We’re at the part of the pre-season where a lot of people have ideas about what the year ahead holds, the huge majority of players and coaches are positive, and every fan believes their team is a playoff team. Well, except Flames fans. They seem to have a pretty good idea what lies ahead.
But some of the more astute, interesting men of hockey spoke up yesterday, including Tim Thomas and John Tortorella. To the quote machine!
You can check out the full video below if you’ve got yourself a little time, but it’s about ten minutes of Tim Thomas saying the right things, so I’m not sure it’s entirely worth your time.
Still, there was some good stuff among his quotes as always:
He did consider never playing again (though he feels “almost reborn” now), he hasn’t thought about the media (and therefore the lack of it in Florida was not a draw for him), he spent his off-season with his kids, but found time to hunt and kill an alligator, which he turned into a rug (sure, fine, whatever), and in regards to the starter position “he came to Florida to play hockey.” ….Indeed.
Soooo, even at his least interesting, Tim Thomas is still interesting.
MOST IMPORTANTLY: He no longer has a mustache, and has opted for the straight chin-only goatee, which looks much, much better.
Blocking shots is not only a skill, but it’s a huge gift to a team to have players who can and will do it. With the heat guys put behind shots today, anything that can stop a puck from putting a hole in the back of the net is a good thing.
Exceeept that guys, again, shoot the puck hard and feet bones are not good at withstanding blunt-force trauma. What feet tend to do, see, is give a little bit in the form of small-ish bones snapping like so many thanksgiving wish-bones. And then you can’t play for awhile, and it sucks.
“They’re going to be killing penalties and I hope they do [block shots] because I know both Danny and Hank want more. In my conversations with them this summer they want more. I’ve told the team I’m going to ask more out of everybody on this club and they’ve embraced that. For them to get more they’re going to be put in more situations, not just offensively but away from the puck and killing penalties, and they can be very dangerous people killing penalties. So if they’re going to kill penalties they’re going to end up blocking some shots. As they see that I think they’re going to feel better about themselves that they’re becoming complete players because that’s the way they think.
“The next question that I’m sure is going to be asked is what if they get hurt. So be it. You need to play the game the right way. You get injuries in a lot of different ways. You need to play the game the right way and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
I was a master at juuust failing to block the shot I was “trying” to block. That s*** hurts, yo.
But I do think Torts is right. I think they could create a handful of sneaky short-handed goals, and I think they’re smart enough to do a great job killing penalties. Whether they’re the guys you want to put in the line of fire is another question entirely, and one that John Tortorella has chosen to answer quite definitively.
The goal of the pre-season has been scored
What do you think you get for “goal of the pre-season,” like…those chocolate gold coins, maybe? Fool’s gold? Honored by theScore.com, maybe?
At the very least, the latter reward is being bestowed on Marcus Foligno for this gem of a goal against Columbus last night. The Sabres got their own Bobby Orr moment, only it was only 470297342057 times less important than the real one.
Great goal though.
Alain Vigneault continues to just “get it”
He does. Little old school philosophy, little new school, and stuff like this, on enforcers:
“You’ve got to be able to play; you’ve got to be able to skate and get in on the forecheck. Because you’re a physical presence out there, sometimes you have to stand up for yourself but you have to be able to play. That type of [enforcer], not a lot of teams have that type of player anymore.”
I do think it’s nice to have a guy on the roster who, if need be, can at least get after some guy who’s taking liberties on your team, but once you have that nuclear option, it sure is nice to have guys that can play hockey, being that “hockey” is a large part of hockey. Every team in the league is jealous that the Bruins don’t have to waste a roster spot on specific guys like that thanks to Lucic and Chara. Unfortunately, those guys are tough to find.
Tough guys trying out for the Rangers shouldn’t be bummed, they should be excited. He wants to grab the guy who can play the best, not the toughest. There’s a real opportunity there for someone.
If you’re a team that thinks you have a shot at the playoffs, and you want to be as competitive as possible in the upcoming year (as opposed to aiming for down the road), grabbing someone like Hal Gill is a pretty decent move.
He’s proven he can play in the league, he can kill penalties and block shots, he is, I would say, a decent 5th or 6th defenseman. At the very least, he’s a great safety valve to have in the pressbox if things melt down with injuries.
I’ve teased him in the past (his skating is a little rough at this point, understandable for a huge guy), but I hope he makes the Flyers. The league’s more interesting with him in it.
His name is Teemu Pulkkinen, and the hearing is to be in-person, meaning he can get up to five games. Kostka didn’t return to action, but he’s apparently alright. Speaking of Kostka, sounds like Quenneville likes him quite a bit so far.
That’s about all I have to offer on that. Sure. Okay.