Back in November, Jeremy Roenick insisted he was excited to have Ken Hitchcock as the new coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, despite suggestions to the contrary.
However, this week Roenick seemed to take issue with Hitchcock after the coach ripped his team for a terrible period against the New York Rangers.
Hitchcock delivered a tirade that he said "wasn't for The Family Channel" after the first-place Flyers fell into a 2-0 hole against the last-place New York Rangers on Sunday night.
"We were in the locker room and Hitch said his thing," Roenick said. "He was more chastising than getting us positive, which is understandable the way that the first period went."
Whether the speech or something else inspired Philadelphia, the Flyers regrouped and skated off with a 4-2 victory.
"It wasn't so much what the coach said, we just stayed settled and stuck to the game plan. We knew what we had to do," Roenick said. "Sometimes there seems to be more panic behind the bench than on the bench. We stayed poised and we knew that they worked very, very hard in the first period and that was the best that they had."
Flyers captain Keith Primeau, one of the players Hitchcock singled out in his rant, scored two of Philadelphia's goals in the final two periods.
"He challenged my line, me personally, and I deserved it because we weren't very good in the first period," Primeau said. "It was an open challenge to the whole club and we responded.
"I thought he pushed all the right buttons."
Lightning Tries to Regain Its Spark
The Tampa Bay Lightning are taking a different approach to the second half of their season -- spending a lot more time off the ice.
After reaching a high mark of 11-4-2-1 on Nov. 17, the Lightning have slipped. They went only 8-14-5-3 since and fell four points behind Southeast Division-leading Washington entering Friday night's game at Dallas.
Tampa Bay Coach John Tortorella hopes a plan employing fewer practices, more optional skates, and more video work will help his club stay fresh.
"Just a subtle change in your energy level, it changes things," Tortorella said. "That's something we need to stay on top of here. We're going to be a team that's not going to practice much anymore this year. Practice at this time of year, you really spin your wheels. We want to save all our energy for the games."
Roy's Mark Is Brodeur's Pipe Dream
Now that Patrick Roy has become the first goalie to reach 1,000 NHL games, talk has begun already about whether someone else can match the feat.
New Jersey's Martin Brodeur grew up wanting to be like Roy, and he still has those aspirations.
"I think what Patrick has done with playing 1,000 games is a great accomplishment," Brodeur said. "It will be tough for anybody to do it. Definitely on the pace I am with the games played and the wins and stuff, I should have a shot, but he has eight years on me, and he's been healthy all of these years.
"Hopefully, I'll be able to stay healthy and challenge some of the accomplishments he is making. I think he is tremendous."
In his 1,001st game on Thursday night, Roy posted his 62nd career shutout and first of the season. Brodeur is much closer to Roy on that front as he has 60 shutouts in just 634 games.
But they both trail Terry Sawchuk by plenty. He had 103 blankings in 971 games. Brodeur isn't giving up hope on getting that mark, too.
"I would love to be able to get as high as I can," the two-time Stanley Cup champion said. "Every time I pass people now, it is just kind of nice, but I have a long way to go, I hope, in my career. I think it is going to hit me more when I'm going to be done in the game, and I'll see where I am in the stats compared to other goalies."
Amazingly, Brodeur -- well on his way to the Hall of Fame -- has never won the Vezina Trophy as the top goalie in the NHL.
"It would be nice to have one, but I'll trade that to have a chance to win the Stanley Cup every year, and that's the way I see it," he said. "I've played some great seasons, I've got some great stats. I just ran into a guy named Dominik Hasek, who was pretty hard to beat."