player - growing up fast.

Goaltenders can make or break a team. In the Stanley Cup playoffs for the last few years there's always been a goalie that stole a couple of games. Roy had some overtime wins to win the Cup for the Canadiens. Confidence makes a difference for the whole team. Killer remembered a few Goalies he's known: when coaching with the NY Islanders, he remembered Billy Smith was pretty quiet, didn't want to talk to anyone, nobody banged his pads. When Killer played for the Springfield Indians, "Gump" Worsley would give a zinger right back to you, whereas Marcel Paille would watch and laugh. When the team is talking about what went wrong, they leave the goaltender alone because they feel it more. They're the last line of defence.

Cuma played really well, especially Saturday night. He and Vojta could have been the best players on the ice that night. The trip may have been starting to wear on Cuma by Sunday, though, because he wasn't moving his feet as well. He's earned the ice time he's getting on the top defensive pairing with Joslin. He was out there when they were two men short. He's a super kid. Doesn't say much, but actions speak louder than words.

Liscomb had a "misunderstanding" with Killer. Brett had taken an elbow but Killer didn't see it and thought he just stopped on the play so he confronted him. Killer admitted he made a mistake. Mrs. Kilrea asked about the "incident".

Bailey works every shift -- gives everything he's got. He works hard -- gives of himself. He doesn't just pick on the smaller guys. He was responsible for the winning goal on Saturday. He drew the penalty that led to the goal, and then scored a PP goal himself in the 3rd period.

On Sunday, they played well in all three periods, but they just couldn't buy a goal. They were still in the game in the third period, down 3-1. Bailey was double shifted because of the injury to Alphonso.

When players are confident, goal scorers say the net looks bigger than normal. Just like golfers say they feel like they're putting into a wash tub. It's a big part of success. The team should have gained some confidence from this weekend. They played 3 good teams, and were right in it each game.

Joslin/Couture/McGinn are all going to the All-Star game this week. They're leaving Tuesday and coming back Thursday. There are also some players with injuries, so they may have some rough practices this week. Killer will work on their conditioning.

On his 2000th game as a coach, Killer said that when you start you don't know where it will end. The numbers just add up. He hopes the ceremony doesn't take away from the job at hand. Maybe the player's minds won't be in the game. Toronto St. Mike's will be in Ottawa on Friday night. They've lost 12 in a row, which is dangerous because the streak has to end sometime. They scored 3 goals against Plymouth on Sunday, so Ottawa has to be careful.

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