After the Pittsburgh Penguins’ lowly start, something had to be done. And in those situations, you either make a trade or you fire the coach. In this case, Ed Olczyk was the choice, the easier choice given that it’s easier to get rid of one person instead of five.
But make no mistake about it — the players cost Olczyk his job. The players have the most responsibility, the players are the ones out there playing. The team can sit around Thursday, talking about how tough it is that the Penguins let Eddie go, but the players are the ones that got him fired. They got him fired because they didn’t play well.
Ian Laperriere is no fan of Los Angeles Kings showboat Sean Avery.
“I know the guys on his team say they like him, but I don’t think they can stand him,” said Laperriere before last night’s game against the Senators. “They’re just saying the right things because they play with him.
“I was there for two years, I’ve seen this act before. They have to stick up for the guy in that room because he’s on their team, but I’m sure they’re sick of the guy. The stuff he does isn’t good for the team.”
Laperriere is particularly upset with Avery because he claims “he walked around Los Angeles all through the summer and told everybody how he was going to kick my ass.”
“I heard about this from some friends so the first time we played them in Las Vegas during the pre-season, I went right up to him at centre ice and challenged him to a fight,” said Laperriere. “I dropped my gloves and he skated away.
“He’s a hell of a player. He’s a good skater and he does his job. But he’ll get his. Someday, somebody will make him pay.
Martin Biron put on quite a show for President Clinton and the resurgent Buffalo Sabres’ enthusiastic fans. Drawing “Marty! Marty!” chants from the crowd, Biron made 32 saves to win his 11th straight start in Buffalo’s 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.
“That’s never happened, to be honest with you,” Biron said. “When that happens, you work twice as hard because you want to keep it up and give them more to cheer at.”
Clinton, attending the game as Sabres owner Tom Golisano’s guest, visited the team’s locker room before the game.
As impressively shifty as Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby has been on the ice, his slickest move might have been putting himself in position to be considered for the Canadian Olympic team.
While he still has to be called a long shot to be named next week, there has been considerable discussion in the hockey world about the possibility he could make the team as a fourth-line player.
“I’m betting he’s going to make it because he is so versatile,” says OLN hockey analyst Pierre Maguire, a former NHL coach.
Crosby, 18, isn’t the only youngster who has made a bid to be chosen for a talent-laden team that will be considered a gold medal favorite in Torino next February.
Ottawa’s Jason Spezza, 22, fifth in the scoring race, and Carolina’s Eric Staal, 21, right behind him, are undoubtedly receiving attention from Team Canada boss Wayne Gretzky and team selectors.