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Friday, 10.26.2007 / 12:00 PM / Ice Age

By Phil Coffey - NHL.com Sr. Editorial Director

Capitals' head coach Glen Hanlon is glad to have forward Alexander Semin back in
Washington's lineup after an ankle sprain.

The Capitals are excited to get Alexander Semin back in the lineup. John Tortorella has been working the VCR in Tampa and John Paddock expects his boss to deliver a top-six forward.

Yep, we have a lot of interesting things being talked about this week around the NHL.

***

“He gives us another weapon. It gives us two groups, a second wave of attack. If I were Michael Nylander, I would be excited about getting him back, because he’s world-class. He has world-class skills and he’s a world-class player. Facts are facts; he’s a great player.”

-- Capitals coach Glen Hanlon on the return of Alexander Semin from a sprained right ankle.

***

“Whether it’s a trade or not, Bryan (Murray, GM) is going to get us a top-six forward, I think. That’s his history as a manager, and he wants to do it. Whether someone needs permission to be traded or you want to sign him or whatever, the record is very important to try and take a run at somebody.”

-- Ottawa Senators coach John Paddock

***

‘Whatever the schedule presents you, you need to do just what you need to do in that time. We have really concentrated on the in-between days doing a lot of tape work on our team concept, on special teams, and I think it’s really helped us. ... I think it’s been very beneficial with the new guys with the amount of tape work that we’ve done, and we’ve done a lot.”

-- Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella

***

“It’s way too early to push the panic button. Teams go through this every year. There’s teams that lose eight, 10 in a row and they still make the playoffs and do really well. We’re going to be fine.”

-- Maple Leafs forward Jason Blake

***

“Learning new systems and new ways to play, stuff they have asked me to do. It’s a little bit different than Minnesota, and I have to be able to recognize that and play accordingly.”

-- Bruins goaltender Manny Fernandez

***

“The more it goes on, the worse it gets. I really wanted to get it out of the way early, and that obviously hasn’t happened. So the more it doesn’t happen, the more you think about it.”

-- Dallas’ Mike Modano on stalling in pursuit of Phil Housely’s record for most points scored by an American-born NHL player.

***

“It’s not Bob’s fault, it’s everybody’s fault. But changes had to be made. First you replace the coach, then you go from there. You’ve gotta make a change. You can’t go on the status quo and think everything is going to be better.”

-- Atlanta Thrashers captain Bobby Holik

***

“You have to have traffic in front of him, you can’t let him see the shot. He’s good, he’s real good.”

-- Detroit’s Tomas Holmstrom on Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo.

***

“I think last year was a different team. We had a lot of offensive weapons -- Steve Sullivan, Paul Kariya -- and we felt a lot more confident that we were going to score a few every night. That was just the natural confidence with a bunch of offensive guys.”

-- Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz

***

“I know the game has changed. To me, when you step on the ice, you shouldn’t be friends. If you want to call them on the phone or B.S. after the game, I don’t care.”

-- New Jersey Devils coach Brent Sutter

***

“It’s tough to take. You feel for your goalie and you feel for your ‘D’ that’s playing solid. It’s our job to put some goals in the net.”

-- New York Rangers forward Chris Drury after the Rangers suffered back-to-back shutout losses against Boston and Pittsburgh.

***

“Obviously, everybody is entitled to their own opinion. They’re cheering for their team and we’re one of their huge rivalries. It was a great gesture at the start. I was excited to come here and get this game underway and get it done with.”

-- Colorado’s Ryan Smyth after being greeted by cheers prior to meeting the Edmonton Oilers for the first time Tuesday night and then being booed when he touched the puck afterward.

***

“I’ve been inconsistent. I’ve had good games, I’ve had really bad games and I’m just looking to close the gap between those games in a consistent way and, you know, play the way I can.”

-- Oilers forward Dustin Penner

***

“He’s been losing years with every game. He’s really been fantastic. I just marvel at him.”

-- Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice on Toronto captain Mats Sundin.

***

“It’s easy to see with our stats. We have a lot of our players who are minus players. And a lot of those players are our most skilled players. Whereas our grinders, the ones with any points, are doing it by hard forechecking and going to the tough areas. That’s the way the way the game is played now; you have to have the willingness to want to do that.”

-- Canucks coach Alain Vigneault on getting his top players to get their noses dirty.

***

“Ilya is a huge competitor. Everybody talks about how he scores goals and that ... but he’s been a tremendous leader for us this year, on and off the ice. He’s taken charge of this hockey club, and tonight it was evident from the very first shift that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

-- Thrashers GM Don Waddell on Ilya Kovalchuk’s last minute heroics in a win over Toronto.

***

“It’s finishing chances, bearing down and paying the price. I think we could have had more chances - quality chances - if we decided to play a little harder in those areas. I find that too many times we cross the blue line and prefer to spread out instead of having one guy go to the net. We’ve been hammering away at that since the first day of camp. So we just have to keep on them until it becomes a habit.”

-- Bruins coach Claude Julien on getting his players to be more physical.

***

“We’ve got two choices as we sit here today. We tell him to stay in Grand Rapids; (he) probably goes back to Russia. Or we recall him for the arrangement that we made in the summertime, which we’ve done. I’d like to think we’re an organization of our word. Now we’ll take it day-to-day. I gave a person my word that by the first of November he was either going to be in Detroit or he was going to go back to Russia. We made a determination at this time, he’s coming to Detroit. I can’t tell you what tomorrow brings.”

-- Red Wings GM Ken Holland on recalling rookie forward Igor Grigorenko from Grand Rapids of the AHL.

***

“This was a chance to test ourselves, and we failed miserably.”

-- Calgary Flames defenseman Rhett Warrener minces no words after a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks Monday.

***

“I’ve done a lot in my career, I think, no matter how it ends. I’d sure like to win a Stanley Cup. I hope it happens. But it may not. And you have to live with that. I guess, in the end, though, what everybody wants in whatever it is that they do is to leave some kind of a mark. You hope that people remember you.”

-- San Jose’s Jermy Roenick who most assuredly will be remembered.

***

“Everybody realizes that he belongs at this level, he just keeps getting better. He’s always looking for more ice time. He wants more and more responsibility, feels like he’s capable of more and based on the way that he’s playing he’s going to get more.”

-- Edmonton Oilers coach Craig MacTavish on rookie Sam Gagner.

***

“That was terrible. There’s no secret about that. It was awful. I don’t know if you can call it a rock-bottom loss or what, but we can’t cry about it. Nobody can dig us out but us.”

-- Nashville goalie Chris Mason after a 6-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday.

***

“Every day I wake up I’m so excited. I’m having trouble sleeping at night because I’m so excited for every day, whether it’s practice or not, to come to the rink and be in the room with these guys and this team.”

-- Carolina’s Chad LaRose also can be heard whistling Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

***

“The feeling in the dressing room is really positive from two years ago. It has been a big change. (With) the coming of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Adam Burish and the addition of a couple of guys here and there, the management has done a tremendous job to turn this thing around.”

-- Winger Martin LaPointe on the new-look Blackhawks.

Material from personal interviews, wire services, newspaper, and league and team sources was used in this report.

 

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You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense