Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Craig MacTavish Still Behind The Bench And A Look At Johnny Gaudreau

12/27/2014 at 6:09pm EST

from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,

General manager Craig MacTavish doesn’t have a firm timetable on how long he’ll stay behind the Edmonton Oilers’ bench as co-coach with former OKC head man Todd Nelson, but he’s in no rush to move back upstairs to watch his struggling team. He still figures he’s learning more about his players body language and compete level at ice-level than 100 feet away in the pressbox.

MacTavish will eventually hand-off to Nelson to get a read on the former AHL coach and whether his tag will go from interim to full head coach after the season. But for now, it’s a two-headed co-coaching Oiler situation with assistant Craig Ramsay also on the bench, and Keith Acton and Rocky Thompson up in the pressbox looking things over.

“It doesn’t feel well to leave right now,” said MacTavish, who needs a longer assessment of his players–weeks, not days because there’s the initial play-hard-for-the-new-guys-behind-the-bench with every guy, then the ultimate you-can’t-change-a-leopard’s-spots mentality.

continued

Also from Matheson,

What makes Gaudreau special? “He skates as fast with the puck as without it and that’s very tough. Many players you give them the puck and it almost transforms the puck into a curling rock. Where does the speed go,” said Hartley. “He’s so quick in tight areas and what he did in LA (against one of the biggest teams in the league) is a great step for his career. There’s many more steps to come, but to get a hat-trick, to put pucks at the net (behind Jonathan Quick). We’ve been preaching at him to shoot more (70 shots in 35 games).”

“He’s just scratching the surface. He wants to contribute, his defence has come such a long way, and he’s proud. When things don’t go well in our end and he comes back to the bench, you can tell he can cares. He’s not a one-trick pony who just cares about goals and assists. He wants this team to win,” said Hartley.

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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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