Hammond asked Terry Murray whether he would have a tough choice when Greene returns. The question (though Rich did not post it verbatim) appeared to ask about the choice between Drewiske and Muzzin. Our coach responded:

Whiskey has played well. I like a lot of Whiskey’s game right now. He’s coming back from a finish that wasn’t where it needed to be, and he’s showing a lot of confidence in his play. It’s not going to be a hard call. Greener will be in whenever he gets the green light and we feel that he’s physically on top of his game.

First and on a tangent, I am pleased that the nickname Whiskey has finally caught on such that even the coach calls him that. Now, we just have to get “Muzz” into Terry’s vocabulary.

Back on topic, the quote “it’s not going to be a tough call” bothers me on two levels. Forget whether I agree or disagree on whether or not it should be Whiskey or Muzz. We already covered that in The Focus article.

First, it’s an unnecessary statement and one that has to be deflating to Jake. When a coach talks highly of one player (Whiskey) and then follows it up with the conclusion that it won’t be a tough call between said player and another, he is telling the other (Jake) that he’s going down to Manchester. Even if coach Murray believes that, he should not speak it. It is a stab at Jake’s performance. It hurts his confidence. Now, Muzzin potentially skates into the next few games believing that no matter what he does out there, Whiskey is getting the nod over him.

Second, it’s an inaccurate statement. Murray doesn’t get the call on whether Jake stays or goes. Lombardi does. Thus, unless Dean has already decided to send Muzzin down and that has been communicated to our coach (which I doubt on both counts), Terry’s statement paints an inaccurate picture of what is to come.

I am disappointed in coach Murray’s statement. Let the two of them battle it out for the final spot before Greene returns and let that, and nothing else, make the decision, one about which Lombardi has the final word.