Hockey Hearsay compiles stories from around the hockey world and runs weekdays, 12 months a year.
PACIORETTY: HABS “ON OUR HEELS TOO MUCH”
Max Pacioretty tells The Montreal Gazette that while the Canadiens are one of the best defensive teams in the league, the Habs need to focus more on offence.
Pacioretty, on Montreal leading the league in blocked shots: “When you’re playing defence, you’re not playing offence, that’s the way I look at it. I don’t know how I feel about defensive stats, but I think (St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock) said if you block a lot of shots that means you don’t have the puck.”
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Pacioretty added: “Saying we’re playing great defence isn’t exactly a compliment because it means you don’t have the puck and that means you can’t play offence. You can talk about offensive D-men not playing well defensively, but they don’t have to because they’re always on offence, that’s my view.
“We’re in our zone too much, sitting on our heels worrying about guys on the other team when we should be attacking,” he added. “We’re caught up trying to shut down stars, but stars take chances and they cheat so I think it’s an opportunity to attack and we’re not doing it.”
HALL WELCOMES BRYZGALOV’S ‘PIZZAZZ’ TO OILERS
The Edmonton Journal writes that Oilers winger Taylor Hall has followed the career of new teammate Ilya Bryzgalov and knows he’s different.
“He’s a goalie and it seems like he’s got a wide personality,” said Hall. “He should make your guys job a little easier. He seems a guy who’s not afraid to share his thoughts and he’ll be very vocal. That’s fine with us. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a guy like that in our locker room, who brings that pizzazz,” said Hall.
Hall added: “His job is to play as well as he can for us and our job is to support him and play well in front of him.” Hall saw him often when he was with the Coyotes. “If he can duplicate that kind of performance in the past, he’ll be great for us. We’re welcoming him with open arms.”
SEGUIN ENJOYS DALLAS ANONYMITY
The Globe and Mail notices how Bruins forward Tyler Seguin is thriving away from the spotlight in Boston, where he was a young kid playing mostly on a veteran team.
In Dallas, he says: “It’s a breath of fresh air to be able to go the rink, play hockey, and then go about my business away from the rink, whether it’s just walking around a mall or whatever. That’s been a different adjustment, but I’ve enjoyed it.
“I definitely hang out with a lot more guys away from the rink, I still have some of my best friends in Boston, people I talk to every single day and players . . . the thing in Boston is, you could only go to the guys’ houses for dinner so many times! You want to hang out, go to the movies, whatever, and here you can do that a little bit more.”
SABRES’ REBUILD SHIFTING COURSE
Some telling quotes via The Buffalo News from new Sabres coach Ted Nolan Monday afternoon, regarding recent discussions with Pat LaFontaine in his newly-appointed Sabres hockey ops gig.
The Sabres’ plan under Darcy Regier was to use young players, lose and get a high draft pick.
“We’re going to try to get this thing on proper footing going forward and putting people in position of success versus force-feeding them,” Nolan said. “You see some good organizations and how they go about it. You don’t force-feed somebody and say we’re rebuild. Rebuild is important, but how you rebuild is really important.
“Like I said, Patty and I have been talking about it since we got involved. I think you can have some young kids, a few of them, but not as many as we have.”
SECOND LINE A HIT FOR FLYERS
CSNPhilly.com believes the addition of Vincent Lecavalier this season has made the Flyers’ second line with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds a very tough trio to play against.
“The three of us are all big, strong and fast guys,” Simmonds said. “When you get pucks deep and have another physical presence with you up in the rush, it’s a lot easier. I like working with Brayden and Vinny.
“I’ve played with Brayden a long time now and always enjoyed playing with him for the simple fact that I know he will always be up in the rush with me. It’s easy to forecheck when you got two guys in there.
“The first guy takes the body, second guy comes in to take the puck, and I know when I am on the ice with that that is what will happen.”
KINGS’ SUTTER: SCRIVENS EARNS IT
Coach Darryl Sutter, via LA Kings Insider, on goaltender Ben Scrivens being prepared to take advantage of his opportunity with Jonathan Quick injured:
“Well, I would think that if I was getting paid and making six or seven hundred thousand dollars to play in the National League that I’d be trying to earn it…You have to prove yourself. You don’t get something given to you in this league. Those guys earn their keep.
“It’s the difference between Scrivens and Jones. Actually, Jones has probably played more games total than Scrivens has. [You’ve] got to earn it. There are only 650 jobs in the world, in the whole world, to play in the National Hockey League. In goal, that means that there’s 60-to-70. There’s no big, magical system of forming it. You get the opportunity, you earn it. If you don’t, then somebody else gets it. It’s not that complicated, really.”
CAPITALS’ CARLSON EYES TEAM USA ROSTER SPOT
CSNWashington.com makes the argument that Capitals defenseman John Carlson is making a strong case to be on the final list for Team USA’s Olympic list.
“If you watch the last 10 games I don’t think it would be any question,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “I mean, he played 32 minutes the other night [in Detroit]. He and Alzner have been our shutdown guys. They both played are playing fantastic hockey. With Mike [Green] out, he’s doing PP. He’s got five goals now. Come grab him.”
Carlson, admitting it has crossed his mind: “Obviously, everyone thinks about it. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. But I’m worried about my team and that’s my goal right now. If I get to the next goal, that’s great. But I’m not going change where my head’s at right now for something that I don’t know what’s going to be.”
LOVEJOY PREFERS DUCKS’ SYSTEM OVER PENGUINS
Anaheim Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy was extremely complimentary of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization while speaking with The Tribune-Review, but had some insight into why the move to California revitalized his career.
“Cracking the lineup in Pittsburgh was a dream come true at the time,” Lovejoy said. “They’re a world class organization that is trying to win the Cup every year. They’ve got two of the best players in the world in their primes. But it’s not easy to come into that environment. It’s not a bad thing. It’s a fun environment in a way, but there is a ton of pressure to perform.
“It was stressful. It was hard. Being a Penguin wasn’t easy.”
Lovejoy said puck retrieval and breakout plays in Anaheim’s system are more comfortable.
“It’s been 100 percent better for me,” he said. “Pittsburgh has obviously been incredibly successful playing the style they play, and when it works, it’s so pretty, so good. It’s a complex style. They have players who do it very, very well. Perhaps it wasn’t right for me. I did everything I could for five and a half years to learn that style. But playing Anaheim’s style has been very beneficial for me.”