“If certain guys don’t want to get it deep, then they’ll sit and then we’ll go from there.”
That was probably the key line of John Torchetti’s post-game press conference following last night’s 2-1 home loss to the Oilers.
The Wild’s interim coach was especially frustrated at his players’ lack of commitment to the game plan. What he wanted was to put pressure on the Oilers’ defense by getting the puck deep.
Instead, Torchetti said, “We didn’t want to to commit to that and we were trying to make passes through two, three guys, and then when we get over the blue line, it’s three-on-three and we’re still trying to make a pass through guys instead of getting it to the net and trying to get some rebounds and some offensive-zone cycle time.”
The Wild — who started so promisingly under Torchetti, winning their first four in a row — have now dropped two straight and five of their last nine.
In the process, they’ve fallen two points behind Colorado for the final wild-card spot in the West.
“We can’t be learning lessons like that now,” Torchetti said. “We have to be committed as a team all the way through. We should be playing playoff hockey now. That’s what it’s all about.”
Minnesota kicks off a three-game road trip Saturday in Montreal.
DETROIT (AP) Bill Gadsby, a Hall of Fame defenseman who played 20 seasons in the NHL for Chicago, Detroit and the New York Rangers, has died. He was 88.
Lynn Anderson, director of communications for Beaumont Hospital of Farmington Hills, confirmed that Gadsby died Thursday.
Gadsby played 1,248 games from 1946-66 for the Blackhawks, Rangers and Red Wings, reaching the Stanley Cup finals with Detroit in 1963, 1964 and 1966. He later coached the Red Wings for just over a season, going 35-31-12.
Gadsby had 130 goals, 438 assists and 1,539 penalty minutes. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1970.
In 1958-59 with the Rangers, Gadsby set what was then a record for assists by a defenseman with 46.
Auston Matthews’ Swiss hockey season is over. His ZSC Lions, the top seed in the playoffs, have been swept in four games by SC Bern in the first round.
Matthews finished with three assists in the postseason. He had 24 goals and 22 assists in 36 regular-season games for the Zurich club. The 18-year-old from Scottsdale is expected to be the first overall pick in this summer’s NHL draft.
Matthews’ head coach this season, Marc Crawford, won’t be back with the club either. He spent four seasons in charge of ZSC, winning a championship in 2013-14 and losing in the finals last year.
Crawford, who coached the 1995-96 Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup, wants to return to the NHL — preferably as a head coach, though he hasn’t ruled out accepting an assistant position, or even a job in “one of the other leagues.”
Related: Guy Boucher fired by SC Bern
P.K. Subban has been released from the hospital after suffering what the Montreal Canadiens are calling a “non-serious neck injury,” the club announced this morning.
Subban had to be stretchered off the ice last night in Montreal, following a collision in the corner with teammate Alexei Emelin.
It was a scary moment — one that brought back “a lot of tough memories” for Habs captain Max Pacioretty — but fortunately it appears Subban will be fine.
“Every time the doctors rush onto the ice, we’re worried. When it takes a long time and the player ends up leaving on a stretcher, there’s always worry,” said coach Michel Therrien.
“When I went to see him, he was with the doctors. I had a good talk with them and they assured me that he had movement in his extremities, which is a good thing given the circumstances.”
According to deputy commissioner Bill Daly, the NHL “has been given no basis whatsoever to consider reversing or revisiting” the trade that sent defenseman Jarred Tinordi from Montreal to Arizona in January.
In the process, Daly cleared the Canadiens of any underhandedness in the transaction.
“While we are not permitted under the terms of the CBA to provide any further detail or timeline with respect to Mr. Tinordi’s suspension, we would like to state that we have no reason to believe or conclude that the Canadiens acted inappropriately at any time in relation to this matter,” Daly said in a widely released statement.
“NHL clubs are not parties with whom information relating to the drug-testing results or process are shared until a final determination has been made and formally announced by the League and NHLPA, which in this case was yesterday.”
Daly was forced to address the issue after Tinordi was suspended yesterday for 20 games due to a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs.
Coyotes coach Dave Tippett then raised eyebrows by saying that the suspension caught the club “by surprise” and that “it was something that’s been going on since before he got to our team.”
Some cryptic post-trade remarks by Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin were also suddenly recalled.
“I have a reason that I can’t really tell you why,” Bergevin said following the deal that was originally controversial due to the inclusion of John Scott, “but if I could, you would probably understand.”
But — again — according to Daly, the Canadiens couldn’t have known about Tinordi’s positive test result, because no teams were made aware of it until yesterday.