I'm not sure what to think about head coach John Paddock repeatedly going after a 19 year old kid like Nick Foligno in the media. Here's an excerpt from Ken Warren's wrap up of last nights game against the Caps (for full coverage of the game, go down one blog entry).
Yesterday morning, Paddock again said it was important for Foligno to stick to basics, reminding everyone within earshot that the 19-year-old winger had to stop playing "a cute game because we have enough guys who play a cute game."
Not only is it strange to put so much pressure on a 19 year old prospect, but it also reveals Paddock's main view of the team he inherited from Bryan Murray. He obviously feels this team isn't gritty enough and he went out of his way say that he enjoys fighting in the game, even after Chris Neil and Jeremy Yablonski went toe to toe during an inter-squad game.
I have no problem with Paddock trying to toughen up the team but I'm already getting a little leery of his penchant for using the media to get his message across. If Paddock turns out to be a John Tortorella clone (well, more like Tortorella on Somonex) then we could be looking at some major flare ups this season between Paddock and the players. Maybe that's just what this team needs but I'm not so sure. Daniel Alfredsson might have had a point when he expressed that he wished Bryan Murray had stayed on as coach this year. We'll wait and see about this one.
Ken Warren also provides some details about the Sens cutting 13 players yesterday and talks to assistant general manager Tim Murray about how the Bingo Sens plan to be tougher this year.
"I want to have the identity of being a hard team to play against," said Murray. "I don't mean goon hockey or anything like that, but when we were at the rookie tournament and playing against Wilkes-Barre (the Pittsburgh Penguins' affiliate), the Pittsburgh guys were kind of chirping at me that they took eight of eight games last year. Very easily, with very little resistance. I don't like the Wilkes-Barres and the Hersheys (the Washington Capitals' top farm club) to think that we're a pushover."
Chris Stevenson tackles Brian McGrattan's complaints that the new jersey's are making it hard for fighters to ply their trade. But McGrattan's more worried about how the sweaters tend to rip easily and not about being able to grab a hold of the tight sweaters.
"I don't like holding on anyways," he said.
I'm so thankful that the Coyotes are done playing the Leafs. If I have to read another "Wayne Gretzky Has His Hands Full" story, I might put my head through my monitor.
Jason Spezza hurt his foot in last nights game. Apparently, it's not serious.