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Observations from behind the Bench


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:burn:FAN JOURNAL from BEHIND THE BENCH 10/25/11 NJ vs LAK :burn:

As most of you probably know I usually sit up on the glass when NJ comes to LA.

I wanted to just take a few moments to share some interesting perspective and observations from last game. I usually sit in the 1st row, seat closest to the tunnel.

Here are a few things I noticed:

1.) L-ROB: Having done this like 4-5 times now, I have never seen Larry Robinson SO active in coaching the defense. He yelled out directions frequently, and encouraged each defensive pair each time they came off the ice. The guy must have yelled "Good fvckin' Stick" at least 30-40 times this night. As a sidenote his nicknames for the guys are: Fayner, Sally, Tally, Greener, Tank (Volch), and Adam (just Adam). HE also laughs a lot more than I have ever seen him - particularly with Larsson. He frequently patted AL on the shoulder, huddled with him, and they looked like they were having a ball together. Adam was smiling and laughing a lot as well. I heard him mutter "Kid is fvcking good" a few times only loud enough for the nearest players to hear. He also bitched out a few of the equipment managers for not having Volch and AL's fight strap tied down. He also tossed Kinkaid a stick of gum before the game started and laughed viciously. He was INTO the game (last year he was stoic) - he jumped at every near goal!

2.) D-BO: Quiet as a mouse - no smiles. HE lets Oatsbot2011 do much of the talking and encouraging to guys. Tough guy to read. The quietest NJ coach I've since in recent years.

3.) Cammer: This guy definately adds a dimension of fun and frivolity to the bench. He brings an energy and smiles that the other guys seem to feed off of. He also seemed super happy to be back in an NJ uniform and fed off the crowd encouraging him. When a fan yelled (close to him) "Cam - need to see you drop the gloves!", he responded - "Need to kill somebody" jokingly.

4.)Henrique: Looked nervous on the bench but was getting A LOT of encouragement from ALL the players - moreso than nay other player.

5.)Zach: His focus has sharpened. He would not make eye contact with any fans. In previous years he was very warm and even came out before the game to sign autos. He was fixated in a zone and did not communicate a lot with the other players.

6.)Elias: First off I saw the killed goal develop from almost exactly his perspective - it was beautiful. I can tell that the bench thought it was a pretty goal as they erupted more than any other goal. Patty was thrilled - his celebration last all the way back to the bench and beyond. This is unusual as PE is usually a bit more reserved with goals I've noticed - but he's super hot right now and engaged with the team as well.

7.)Kovy: HE definately seems to not have settled into his role yet as his facial expressions seem to be of uncertainty. I'll admit I'm speculating - but he's not the vocal leader. HE says little, but stands a lot - I sense he really wants to produce more to help but is frustrated. His responses to the coaches were short and sweet - where other players got into more conversations and head nodding.

8.)Moose: These guys love him. His nickname is Heddy. They frequently cheered for him at almost every save.

9.)Napalm: More than any other player Npalm is gripping his stick tightly. He often whines a lot at calls. He replied "Are you fvcking kidding me" after his penalty. - and when he took the penalty Zach came back to the bench and shook his head with a disappointed look. He looks most frustrated lots of frowns and explatives at his own play. I think he knows he's close to being in the doghouse and hasn't found his game yet.

10.)Greene: Looks a lot more confident, a lot more communicative with the other D men - and seems to be showing a little leadership as well. Surprising and awesome. He swears a lot when he gets off the ice.

11.)Clarkson: There is a lot of faith in Clarkie by the others. They tap his helmet a lot and cheer for his boardwork during the play. He smiles a lot on the banch and jokes around. He seems to add an element of fun to the bench that seems to help. He also gave a little girl a puck after the 1st intermission.

12.) Volchenkov: This guy just sits in silence and contemplated destroying people I think.

This group looks much different from last year when Jmac came. They react to every "near goal" (Larry jumps). The stoicism of the last crew seems to be gone - there is much more of a spirit of frivolity than in the past year (probably influenced by the success). I think the mixture of personalities and youth is helping - a lot more smiles, jokes, and having fun with what they are doing. A lot more chatter and comraderie.

Kovy's gloves go back and forth (new or warmed) via the staff at least 5-6 times per period.

When a puck came off the ice and onto the bench during the 3rd period. Zach picked it up - handed to Larry - and Larry kindly handed it to me through the glass on the corner without my having to even make a ruckus! A NICE SOUVENIR! :clap:

:evil: :evil: GREAT GAME! :evil: :evil:

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Nice write up. I think Deboer is quiet in a good way though. Not much to say I guess when you're team is playing that good. He clearly does not wait to make adjustments when something does not work, and does not mess with something that does work. I like him and his style for aure. Kovalchuk is probably a fun guy to have on the bench but since he's struggling (If you call 6 points in 7 games struggling, but I guess goal wise) he's a little tense.

Would you happen to have anything to report on from Sykora, Tedenby, or Tallinder?

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Absolutely awesome write-up! Thanks for sharing your perspective. That was a lot of fun to read.

Glad to hear the mood on the bench is lighter than it's been. Sounds like the team has a nice cohesion to it.

And the Volchenkov observation might be my favorite of the bunch. :lol:

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8.)Moose: These guys love him. His nickname is Heddy. They frequently cheered for him at almost every save.

Nice to hear that they are behind him. Just out of curiosity, do you remember how they reacted to Marty being in net when they came to town last year? (I don't even remember if Marty was playing in LA last year.)

12.) Volchenkov: This guy just sits in silence and contemplated destroying people I think

Absolutely classic!!

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I've always gone by the (possibly made up not sure) motto "Can't have fun if you don't win. Can't win if you don't have fun."

I like the team to be determined to destroy their opponent but they need to be loose and have fun too. Looks like the new coach is encouraging that.

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I was looking forward to this recap when I saw the score, after the mostly depressing one last year (not your fault) ;)

Win or lose though, after seeing these recaps the last few years it really does prove you can learn something by watching the bench and seeing how the players and coaches interact. I've never been one for wanting to sit up that close cause I'd be too preoccupied with trying to watch the game and how to see the action away from where I am lol, but maybe I should do it one of these days.

I kinda feel bad for bagging on Palmeri after reading the dude's cursing himself out :lol:

Edited by NJDevs4978
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