Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/13/09 at 03:28 PM ET
from Tom Reed of Puck-rakers at the Columbus Dispatch,
Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock and his 19-year-old rookie Nikita Filatov met for more than 10 minutes at center ice this morning as the players swirled around them. It was a fascinating scene as Hitchcock, at times tapping his stick on the ice, conveyed what’s expected of the talented Filatov.
By all accounts, it was a healthy and constructive chat.
The coach let Filatov know he would be a healthy scratch for tonight’s game. He also emphasized that Filatov needs to be more competitive on the puck. A smiling Filatov said Hitchcock told him he’s been getting “worse,’’ over the course of the four games. Never mind his ice time has been decreasing each night. Hitchcock wants Filatov thinking “quality over quantity.”
But the most interesting element—and I don’t want to reveal too much because columnist Bob Hunter will be writing about the topic for Wednesday—is that both player and coach conceded that Nikolai Zherdev has been discussed in relation to Filatov’s development.
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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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