The Illegal Curve Hockey Show airs from noon to 3pm on TSN Radio 1290 in Winnipeg. The following interview is transcribed and paraphrased from the latest episode, available directly at IllegalCurve.com. Alternatively, you can subscribe on iTunes and have the podcast automatically sent to you as soon as it becomes available.
On Saturday’s show FS Arizona colour analyst Tyson Nash phoned in to discuss the Phoenix Coyotes playoff push, and their second round series against the Nashville Predators..
On possible discipline on Rusty Klesla for his hit on Matt Halischuk:
“No I don’t think so, I think there’s definitely been a lot worse out there. Rusty’s not a dirty guy by any means, he’s a physical player, he finishes every check. He’s not a dirty player, there was no intent on that play, there has been very little talk of Rusy Klesla’s hit.”
(Editors note: It was announced later that afternoon that Klesla would be suspended for one game for the hit.)
On the play of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson:
“He has flown under the radar for a long time. All year there hasn’t been a lot of attention on Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The kid’s 20 years old, we’ve seen game in and game out, he’s unbelievable; he’s one of the great stories in the National Hockey League. He was in the American Hockey League last year, he was a healthy scratch, in and out of the lineup. Now, with the last 25 games of the regular season and in the playoffs he’s been probably the most consistent and offensive defenseman, that says a lot when you have guys like Klesla and Keith Yandle.”
On the emergence of Mikkel Boedker:
“He’s finally figuring it out, he can use his skill and his speed which is his best asset by far. I think he was intimidated for the longest time. He’s a big guy, he’s not tall, but he is so thick and probably has the biggest legs I’ve ever seen. He’s real tough to move off the puck. He’s now using those strengths to his advantage.”
On the effect goalie coach Sean Burke has had on Mike Smith:
“Sean Burke has really instilled a different mindset for Mike who’s a real aggressive type goalie, he’s big, very athletic, probably the best athlete on the team. Sean Burke has changed his approach, and his style, and now he’s not going after puck. He’s being very patient, which is very hard to do when you’re an aggressive athletic goalie, you think you have to flop around and be more like Pekka Rinne. But in fact, he’s the opposite, he stays way back in his net, he lets pucks come to him and relies on his talent and his instincts and sucks up all of those rebounds. That’s probably his biggest strength other than his ability to play the puck, is his rebound control, if there ever are any.”
On the handling of the Raffi Torres suspension:
“I think it was a little bit excessive if you want to know the truth. 25 games, I get it, it’s more about Raffi Torres than it Is about the hit itself. If I go out there, or if you go out there and you make the same hit tonight, you’re not going to get 25 games for it. It’s all about Raffi Torres and his past history. 25 games I thought was pretty excessive, but the NHL is about sending a powerful message and I think the players heard it.
The entire interview is available here at Illegal Curve, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
The Illegal Curve Hockey Show airs Saturdays from noon to 3pm on TSN Radio 1290