COACHES JOURNAL: JOHN TORCHETTI
John Torchetti Journal Entry one
Apr. 5, 2006
I was on my way to Boston to scout a Bruins game against the Atlanta Thrashers when I first heard from Dave Taylor regarding the Kings coaching job. He said they might be making a change and asked if I would be interested in the job?
I was like, sure, but I didn't expect it. He also asked me if I'd seen the team play recently, and I said yes. He asked what I thought and we discussed that as well.
After the phone call, I decided to go home because I didn't want to be inside the rink the next time he called. Finally, I guess around 7:30 or 8 p.m. that night, he called me to say that the Kings would like to bring me in.
I said I was looking forward to the opportunity, and I was on the next flight out at 6 a.m. the next morning. I had to get whatever I could in order before I left for Los Angeles. I got off the flight, drove to the Toyota Sports Center, quickly met several members of the staff and then had a press conference.
The whole day was pretty much a blur for me, but it was probably better than knowing for two or three days in advance. I think it was easier on my nerves.
The first four games were kind of difficult for me from a coaching standpoint. I was just trying to watch everything. For one, I was just trying to adjust to the speed of the game and the line matching because it doesn't matter how many games you coach, you still need to get comfortable behind the bench and you need to know what players to put in certain spots during the game to be effective.
That's why the assistant coaches were great, especially during the first three games. They knew the personnel much better than I did. I really leaned on them for help. I stressed to them how much I was going to need their help because I had done the same thing once before when I came back to coach the San Antonio Rampage of the American Hockey League a few years back. It took me seven games, three in exhibition and four in the regular season, to get comfortable there after not being behind the bench for three years while working and scouting for the Tampa Bay Lightning organization.
It's been a great experience and it's slowing down for me now. We've got more structure and continuity as a staff and we better understand each other. We're all working hard to help the players reach their goal of making the playoffs this season.