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10-02-2012, 02:36 PM
  #46
PocketNines
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At least for training camp, Hitch tells JR that from start to finish they were going to play McDonald-Steen-Tarasenko as a line:

Quote:
3. What was your ideas for line combinations in training camp?

Hitchcock: "Our plan was to play one line together all the time and see where it gets and that was (Andy) McDonald, (Alex) Steen and (Vladimir) Tarasenko. That was our plan. The rest we were going to experiment with. We were going to keep twosome together. We were going to keep (David) Backes and (T.J.) Oshie together, (Patrick) Berglund and (David) Perron together, we knew that worked. But thatís the one line (McDonald, Steen, Tarasenko), we met with all three players and we said this is the line thatís going to stay together from start to finish. Itís going to practice together, itís going to play together and I donít see us coming off that.

"I watched those guys. They skated out here as a group and the two or three times they skated together they looked terrific. And both Alex and Andy had really embraced Vladi, and the whole team embraced Vladi, so I think if we started up tomorrow, we wouldnít change our mind on that at all. We really feel confident that it would be a good combination to start and go with."

4. What was your take on Tarasenko deciding to play in the KHL, as opposed to Peoria?

Hitchcock: "We support what heís doing. Iím always a believer in that thereís a big adjustment from big ice (in Europe) to small ice (in North America) and the game is completely different. I guess selfishly the more hours he spent on small ice the better. That was my thinking. But weíre fully supporting what heís doing there. I always come from a younger player coming from Europe, the biggest adjustment is closed quarters, so it was a real eye opener when he was here, skating here with these guys, it was a real eye opener for him. Even the 10 days that he was here, you could see a marked improvement by the end of how much his awareness and quickness had changed because he was getting use to smaller ice."

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