He has some interesting stuff to say about people’s perception of Modry and coaching the team through this tumultuous time with the trade deadline looming. He also talked about Thornton, Harrold and Tukonen.
“I think Jaro played great for us this year. A lot of people need to learn to appreciate a player like Jaro. If youre expecting a guy thats going to play like Brad Stuart or Rob Blake, to bull people over and knock them through the boards, youre going to be disappointed. Positionally, hes as sound a player as we had this year. You look at the end of the game and you usually saw him on the plus side of chances, and he had a lot of tough assignments this year playing against top people. Along with Rob, he did a good job of mentoring our young Jack Johnson. Hes a very talkative guy in the room and on the bench. I think he played very well for us. Its a very good pickup for Philadelphia. Hes a useful player. Like I said, if youre expecting him to knock you over with hits and things like that, youre going to be disappointed. Hes a positional player thats smart and understands the game really well. And I think he played extremely well for us this year.
“I believe Dean will make a change if it makes sense to make a change. I understand that there are not a lot of teams that are sellers or have people to move. We, unfortunately, are one of those teams, from a coaching perspective and a players perspective. Thats part of the game. Players get paid big salaries because there is a downside to this sport, and its not an easy profession. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Our players understand that. I dont buy into that its going to be any more difficult this week to prepare for games. Were professionals. Were expected to put our focus in to do what we know how to do, and thats play games.”
On Harrold: “Hes a gritty, competitive kid. He skates real well and I think his decision making is a lot like Jaroslav Modry. He needs to learn to be a little more positional for his own good. I think Peter knows he always wants to error on the side of being competitive. Sometimes its better to be positional and pick your spots to be physical and show your prowess in that area. That comes with experience, so were expecting him to improve that in his play. Hes played well in the games hes played this year. I think playing with Lubo is a good partner for him because Lubo is a smart player and has learned those lessons in his time here.”
On Lauri Tukonen: “Hes just got to show his enthusiasm and play with intensity, do the things all young players are expected to do. As a young player you want to show you can be responsible in your own end, play a strong solid game defensively and then play with energy. If that energy allows you to get in on the fore-check and get a good scoring opportunity then great, but it cant be at the demise of your defensive play and your responsibility. Weve got as a priority for us to play well in your own end and he falls into that category of being a young player who has to show me that hes not going to hurt me before he shows me how much hes going to help me.
“Thornton practiced full out today and looked good, so thats encouraging for us. Another big body in our lineup and playing against St. Louis, which is a big team, it would be nice to have him at our disposal. But well have to wait and see.”