Short night for Jones
Terry Murray couldn’t wait for the question to be finished, or even really get asked.
“Randy Jones didn’t skate in the third period last night…,” I started.
Murray quickly jumped in with, “He didn’t deserve to.”
Murray was then asked which areas of Jones’ game he was not pleased with, and whether it was about Jones’ play with the puck or without the puck…
MURRAY: “A little of both. I thought he was passing the puck with the greatest of ease, instead of just snapping the puck, tape to tape. I don’t like to talk about what I say to players, necessarily, but I thought he was playing a `contain’ game, rather than finishing and pinning and sealing. When you have players that you’re playing against, who have an attitude of holding onto the puck and trying to get away from you, it becomes a very easy game for them.”
I suggested to Murray that he must have been quite upset in order to bench one of his six defenseman for the entire 20 minutes of a one-goal game…
MURRAY: “Well, you don’t have to be really upset. The most important thing is winning the game. You do what you have to do in order to win games. If it goes to two lines and four defensemen, you do that, because we want the win. That’s what it’s all about. We’re not going to satisfy a player just to put him out there and give him a couple minutes, if there are some guys who are playing strong and ready to deal with it.
“I thought, actually, that we maybe went a little too long with Jones last night. He got some ice time in the second period. Maybe we went a little too long. He’s got to be better. I talked to him about that in my office. It’s not unacceptable, if we’re going to be a team that’s going to play at a good level and be a better team. We can’t, as coaches, get into the habit of accepting that kind of play. You have to lay it out there every night.”