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Bergen Record On Burns


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Burns won't tolerate poor effort from Devils


Monday, October 07, 2002


Staff Writer

WEST ORANGE - Pat Burns wanted to make sure there were no misunderstandings Sunday.

First, the Devils' head coach was unhappy with his team's uninspired performance in a 3-1 loss to the Islanders in their preseason finale Saturday night, but Sunday's practice was not for punishment - even though Burns originally had planned to give the players a day off.

"After the game I felt, 'Hey guys, we can't accept this,''' said Burns, who addressed the subject in an on-ice meeting during practice. "We talked about accountability at the start of the year and I can't accept that [the way they played Saturday] and they can't accept that. Believe me, it would have been great day to stay home on Sunday and watch the football game. But it was not for punishment. It was to make them aware. We didn't do things right last night. Let's do them right today."

With Thursday's regular-season opener only three days away, the Devils can't afford to do it wrong again.

"They have to understand that it starts for real Thursday and you can't let things linger," Burns said.

Satisfied that the players understood his message, Burns canceled today's practice.

Second, Burns wanted it to be clear that no decisions have been made yet on the team's final two cuts, which have to be made by Tuesday. He claimed that his statement Friday that the lineup for the final preseason game would be the same as opening night was misunderstood. Thus, the deduction that rookie center Mike Danton, who played Saturday, had made the club was premature.

"It's not definite that Danton is going to start the year here," Burns said. "We're not sure of anything. We don't know yet. We've got until Thursday to make our minds up. We've got poor Christian Berglund believing he's going to Albany and we don't know that.''

STEVENS OK: Devils' captain Scott Stevens participated in the full practice after sitting out Saturday's game with what Burns called a hamstring injury. Stevens said he should be ready for the opener.

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Poor Berglund
... what kind of thing to say is that?

If Bergulund had played really well in the pre-season he wouldn't have to worry about Albany.

I believe he said 'poor' in the sense that Berglund is automatically assuming he's going to be sent to Albany because of what was printed in the newspaper. He may very well be the one that gets demoted but there's no guarantee of it yet.

It could also be a way of keeping Punkass on his toes :D (don't ASSUME you are a lock for the team, buddy! LOL)

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