Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/07/11 at 10:53 AM ET
from Mike Brophy of Sportsnet,
Dion Phaneuf had just been put through his paces by the media fresh off his team’s most humiliating defeat of the season, and when the interview concluded and the reporters turned to walk away, the Toronto Maple Leafs captain thanked them.
That’s the way it is these days for the Maple Leafs’ undisputed leader. Phaneuf accepts his role as captain, and if you believe his, “thanks guys,” was sincere, it is a sign of his rapidly developing maturity. A lot of players would have gone into hiding after being spanked 7-0 in front of an angry home audience, but Phaneuf, who was minus-3 on the night, was sitting in his dressing stall waiting for the press when they entered the dressing room.
It would have been just as easy for Phaneuf to duck the media or, worse, act aloof and bitter at having to answer questions after an embarrassing night. Instead, Phaneuf took his medicine. He patiently answered every question about his team’s poor play and didn’t bite anybody’s head off in the process.
It will be interesting to see if the captain’s demeanor stays the same if one defeat turns into two or three.
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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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