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07-31-2004, 10:01 AM
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Matti's always been a containment defenseman. He told me when in Sweden they had to practice lateral movement in five-man units. He hated it but knows it made him an excellent positional player. The issue with Timander has always been that he has robocop capability but not the nerve/confidence to use it. He was victimized early in the TBay series and that's why Hitch took him out.
When in Boston, Burns couldn't stand him because he'd feed the puck back to his partner every single time and never get it moving forward, then finally ice it. Burns berated him to the press shortly before getting fired. But I felt Burns was wrong because Timander was much more aggressive playing in Providence under Bobby Francis. He has always been a coachable player and Burns didn't believe in coaching (teaching) NHLers - he said so straight out. Great coach for veteran teams, lousy coach for developing players. He did the right thing with Thornton, but that's another subject.
I saw Timander about a week before Milbury flipped him to Philly, playing for Bridgeport at the time, and he said Milbury told him he tried to trade him and couldn't so he was finished as an Islander. Timander then decided he was all done in the NHL "eight years is enough" and that he had offers in Europe - not nec. Sweden - but a week later he gets moved and is suddenly in game 7 of the Conference Final. I don't know if that changed his outlook, but he must have enjoyed being part of the biggest hockey of the year.
Great kid, and a nice finish if he does go home.

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