Michael Russo's Short Takes

  • Updated: November 30, 2013 - 6:05 PM

Building a fort on an NHL bench

Avs coach Patrick Roy took some potshots at Blues coach Ken Hitchcock after Colorado’s loss Wednesday to St. Louis because he was still upset that in his mind, Hitchcock took some shots at him for the opening night scene when he tried to push the glass partition between the benches onto Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau.

Roy was upset that 2013 No. 1 overall pick Nathan MacKinnon was kneed late in the game.

I talked to Hitchcock on Monday about that incident, and he joked that he planned to “put up a fence” Wednesday.

“When you coach junior hockey, you are the father figure to those players,” Hitchcock said. “You have an emotional connection to those players. You are responsible for them 24 hours of their life, not like you are in the pros.

“It takes a few years before you get to understand that there’s a separation like there is in professional hockey. I get what he was thinking. [MacKinnon’s] a young player that he had a personal attachment to watching him grow up and play. I get that part. I just know from my standpoint, I’m building a fort [Wednesday].”

Swedish through and through

St. Louis’ Alex Steen might have been born in Winnipeg, but make no mistake, he’s Swedish and will represent Sweden in the Olympics.

“That ship has sailed, unfortunately,” said Hitchcock, Team Canada’s assistant coach.

Added American David Backes, the Blues’ captain: “I believe he’s got the crowns on the chest. He’ll throw Swedish in there now and then just to reaffirm that.”

Etc.

• Two weeks after surgery to repair his broken tibia, Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos is already walking without crutches.

• Disgruntled Washington Capitals forward Martin Erat has requested to be traded, saying he’s never gotten a chance since arrival in a trade from Nashville.

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