This afternoon, new Boston Bruins Head Coach, Dave Lewis, got into a technical hockey discussion with the media in the B’s locker room, after practice.
Below are some of the highlights from a very “cool” -- from a hockey fan point of view -- conversation between the coach and the media.
For this new beat reporter, it felt as if I had wandered into a professional hockey class, with Coach Lewis taking the part of the professor.
I include this in as much detail as is comfortable so that fans that have not been in a locker room setting can see the breadth of info that is sometimes passed on by the head coach.
And, to be quite honest, it was a lot of fun and I wanted to revisit my tape.
I won’t do this very often, but I have some time tonight and it leads into the games at Montreal very nicely. Go Bruins!
Heard in the Locker Room... “Had a good day. Yesterday after the game we watched the video and broke some of it down. Talked to the players, mostly, today, about the fouls, infractions and the reason why we got them. I watched every call that was made and the referees, for the most part, were right on every one of them. So, it was more our fault than their fault. So I told the guys, if you want to take a hooking penalty…take a penalty to save a goal. We had some penalties taken because we were out of position and thus, we had to reach, get our stick in the way and it’s an identifier for the referee. So I told that to the guys, ‘Have some confidence in your teammates and your goaltender, he’s going to make saves. If a guy gets a step on you, there is always somebody else…[with] the last line of defense [being] the goaltender’…So it was good that all the veterans were at the game. They got to witness it...It was just a refresher, reminder…that we can’t win hockey games like that. And then we took some clips from that game, showed some neutral zone play, offensively and defensively, to reinforce some of the things we did well. Five-on-five we were much better. We got in trouble in a penalty kill situation.” Lewis, after reviewing the game tape from Sept. 17
“We got beat because of positional play and then some of the guys got some penalties because of the skating. I would say of the whole group, everyone was a little bit different. We were in on the play and we took an offensive zone penalty, so we were skating to get there, but we just put our stick up. I tried to tell [the players] if you get your stick parallel to the ice your in trouble. So try to keep the stick down.” Lewis, on keeping obstruction penalties down
“It’s going to happen in the game. You’re going to get beat whether you are defenseman, forward or even a goaltender. But it’s how you adjust and react accordingly. The biggest plus you can have is to play strong positional hockey. And then that compensates for a lack of foot speed or lack of quickness or whatever…Take away the good ice, give your opponent the bad ice.” Lewis, on positional play
As for tomorrow… “[Phil’s] gonna play. I talked to him this morning on the ice. He’s healthy and on the ice. He’s going to play at center with Marco Sturm and Glen Murray. That’s the line for tomorrow. So he is back in and will get to see the bright lights.” Lewis, on Phil Kessel in Montreal
Etc… “A lot of veteran guys that are no longer in the game can not tolerate watching a game where players dive…I understand the theory behind it, you are looking for an advantage, you are trying to get your team an opportunity on the power play. But there is a certain code you’d like to follow as an athlete, be as honorable as possible and that is what the league is trying to reestablish. Don’t embarrass the referee, don’t embarrass the game by doing that…When I played, early on, it was a real embarrassment if you were the player that dove. It was like a peer pressure thing, internally. Not just on your team, but on other teams…but then, over time, that tradition sort’ve slipped away. Now the league is trying to reestablish that…honor.” Lewis, on diving…And the coming NHL crackdown on diving
“I don’t know if you guys know, but there’s been some additions there in the locker room [in the TD Banknorth Garden]. A beautiful addition and its going to be nice to be there because that’s sort’ve our home…and now we consider [Ristuccia] our vacation home. But you know, I want to be home. And in my mind, that’s what [The Garden] is.” Lewis, on the Garden and creating a positive locker room environment
“The key components to winning are that you have to play strong defense, and special teams are critical – power play or penalty killing. So whatever it takes to generate that goal in that timely moment of the game or kill that penalty at a timely point of the game…that’s going to be the difference between wins and losses.” Lewis, on special teams
Tomorrow... I will do my best to post as much info about the lineup as possible. I will also try and figure out where fans in New England can listen to the game via the Web. Check this space in the early afternoon, Tuesday.