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Another busy week

by Phil Coffey

Bruins' center Glen Metropolit is making the most of his opportunity to contribute in Boston.
Another busy week in the NHL produces yet another Quoteworthy that is bulging at the seams!


“I’m going to just give it one last try and see what I’ve got left. Hopefully I can be a part of this team.”

-- Boston’s Glen Metropolit in training camp, before he went on to become a big part of the Bruins this season.


“I still think we need to get balanced scoring more consistently. I think we have generated some chances there, we just haven’t had the finish consistently enough. For any team, when you go through a long year, your best players have to be your best players, but they are also going to need some help as we go through. Vinny struggled for a couple of games there not scoring; we need someone to pick him up, our guys know that. I think they are generating some offense, but we just haven’t had the finish consistently enough.”

-- Tampa Bay Lightning coach John Tortorella on the need to get scoring beyond Vincent Lecavalier, Marty St. Louis and Brad Richards.


“We have to look at our team identity right now. We have one offensive line, we have a good checking line, we are getting some identity now on that fourth line as far as grit, grind and in-your-face-type hockey ... So that’s where we are right now.

“Where does Trevor fit? If we want to be an in-your-face type team on a fourth line, Trevor doesn’t fit there. We’re in that little dilemma now.”

-- Canucks coach Alain Vigneault on Trevor Linden being a healthy scratch.


“There was really nothing good about this one. It was just a real stinker.”

-- The Rangers’ Brendan Shanahan after a 4-0 loss to Carolina.


“What’s wrong with our offense? A lot. We just have to work harder. It basically comes down to being a little more greedy, a little bit hungrier, have a better effort. We’re OK, but OK doesn’t cut it. Everything is frustrating right now, but we can’t let frustration get the best of us.”

-- Islanders coach Ted Nolan on the team’s scoring struggles.


“I’m not sure that trades do very much. You may scare a person. You may eliminate a person or two from your lineup. I think we have a pretty good hockey team. You don’t want to make a change just for the sake of making a change. If that’s what it takes to stimulate this group, then I’d be pretty disappointed.

“We’ve got a good group here. We’ve obviously gotten away from our game. We’ve got too many guys worried about statistics rather than winning.”

-- Senators GM Bryan Murray on his team’s recent struggles.


“That’s something that has been addressed (with the team) and will continue to be addressed. We want to play hard, we want to play a physical style, but we’ve got to play within the rules and this is just going to have to stop. The way it’s going, it’s going to have to stop.”

Well Said I

"I got calls from my friends and they kept asking; ‘What’s going on, when are you guys coming to Hamilton?’ I said; ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s not happening.’ The players kind of put all the sale stuff off as just talk. We want the team to stay in Nashville, we love the city and we love the fans, everyone has been great to us."

-- Predators captain Jason Arnott is happy the team will be staying put in Nashville.

-- Flyers GM Paul Holmgren on the need to play smarter.


“When we were struggling at the beginning of the year we were wondering what was wrong and trying to find reasons. At the end of the day, all we had to do was look in the mirror and the answers were right there.”

-- Devils forward Sergei Brylin on the team’s turnabout.


“We’re the only guys -- the guys in this room -- that are going to turn this around. We’ve just got to stay positive and work our way out of this. It’s an old cliché but it starts in practice. You’ve got to have good habits there and carry them over.”

-- Anaheim Rob Niedermayer on the play of the Ducks. Help is now on the way in the form of brother Scott returning to the Anaheim defense.


“There weren’t too many nickels saved in any spot that I can see.”

-- Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell admiring the new Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.


“Let’s call a spade a spade. We should have better goaltending. Period. If we had, we’d be rewarded with a victory tonight.”

-- Flames coach Mike Keenan after Saturday night’s 4-3 loss to Columbus.


“Definitely the attitude is very positive in the locker room. We know that we can score goals. Everybody seems to be upbeat. I don’t know if it’s because we’re winning or if we’re winning because of that, but it’s been fun so far. Hopefully it will stay that way, and guys will keep pushing each other and stay positive.”

-- Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin on the play of the team this season.


“It’s a challenge. Every player wants to have great chemistry with linemates, and it was for the last few years. I won’t say it was easy, but it was a lot more natural. You learn their tendencies and it becomes automatic. You play on instinct. Things just flow.”
Well Said II

"His practice habits are phenomenal. He practices the way he plays. He reminds me a lot of a guy I coached who plays in Pittsburgh, as far as the work ethic. And that's what's made him such a great player, Crosby. I'm not saying Zach is Sidney Crosby, but I'm saying work-ethic-wise, players like that flourish because they work at every part of their game."

-- New Jersey coach Brent Sutter on forward Zach Parise.

-- Anaheim’s Andy McDonald on his offensive struggles this season.


“A month and a half ago it was (looking) very grim that I’d be able to play at all this year. I was nervous and excited to get this game out of the way. I tried to play a smart, simple game. I’m tired now ... I’m not going to lie to you. But I’m part of the team again, on the bench, playing again.”

-- Edmonton’s Fernando Pisani on returning to the ice after being sidelined by colitis this season.


“I think we’re just fooling ourselves. People are saying we had a good November. I don’t think it was a very good November. ... It was good compared to the last two years, but we were the bottom team in the League the last two years.”

-- Panthers captain Olli Jokinen is not pleased with his team’s play.


“We’ve got a taste of winning games and we’re not accepting just playing well. We want to win games when we play like that. Playing well and not winning … we don’t want that anymore.”

-- Nashville’s J.P. Dumont


“It’s hard for me to imagine that. When you see the position I’m in, you see it on the ticker or something and I’m like; ‘That’s me.’ It’s probably because I still play that I feel that I’m not worthy or whatever to be with these guys. For me, it’s people you heard about for so long. My goalie coach (Jacques Caron) played against some of them. It’s kind of hard to see where I stand in that.”

-- Devils goalie Martin Brodeur has a hard time realizing he catching up and surpassing Hall of Famers like George Hainsworth and Terry Sawchuk.


“We’re Jekyll and Hyde right now. We’re known as a consistent hockey club. We’ve got to get back to that, back to finding ways to win games.”

-- Ottawa’s Jason Spezza on the Senators’ recent struggles.

Well Said III

"I think it’s great for the fans. They get to see some of the great players around the League that they don’t get to see for a couple of years. There’s a lot of good players out East like there is in the Western Conference, so everybody will get to see everybody, which is nice."

-- Blackhawks coach Denis Savard is happy with the changes in the schedule for next season.


“It’s not the coaches. It’s us. We’re professional athletes, we know how to play, and we get paid enough money, we should be able to motivate ourselves.”

-- Philadelphia’s Daniel Briere


“There are certain players in this League who when they have their foot on your throat, they look you in the eye, with a gleam in their eye, and tell you; ‘Now I’m going to break your larynx.’ I don’t know individually or collectively that we have that killer instinct yet; that we are able to say; ‘My foot’s on your throat, now we’re going to take you out.’ Until we get that killer-instinct mentality, that’s what causes ebbs and flows.”

-- Tampa Bay GM Jay Feaster assesses his team.


“You need to spend some time with Mats Sundin. You will find all the answers to any questions you have with how this team is responding with him. He is a special fella.

“He believes in how hard he works, always keeps his frustration in check and just channels it into working hard and helping the players around him get better.

“He is the reason. There are good players in the League and great men. Every once in a while you run across a guy who’s both and it’s been a pleasure to watch him.”

-- Toronto’s Paul Maurice on team captain Mats Sundin.


“I ran it by Teddy (Nolan) and Garth (Snow) to make sure it wasn’t too difficult a situation. But he’s coming as a dad, not a GM with Vancouver. Hopefully, it should be a great experience and I’m really looking forward to it.”

-- Jeff Tambellini of the Islanders faced a delicate situation when it came to the Islanders’ father-son trip since his dad, Steve Tambellini, is a vice president with the Vancouver Canucks.


“I think playing all Canadian teams is fun just because of the atmosphere. I don’t think there is a fan like the Canadian hockey fan. It’s always a big buzz. Everyone else and myself looks forward to playing in that sort of atmosphere.”

-- Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby on his first NHL trip to Western Canada.

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



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