So you’ve probably read Lombardi’s interview with Hammond from today. You’ve already read Bobby get up in arms about his hedging on the answer “no” to the question of whether his players have tuned out his coach.

What he didn’t mention was something Lombardi harped on throughout the interview – the red line.

“is that when you make changes to the rules of the game, they don’t manifest themselves right away. I think we’re all looking at, with the red line taken out, the biggest thing you’re seeing is more — like San Jose last night, particularly when they got the lead — with five guys standing from the red line back…

This kind of started with Tampa Bay.”

OK… so what are we saying here, that only now coaches are starting to adjust to a rule change that was made 6 years ago? I’m fairly certain that most coaches adjusted a long time ago… he is clearly saying how the Sharks have adjusted in his statement. Who hasn’t adjusted? Us, apparently. Did the Diplodicus evolve with a shorter neck once the trees became shorter, or did he just go extinct?

Let’s see another:

“Another example, too, is, remember when everybody said taking out the red line was going to open things up? Well, when you see three guys standing behind the red line, that’s probably not the case. And you’re seeing, also, that a lot of the plays are, throw it up to the winger and he deflects it in. Bob Gainey calls it ping-pong. Well, that has changed. I certainly know the coaches are working on it, but it still comes down to, you’ve got to play hard. Are there tweaks within that? Yeah, I think they are working on that within the context of identifying how the game has changed. And you’re right. So much emphasis was on the defense. Now, adding to your game without changing that part, that’s a process.”

OK now this is just too good to pass up. Eliminating the two line pass DID open things up. There isn’t a man alive who thinks the game was more offensively invigorated before the lockout. Is it a coincidence that most of us harp on Murray for being a “pre-lockout” coach, and today we get this hogwash about how it’s still a ‘process’ to adjust to a rule change made during the lockout? Am I fucking crazy or is this some major damage control on Dean’s part? I think it is and it rings as hollow as the bones of Murray’s prehistoric avian cohorts.

Lombardi just flat out admitted that Murray is working on how the game has changed. He is a little late to the party. 6 years late. Don’t give me this shit about how the game didn’t really open up, that’s a pathetic excuse for a coach who simply wasn’t able to use the fact that the game has opened up to his advantage. The best possible thing we can take away from this is to say that Lombardi thinks it took Murray all this time to get defense down in the ‘new’ NHL and only now is he able to stop and think about adapting his offense.

This quote makes me really angry. It’s the ‘patience’ mantra in a different package. You know what I think about patience?

When you want paint to dry, you turn your back on it.