by Ron Spence
I had written about Bob Gainey’s impact on the Minnesota North Stars.
And, I was remembering Mike Modano telling me about how Bob Gainey had changed his game, plus the impact of Gainey on the Minnesota/Dallas team’s philosophy:
“I’ve been working on [my two-way play] for a long time. Ever since Bob Gainey came into Minnesota. Doug [Jarvis] did a lot of work with me and so did Bob. We watched some tapes. We tried to learn from our mistakes in the past. The thing is I got older and stronger and a little more wiser. And I realized what I was doing on the ice. Defensively I had some guys to watch. I watched a lot of Bobby Smith, Neil Broten playing in Minnesota and I was able to learn a lot from playing with those guys … It was a long process, there was a lot of headbutting along the way to make changes, to make me a better two-way player and put me in some of those situations, so I can learn and get a little more comfortable in those areas. Bob’s been patient with me. The whole organization has been. It’s finally turned the corner, paying dividends.
On Dallas’ chances:
“We’ve kind of got it going on all cylinders right now. We’re kind of fine-tuning things. I think our penalty killing’s been really good the last week and a half, our power play’s kind of been average, so there’s some areas we can really get going, but defensive hockey’s our key. We can really shut teams down three or less goals, and we’re able to get three or four ourselves, and we’re able to put into great chances to win every game with our system and our style and coming into the third with the lead, we’ve been really tough to beat.”