Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.
Associate coach Scott Arniel talks Brassard, former Jackets
Some speed-typing excerpts ('scuse the typos) from Scott Arniel's discussion with the press today:
On scouting and overseeing the power play: "It's something I had done before with Lindy Ruff in Buffalo, same job description. Hadn't been in the NHL as a head coach yet and you got to see and done a lot of homework and got to see some of the best in the league and how they work...and what gives them success. I spent a lot of time this summer looking at the top 5 or 6 teams, kind of analyzing what it takes, we have personnel here. I watched every game the Rangers played last year, every power play situation, I don't think they're that far away. there are things we certainly have to get better at, there's are areas we have to pay attention to and I think if we can get the time in at practice and work it through these exhibition games, opefully when the season starts we're firing on all cylinders."
On Rick Nash: "I noticed there was a lot of different looks, as there were with a lot of different players. we're going to try to get him in the best place possible and more than likely that's somewhere out in front of that net, whether it's in that high slot or the front of the net area, he's got one of the best quick releases in the game and he's a big man and he knows how to protect the puck and keep it away from people. As a staff we're going to have to try to fit people in...our defense, there's a lot of guys who can kinda slide in there on the power play, with Rick its the same thing, I know what he can do, I know some of the best places for him. With everybody, it'll be a little bit trial and error in these exhibition games, throw them in, maybe they jump out at us, maybe they're a net front guy or a half-wall guy. We've got to play it through."
On Derick Brassard: "He's got great vision. He's a great passer. There was so much expectations on him, even when I went in there...because he really got off to a good start and then he got into a fight his first year and had shoulder surgery and missed most of the season. He was really trying to find his game and it seems now you can just see his confidence with the puck, as I said, I watched him in the playoffs, just watching the way he did stuff. He's always had the talent, I go back to the American League the days when I was in Manitoba and he was in Syracuse, we played them in a seven-game series and he had just come out of junior, and we were saying ' this kid's gonna play' and he's really starting to live up to some of those expectations. Sometimes it takes young guys, especially skill guys, to figure out what it takes; every night you've got some of the teams' best defense going against you, you've got to figure out how to play against those people and I think that's what he's starting to do."
On Anton Stralman: "Real happy to see Anton Stralman. I know Anton was kind of a tweener with ice time, there were people ahead of him with some of the other teams he played for and to see him play here last year, last two years, really great to see him step up. A very versatile guy whether he's killing penalties, power play, he can slide in on your second unit, with injuries you can jump him into your top four."
On Derek Dorsett: "I know you guys just got a taste of him last year, you're going to love to see him for 82 games...He's just a great kid to coach, he'll do anything for his teammates, anything to win, just a heart and soul kinda guy that guys rally around. I think having a guy like him, having a guy like Callahan, they're an awful lot alike when it comes to a team first mentality...Certainly he goes all-out every night, I don't know if he has an off-button, it's hard to tell him to tone it down. That's just the way he is, whether it's blocking shots, or fighting or just running over people, it's how he goes about his business and you don't want to take any of that away from him. You hope he's an 82-game guy this year."