Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/14/13 at 10:49 AM ET
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
On this day, the Blues coaching staff was on board a bus that transported them from their hotel to Joe Louis Arena at 8:30 a.m. Their "office" at the arena is a AAA minor hockey team dressing room next to the team's dressing room. By 9 a.m., there are seven laptops up and running plus a big screen television with video capability. The staff -- associate coach Brad Shaw, who came over from the New York Islanders organization last summer, assistant coach Gary Agnew, Hitchcock's assistant with the Columbus Blue Jackets for four seasons; assistant Ray Bennett, who has been a member of the Blues' coaching staff since December 2006; goaltending coach Corey Hirsch, who once played junior hockey for Hitchcock in Kamloops; and video coach Dan Brooks -- are spread out at three long wooden tables.
Each of the coaches is responsible for at least one element of the game plan, so there is quiet chatter as they work on strategies for exiting the defensive zone, penalty kill and power play schemes and decide which video clips they will use to reinforce the message when they meet with the players later in the morning.
"Who's got scoring chances for from the first three games?" Hitchcock asks. "I want to see two or three clips where we got the sticks in the blue paint [the crease]."...
"I'm going to talk to Russell today just about his mentality, OK, Shawsy, just kind of [stuff] happens. He's got to have a warrior mentality and he's [frigging] good when he's like that," Hitchcock said, referencing Kris Russell, one of the Blues' young defensemen.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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