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NOTES FROM THE FIELD
GRAEME TOWNSHEND ON SMALL STEPS
by D. K. WILLIAMS
November 13, 2001
"We’ve talked about the season being a series of steps. Small steps toward a championship. Every game we look to take another step in that direction."
GT ON THE POWER PLAY
"What I teach is that each unit is going to be out there approximately one minute on a two minute power play. And what you are trying to do, is you’d like to get two or three scoring chances. Which means not necessarily just a shot on net, but a chance to score a goal where you force their goaltender to make a really good save."
"If you can get two or three of those chances every minute, then hopefully you are going to score on every third power play. That is an exceptional power play, 33%, but that is what you are shooting for."
"The good teams are somewhere around 25% on their power play. You are shooting for 33%, but if you get 25% you are usually one of the best teams in the league in that category."
"That is what you are trying to do. The key is getting traffic and getting shots on the net."
"I feel the same frustration from some of the fans up in the audience up there that are screaming for SHOT SHOT SHOTs, but sometimes you just can’t do that."
"Sometimes, for whatever reason, your players don’t have confidence they can get the puck to the net. They are afraid it is gonna get blocked or whatever, and they end up getting blocked and the guy ends up on a breakaway and scores a shorthanded goal."
"You can’t always shoot the puck when, you, the fans, want it. Even from the coach’s standpoint, I want it bad, but sometimes it’s just not there."
"They are trying to move the puck around and create an opportunity to get the puck to the net. Hopefully by moving the puck around, the defensive team is going to be out of position because now they are moving around."
"Hopefully that will open up a hole or a lane to the net, and THEN the fans can yell for a shot."
"And when the player doesn’t shoot in that situation, then the coach gets mad, because that is what you want. You want to create a space in the lane, and once that occurs, which it will if you move the puck around, then you take advantage of it."
GT ON THE BEST SHOOTERS
"The guys I think shoot the puck the best on the team are Chris Brassard, Rob Sandrock, Sal Manganaro has a real good shot, Brian Loney has a good shot. Those are the guys you really want firing the puck in there, I may have forgotten somebody, forgive me if I have. [Jason Robinson raises his hand in the audience] Oh yeah, Jason Robinson has a cannon."
"Then we’ve got some guys that move the puck well and they make plays real well. Casey Kesselring is really a play maker, he does a very good job of that. Jason Robinson has his hand up [again] over there, and he’s another playmaking defensemen."