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Sunday Coffee: Missing Moore

by Dave Joseph / Florida Panthers

"He’s a good player. He’s got some good skill, has great speed, he’s good in the corner and found a way to get the puck to the net, so we benefited from each other." - Toronto forward Jason Blake on Panthers forward Dominic Moore

Dominic Moore left Toronto eight months ago, but Jason Blake is reminded of him nearly every day.
 
Blake led the Maple Leafs in scoring last season due in large part to Moore. Once the two were paired together, both of their games took off, especially Blake.
 
            Moore, who had 41 points (12 goals) in 63 games last season with the Leafs, had 20 of those points (four goals) in his final 26 games. Meanwhile, Blake led the Leafs in scoring with 25 games and 38 assists.
 
            But since Moore was traded, Blake has scored five goals in 41 games and came Friday to the BankAtlantic Center with two goals in 23 games this season. 

            Blake admitted playing on the same line as Moore last season was “a lot of fun.” But Blake couldn’t say why the two clicked so well.
 
            “I don’t know to be honest,” he said. “He’s a good player. He’s got some good skill, has great speed, he’s good in the corner and found a way to get the puck to the net, so we benefited from each other.”
 
            Despite his low output since Moore’s departure, Blake said, “I feel my game hasn’t changed.”
 
            “I’m doing everything I’ve done before,” he said. “Right now they’re not going in. Obviously, I’m just as frustrated as everyone else. It’s not much fun. But I’ve got to keep working hard, keep my chin up, stay positive and keep going.”
 
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
GUERIN: 1,209 AND COUNTING
 
            Bill Guerin keeps chugging along.
 
            The 39-year-old right winger came through town last week with the Penguins and looked half his age while playing alongside Sidney Crosby. Before playing in his 1,209th NHL game, Guerin said the off-season has become the focal point in his training program to keep going.
 
            “It carries you through the year,” he said. “If you have a good off-season, take care of yourself and prepare and get your body ready for the season, it’s only going to help you. If you don’t do it, you’re going to be behind because everyone else is going it, especially for older guys. The older you get the harder you have to work. You definitely have to take care of yourself.”
 
            Asked if he sees the day he could be playing into his mid-40’s like Chris Chelios, who’s currently playing in the American Hockey League (AHL) at age 47, Guerin didn’t flinch and replied, “No.”
 
            “Mentally and physically he’s different,” Guerin said. “He’s pretty special. I don’t think you’ll see that too often. Chelly…you look at him and his body looks like a 24-year-olds. He’s got great genes.”
 
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
 
            “A lot of guys get booed, a lot of guys gets cheered. Again, that’s a fan’s right and that’s what makes the game great.” Dany Heatley on playing his first game of the year in Edmonton.
 
(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
KEEPING FIT
 
            With the Panthers in the middle of an incredible stretch of games – seven in 11 days, 14 in 23 days – players and coaches have had to find ways to keep their weight up, legs fresh, and when to back off.
 
            “I’ve never played so many games in such a short period of time,” said rookie defenseman Dmitry Kulikov.
 
             Strength and conditioning coach Craig Slaunwhite says because of all the games in such a short period of time, “What we’ve been doing is cutting back a lot of training,” he said. “We’re putting a lot more focus on recovery.”
 
            It wasn’t so long ago the Panthers would all be on exercise bikes after each game, peddling for several minutes to cool down. But the bike or elliptical trainer these days is mostly for players who aren’t getting a lot of ice time during games.
 
AND NOW SOMETHING YOU WOULDN’T EXPECT
 
             In the late 1970s, a few Ranger players did some commercials for Sasson. What’s amazing is after the first one, there was a sequel. Thanks to Heath.
 
            The first - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNjntNHHUs0
 
            And the sequel - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYtWlmaKsww
 
GRAPES IN THE MOVIES
 
            CBC-TV is shooting a biopic of Don Cherry’s life entitled ‘Keep Your Head Up Kid: The Don Cherry Story.’ Written by Cherry’s son, Timothy, the film follows Cherry from his youth through 16 seasons in the minors to his success as a coach.
 
            Cherry told The Hockey News he didn’t pull any punches in telling his tale.
 
            “There’s no lying about it, I guess I was a selfish guy…I only thought of myself, I never thought of the family a lot,” he said. “That’s the way it comes out (in the film). It’s tough to see yourself like that, but that’s the way it was.”
          
            Jared Keeso (‘I Love You, Beth Cooper) plays Cherry and Sarah Manninen plays Cherry’s late wife.
 
NOTES

            Toronto rookie Christian Hanson gave credit Friday morning to his former Notre Dame teammate and current Panther Victor Oreskovich, who returned to the game after nearly two years away. “Anytime a kid is out of hockey an entire year and comes back like that, it’s pretty remarkable,” said Hanson, a freshman for the Fighting Irish when Oreskovich was a sophomore. “But he’s a heck of an athlete. Even while at Notre Dame, even though he wasn’t playing hockey, he was keeping himself in incredible shape. He definitely has the drive and persevered through it.”…Martin Brodeur had played 60,280 minutes when he broke Patrick Roy’s NHL record Friday for career minutes played…The other 25 goalies in Devils history have combined for 67,264 career minutes… After a slow start, Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov went into Montreal this weekend 4-0-2 in his last six starts with a 1.48 goals against and .949 save percentage…Calgary’s Jarome Iginla decided to switch sticks after scoring only four goals in his first 12 games. Since switching sticks, 12 goals in 11 games…Bruins forward Milan Lucic, who missed 14 games earlier in the season with a broken finger, is out another four weeks with a high ankle sprain…
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