It’s looking like this Saturday could be the first time we see David Booth in game action since March 16th.
Disclaimer: I’ve someway, somehow, managed to avoid getting involved in any capacity with all of this Bro Jake business on Team1040. Local sports talk radio really isn’t my cup of tea anyways, so refraining from listening to a single second of that particular program hasn’t been all that difficult. Heading into today all I knew about the radio station’s newest personality is that nearly every single person on my timeline couldn’t stand him, and that he sports a goofy moustache (from his awkward commercial with Travis Lulay).
That all changed on early Thursday morning, when I was forced to tune in to listen to what Mike Gillis had to say during his appearance on the program. At least he rewarded me with a few interesting tidbits. Read on past the jump for a transcript of the discussion.
When asked about last night’s 4-1 loss to the Oilers, and the preseason in general:
“We purposely put a lot of young kids in the lineup in these first two games. We wanted to see how they’d respond. Training camp has been really tough here, with a lot of skating and a lot of hard work. It’s preseason. You’re experimenting with a lot of different things, and a lot of different line combinations, and a lot of kids, and sometimes you come up on the short end.”
On the team adjusting, and buying into John Tortorella’s new system:
“I’m not concerned at all. Our players are responding really well to tough practices, and the learning curve is steep at the start. But it begins with hard work, and being prepared to work hard. And we have that. So I’m not concerned one bit. We know we have a good team here and we’re looking for success, and success will come through change.”
On negotiations with the Sedins:
"It’s going fine."
On David Booth’s status, and the team’s expectations for him this season:
“David has been cleared to play, so I think he’s good to go. I expect him to play on Saturday. Our expectations are really high. He’s a good player, and unfortunately he has had a rough go of it with injuries the past few years. We have high expectations for him, and he has high expectations for himself. We’re just hopeful he can stay healthy and contribute.”
On Roberto Luongo:
“Roberto is, as you know, a real professional. He takes a lot of pride in his work and his performance. I expect him to have a great season. He’s motivated.. you know he always starts slowly as he gets a feel for it. But most goalies are like that. He has handled himself impeccably during what has been made a tough time, with people asking him the same questions over and over and over.”
On early impressions of the young players at camp:
“I think they’re doing really well. Bo Horvat and Hunter, they were 1st round picks. They’ve done well. Frankie Corrado and Zack Kassian have playing well. Brendan Gaunce has played well. We’re moving in the right direction. We’ve had 2 years where we’ve had the luxury of picking in the top 10 since I’ve been here. It’s tougher to select guys that will be ready to step in to play when you’re picking in the mid 20’s. We’ve traded away a lot of picks in our pursuit of the Stanley Cup, which you have to try and do if you want to have the best team possible heading into the playoffs. But we’re happy with the kids we have here right now. We think they have great upside.”
On the prospect of getting rid of the shootout:
“It would eventually get to 3-on-3. It would be 4 on 4, then 3 on 3. I like it. I like the games to be won while you’re actually playing the game, as opposed to the shootout. There’s a lot of fans that like the shootout, but there’s also a lot of fans that would like to see a continued game.”
On the Pacific Division:
“It’ll be tough, but the league is getting much closer to a league of parity, with a very narrow band. I think coaching, determination and discipline will be the things that carry teams through. You’ll have to start playing playoff hockey very early in these seasons in order to get into the playoffs. It’ll be challenging, but it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to. With the new staff here.. everyone is excited. Everyone is excited about the energy. There’s a lot of positive things happening.”
On travel, and the schedule:
“We’ve had 5 years of experience with fatigue management now. We have a system that we’re really confident in. It has a lot of data about the past 5 years, with how we’ve travelled and what the success rates are. We’re very fortunate that we’ve worked with a very good group of guys. We have our own software in which we input the data about games travel, and what happens the week before and the week after, and we come out with a number. And if that number isn’t above 90, we then adjust certain things the week before or the night before, to get that number above the 90 mark. We’ve had a lot of success on the road the past 5 years. We’ve had the best road record in the NHL for a couple years. I don’t think the lockout year is all that indicative for getting a lot of good data from it. But we’ve applied those principles, and we’re very confident that we’ll be able to manage fatigue well this year and give ourselves a competitive advantage.”
In case you’d like to listen to the interview for yourself, you can do so right here. My advice though, is that you don’t subject yourself to it. I left out the awkward exchanges between the two parties which included: Bro Jake citing Gillis’ appreciation of The Tragically Hip, referring to the Canucks’ General Manager as a "big softie", and finally offering him some wine in an attempt to cooerce information out of him. The banter was truly cringe-worthy. Let’s just say that I could live with the idea of never tuning in again. The things I do for you people.