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Well said indeed!

Thursday, 12.13.2007 / 3:48 PM / Ice Age

By Phil Coffey - NHL.com Sr. Editorial Director

“Quite frankly, we’re looking at Mueller and Hanzal, Turris, Wheeler, to be sort of our cornerstone.” -- Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky.
Oh boy! The trusty notebook is bursting at the seams this week as coaches, players and GMs examine success, slumps, trade rumors and the future.

***

“Quite frankly, we’re looking at (Peter) Mueller and (Martin) Hanzal, (Kyle) Turris, (Blake) Wheeler, to be sort of our cornerstone. How they progress in the next two years is going to tell a lot about this franchise. But the good news is, those guys are in place now.”

-- Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky on the team’s foundation of young players.

***

“It tells you a little bit about our team. These are good teams. When you do play a good team, you’ve got to play at your best. ... It tells you that maybe you’re just not strong enough. That’s what it tells you. You can’t hide this. It’s right there.

“Every time you play a good team and you can’t win, it means you’re not strong enough.”

-- Minnesota Wild coach Jacques Lemaire

***

“I’m getting a little tired of the talk, to be honest. It’s time to change the culture around here, not just talk about it.”

-- Columbus Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock

***

“It’s one of the best cities in the world, great hockey fans. The atmosphere in that building is second to none.”

-- Wayne Gretzky on playing at Madison Square Garden.

***

“We’ve been up and down, win a game, lose a game, win a game, lose a game. We’re hovering below .500 right now and we’re not happy with our position so every game is huge. It starts to wear on your head a little bit.”

-- Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller

***

“I’ll never forget being in the locker room right after we lost. Having to hear the crowd roar, knowing they were roaring when each player was holding the Cup, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. That stinks - a memory I’ll never forget.”

-- Calgary’s Jarome Iginla recalls the last time he and the Flames were in Tampa Bay prior to Thursday’s game, namely Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Final after losing to the Lightning.

***

“Let’s just call a spade a spade; it was a good, old-fashioned butt kicking.”

-- Lightning coach John Tortorella wasn’t mincing words after a 6-1 loss to Toronto Monday.

***

“Sometimes you need an absurd amount of pressure to get things going. So absurd you think the entire game of hockey could be called off based on the way the Leafs are playing. It helps put things into perspective.”

-- Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice on his team’s turnabout after a feeding frenzy of rumors of impending changes to the team.

***

“He’s a young guy and he’s really learned his position this year. This year he kind of accepts his role, embraces it. A large part of hockey is accepting your role.”

-- Canucks defenseman Willie Mitchell on teammate Ryan Kesler.

***

“You hate turning the TV on and seeing two teams in overtime. Now both teams are getting points, and that’s never a good thing. The dynamics of the league have changed. We play each other so many times, there’s not a lot of nights where someone is not getting points.”

-- Flyers coach John Stevens on unprecedented League-wide parity.

***

“Our crowds have been crazy for us, and we’ve been able to use that momentum in the game. I think other teams now know that when you come in here, we’re the type of team that uses home-ice advantage and comes out really hard. When you do that, you’ve seen the numbers when a team comes out and gets the lead, their chances of winning jump ten-fold. That’s something we’ve been using this year.”

-- St. Louis Blues forward Dan Hinote.

***

“When he played for Florida last year he had our number, so I knew he was a good goaltender. Phoenix had a lot of goalies, so their loss is our gain right now, for sure.”

-- Boston’s Marc Savard on the Bruins’ acquisition of Alex Auld.

***

“I know one thing, I’m never going to lose the passion for this game or the passion to come to the rink or the passion to work out so I can play this game. The one thing you realize is that time does pass by. The kids coming into this game now are bigger, faster, stronger than they’ve ever been. To be able to play until I’m 40, the opportunity to play in over a thousand NHL hockey games, that’s something that certainly means a lot to me.”

-- Red Wings forward Kris Draper

***

“The workers know to stay in the league, they’ve got to work. They don’t have a lot of talent, so they work hard. So, if you go with that logic, if you do have a lot of talent and you’re not producing, what should you do? It’s that simple.”

-- Wild coach Jacques Lemaire wants his talent guys to work harder.

***

“We’re going back to basics. With the exception of (Alex Kovalev), we don’t have guys who can stickhandle through the defense. We have to chip the puck in and go after it. That’s our game. It’s not that we don’t have guys working hard; it’s just that we try to do things on our own and get away from the game plan.”

-- Montreal’s Mathieu Dandenault

***

“We need more shots and we need to hit the net with them, especially against a team like Detroit that plays the penalty kill really well. We have to get more shots. I think we just have to go to the video and try to correct the little things, figure out how to get pucks to the net more.”

-- Predators captain Jason Arnott is frustrated by Nashville’s scoring woes.

***

“Whenever you play a team like Detroit or Anaheim you want to show your stuff and really shine. These games are like playoff games. They are battling to stay on top and we are battling to climb the ladder.”

-- Nashville’s Martin Gelinas

***

“He’s been really good, really tricky and deceptive. He gets that real nice snap shot off sometimes that (the goalie) doesn’t see, and it’s very accurate.”

-- Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville on Milan Hejduk

***

“There has to be concern about what’s happened the last two or three weeks, but at the same time, I hope that we’re not thinking about what has happened. All the focus has to be on turning this thing around. We have some tough games in front of us.”

-- Canadiens captain Saku Koivu.

***

“David keeps progressing. He has always had that real strong foundation of playing a real solid two-way game. He is starting to express himself offensively a little more. I think he is more comfortable being a lead guy rather than a secondary guy in our organization and he is growing into that. But I think his best games are ahead of him. In his late 20s and early 30s he is going to be really productive as a player.”

-- Predators coach Barry Trotz on David Legwand.

***

“Streaks are there to be broken to a certain extent. You get this winning streak and these guys were working to break a losing streak. We got one point. We’ll move on.”

-- New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur after an overtime loss to the Rangers Sunday ended the Devils’ nine-game winning streak.

***

“Yeah, that’s the man I’m looking for. Finally found him. It was an incredible performance. You need that kind of goaltending on the road, playing against a desperate team. We knew it was going to be a difficult task. He’s the man of the hour, for sure.”

-- Flames coach Mike Keenan on goalie Miikka Kiprusoff after a 3-2 win over Chicago Sunday. Keenan had been harsh in his critique of the goalie’s recent play.

***

“I felt pretty good.”

-- Miikka Kiprusoff’s reaction to Keenan’s reaction.

***

“I knew it was just a matter of time. I wasn’t trying to worry about it too much, just trying to do little things, contribute in any way possible, but it was definitely nice to score. Slumps happen, it’s just finding a way to get out of that. Everyone has gone through them.”

-- Ottawa’s Mike Fisher after coming out of a scoring slump.

***

“The people who know me know that all I’ve wanted to do is hockey. Once I realized that becoming a regular in the NHL, as a player at least, probably wasn’t going to happen, I turned to coaching because hockey is the only thing I know.”

-- Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau

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

Quote of the Day

I think that’s the sign of a good team. When you don’t play well, and you don’t stay focused and you don’t do the intangibles that it takes, you still win the hockey game.

— New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano after their win vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday
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