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Michael Russo's short takes

  • January 11, 2014 - 10:58 PM

Explanation doesn’t work

Scott Burnside’s ESPN.com piece on the U.S. Olympic team’s selection process put Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards, the former Wild bench boss, in an uncomfortable position with his own player.

Richards, one of Dan Bylsma’s assistants, was part of the unanimous vote that chose Anaheim’s Cam Fowler over Columbus’ Jack Johnson.

Richards met with Johnson after he didn’t make the U.S. team

“It doesn’t matter what’s said now,” Johnson told the Columbus Dispatch. “When I needed the support and the belief, I didn’t get it. So anything that’s said now is empty and meaningless.”

Bruins looking for a blueliner

The Bruins badly need a defenseman since Dennis Seidenberg was lost to a season-ending knee injury. They’ve allowed 21 goals in the six games without him and eight power-play goals. Tuukka Rask, who had been so good the first few months, has been pulled three times in the past 10 games and has an .856 save percentage since Seidenberg’s injury.

Some defensemen the Bruins reportedly could be after include the Rangers’ Michael Del Zotto and Dan Girardi.

Etc.

• In Minnesota last month, Vancouver coach John Tortorella went on a rant about the Canucks’ poor shootout efforts. After falling to 2-6 in shootouts last week, Tortorella was at it again, understandable considering the Canucks have scored four times on 32 attempts this season. “That gimmick should be out of the league,” he said.

• Miraculously, one day after Tim Murray became the new general manager of the Buffalo Sabres, he told Sportsnet’s Hockey Central that interim coach Ted Nolan soon will have the interim label removed. When will teams finally realize that forcing a new GM to inherit a coach never works?

• Oilers coach Dallas Eakins held two 8 a.m. practices last week. “I don’t know if I’ve had my shin pads on this early since minor hockey,” joked forward Taylor Hall.

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