Lombardi, on Murray and the leadership group
Question: How would you assess Terry Murray’s performance this year?
LOMBARDI: “I liked his calmness. I think one of his strengths was, when we were in that slide there, he kept his composure. I think that during that slide, when we slid out of the playoffs, the necessity of calm and focus was essential. If we had gone the other way, I think that would have been ripe for not getting out of that (slide). So I think a lot of coaches, you evaluate (them) at critical moments, and I look at the way we came out of that, during that period. We had to go into Phoenix and win that game (on Jan. 22) and get on a roll. I thought he was the perfect guy for that situation. I think, going forward, we’re all the same. Now we write down all the things we could have done better, including me, Hex [Ron Hextall], and that’s the next assignment. We expect players to evaluate themselves, and, `What did we learn from this, to do better?’ I think he [Murray] is capable of doing that, just in terms of, just like the players have to grow, we have to grow.”
Question: How do you evaluate Dustin Brown’s performance as captain?
LOMBARDI: “I don’t only look at him. I look at the whole group, to be honest with you. I think they grew, but I think there’s still room. They have to step back. Ultimately, the way you learn is how you deal with failure. I’ll get a sense of that as I go through some of these players (In exit interviews). I let them do a lot more talking in these things than I do. Their meetings are long but they do most of the talking. So I think, collectively as a group, that’s still evolving, just like their talents. I’m OK with it, but I think it has to be better. It’s not good enough for where we have to go, but I look at that intangible as no different than evaluating a player’s skating getting better or his decision-making getting better.”