Coach’s Corner: Cherry has pointed advice for Nikita Soshnikov

Ron & Don talk about the Darnell Nurse suspension, Nikita Soshnikov, Drew Doughty being in the Norris Trophy discussion and Reilly Smith’s great play with the Florida Panthers.

Don Cherry is a fan of Nikita Soshnikov, but he has some pointed advice for the 22-year-old Toronto Maple Leafs forward.

Appearing on Coach’s Corner with Ron MacLean, Cherry pointed to a specific play where Soshnikov appeared to take a dive that led to a penalty by the Ottawa Senators.

“He takes a dive. The referee falls for it,” Cherry said on Hockey Night in Canada. “Look at this here. Come on (Soshnikov). Everyone is telling him that if you do that in the league…Someone better tell this guy. He doesn’t understand and is shaking his head. He’s a good player, though. I like him. He’s not bad.”

Cherry also noticed another poor decision from Soshnikov, who went to bench to change in a lazy fashion while the other team was coming up the ice in a game earlier this week against the New York Islanders.

"Watch how easy it is to play the (Maple Leafs)," he says. "Watch (Soshnikov) or whatever his name is. He's making a change! Look! Look! Look! Have you ever seen anything like that?" Attack, that's the name of the game."

However, Cherry is a supporter of Soshnikov's overall game that drew praises from Toronto head coach Mike Babcock earlier this week.

“(Zack) Hyman and (Nikita Soshnikov) are here to stay,” Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said in a scrum with local reporters after a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders on Wednesday. “They’re real players. They’re going to play. They’re just too good, too hard, and too fast with too much work ethic so those guys will play.”