Here’s what Terry Murray said, after today’s morning skate, about Alexander Frolov being scratched. Frolov stayed on the ice (with Trevor Lewis) long after the rest of the players left the ice — typical for scratched players — and stayed after the bus left. I have put in a request to talk with Frolov before tonight’s game. Here are Murray’s quotes…
MURRAY: “Frolov is out. That’s really a hard one. You don’t want to take your best players out of the lineup. That’s how you win games. Your best players have to be the best every night in this game. It’s such a competitive division, a competitive conference, a competitive league, that you just havfe to have your top guys on their ‘A’ game every night in order to give yourself an opportunity to win. It’s a hard thing, but those are the demands that the players have to meet.
“I haven’t been happy with Fro’s game for several games. The game the other night is the straw that broke the camel’s back, in my opinion. The turnovers, the careless play… It has to be better, and you have to come out with that high level of intensity, with smart work, hard work, and you’ve got to love the game. You’ve got to love the game in order to be a player. The talent is there, but it always is the work that brings out talent. And I need more.”
Question: Did you talk with him about it?
MURRAY: “Yes, I sure did.’’
Question: Was he receptive to the things you had to say?
MURRAY: (long pause) “There’s nothing coming back. That’s the 10th meeting along those lines, and nothing ever comes back. So, I don’t know.’’
Question: You don’t get any reaction from him?
MURRAY: “There’s no response.’’
Question: Isn’t that kind of troublesome as a coach?
MURRAY: “That’s been going on for seven years.’’
Question: So you’re not the first coach…
MURRAY: “No, I’m not. Not the first coach, not the first GM and not the first in line in any one of those categories. Teammate… It’s got to get better. You’ve got to buy into the team. That’s the only way. If we’re going to change our culture… That was a big issue last year, with me coming in here, in my meetings with players at the start of the year. We’re changing the culture, we’re changing style, philosophy, system, and we need total buy-in. That’s the only way you can become a good hockey club.
“As I mentioned already, the best players have to lead the way. Someone has to be the general leading the charge. Sometimes it takes a group of those guys to lead the charge. In our case, that’s what we need. Fro, when he’s on his game, he’s a 30-goal scorer and he’s a big part of our hockey club, but it has to come with that love for the game, and being an emotional leader and a leader in the execution part of the business. It’s too hard out there. It’s so competitive. It’s very demanding every shift for minutes, and again, our better players are the guys that set the tone for games and for practice. That’s where you prepare to win games, is in the practice, and that’s an area that I have to have him better in.’’