COACHES JOURNAL: JOHN TORCHETTI
John Torchetti Journal Entry Two | Read Entry One
Apr. 12, 2006
We all get into hockey for different reasons, but being associated with a future Hall-of-Famer like Luc Robitaille is pretty cool.
I had a chance to meet Luc on my first day here. I talked to him a little bit about what we were going to be doing. He was really excited and ready to get to work.
A player of his stature and with what he's done in the NHL - I mean he's got a Stanley Cup ring and he's been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice – That's something we all aspire to attain as either a player or a coach. It's certainly been an honor to be his coach over the last few games.
Saturday's game will provide a special moment for Luc and his family. After 20 years of hockey, there will be a lot of emotion involved for him. I'm looking forward to being the coach behind the bench for him in that game, his last regular season game at STAPLES Center. I'll definitely give him a lot of power play time.
Like Luc said at Tuesday's press conference to announce his retirement, the moment he remembers most about breaking the Kings' goal-scoring record this year was when his teammates stood up and clapped for him. That says a lot about him and his character. It's an honor when you're recognized by your teammates. That's something he'll never forget. The players that attended the press conference should also take that to heart. That's how much he thought of them as teammates.
For myself, the adjustment to my new surroundings certainly continues. Playing so many games in so many nights, it's been a challenge for us to get the players to have a better understanding of their roles. In the last few weeks, I've watched the team go through its ups and downs quickly – all while fighting to reach the playoffs.
After finishing a stretch of nine games in 16 nights where it was all about keeping the team fresh, this week we've had three days to work on defensive zone coverage and our coverage off the rushes. We're basically trying to get all of our systems locked and loaded so everybody understands what their roles are over the next three games.