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Coach's Corner #13

with Springfield Falcon's Asst. Coach Phil Russell

Time for just a simple feel good article, because it's just a beautiful time of year! How about that Ryan Craig scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game, and for that matter, scoring his second goal in his second game. Falcon fans know that Ryan Craig was/is the captain of the Springfield Falcons and are very happy for his success but at the same time will miss his presence here in the AHL. The American Hockey League has developed over 80% of future NHLers and that standard will continue. The Craig family, mom, dad and brother Jarrett, came through town and now get to go to Tampa for the holidays. Good deal this time of year although there's no snow for Christmas. Springfield has called up Justin Kelly and Adam Henrich from the much improved Johnstown Chiefs to keep our roster full.

This simple feel good article also has something to do with hard work and you will be rewarded. Ryan Craig and Darren Reid have worked hard within the system and have been brought up to the NHL to see if they will add something to the chemistry of the club. The principles involved in Tampa are not overly excited about some of the things they see with the defending Stanley Cup Champions. Former Falcons, Paul Ranger and Evgeny Artukhin, are already getting plenty of ice time in the show and adding what they can to the mix. A player works his way up from one team to another all his life, gets to the NHL and says "What's next?" I'll tell you what's next: All Star teams, World Cup teams, and Olympic teams. To boldly play for the Star Trek Team, OK, maybe that's too far.

Players and coaches are always trying to improve and be better at what they do; officials want to call the perfect game, that's why the people involved in hockey are so good to be around.

The Olympic Teams are being selected and I will have a special Olympic article on who's hot and who's not next week. Happy, Healthy Holiday's to you all and have a Grand New Year.