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Fired Leafs assistant coach blames complacency of players

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Unlike head coach Randy Carlyle, Scott Gordon didn’t survive the disastrous collapse of the 2013-14 Toronto Maple Leafs.

His job didn’t survive it, we mean. Gordon’s still breathing. But he — along with Carlyle’s two other assistants, Dave Farrish and Greg Cronin — were relieved of their duties.

In a lengthy interview with the Globe and Mail, Gordon spoke about the trouble Toronto’s coaching staff had convincing the Leafs to play the way they were being taught, and also to avoid complacency.

“It’s not that our guys weren’t capable of it,” he said. “They showed it last year, and the majority of them were here. … As coaches we tried to address it and get the players to understand what we saw, but at the end of the day, they’ve got to go out and play. And it just didn’t click all of the time.”

Gordon isn’t overly critical of anyone in the published interview, but it’s still interesting to hear insider tidbits like, “There’s this perception that Randy doesn’t like Jake Gardiner, and it’s comical,” because there definitely is a perception that Carlyle doesn’t like Gardiner (and vice-versa), and many believe the coach is the reason the young defenseman could be traded.

But in fact, according to Gordon, “I can’t tell you how many times that Randy has said that the thought of trading Jake can’t even be discussed until he’s played 300 games.”

Lucic: If I wanted to hurt Couture, ‘I would have hurt him’


Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.

Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.

This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.

“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”

While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”

And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.

Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.

In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.

Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks

Torres apologizes to Silfverberg and Sharks


A statement from Raffi Torres:

“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”

A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:

“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”

Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.