Three funny things from last night after the Gladiators game. First a quick note on the lines.
I noticed Brad Schell was playing wing and asked about it, thinking maybe he hurt his shoulder again or something.
"I just threw him and Foxy and Nesy together just to kind of change things up," Jeff Pyle said. "Put Grahamer on the left side with Sully and Brando. Just change the lines around to...I wasn't sure really why, just try something different. Sometimes when you give guys a different look it energizes them a little bit. It makes you think differently and it motivates you sometimes."
Regarding the Matt Siddall incident, which resulted in a game misconduct, I remarked to Pyle that I didn't remember ever seeing a skater get in an actual fight with a goalie.
"I have," Pyle said. "My first fight was with a goalie. But I didn't do anything -- I got hacked from behind so I swung my stick at him and I missed him, and the next thing I know, the gloves come off."
This happened in the USHL, around age 17. Attempting to bring things back to the present, I suggested that he learned from the experience.
"Yes you do," he said. "I learned that he has to take his mask off before I start swinging. He had a cage and he put it up like this when he was coming at me, so I threw a punch and hit him right in the nose, and his mask came back down. I wasn't going to quit punching, so I kept punching and cut the shit out of my hand."
(This story shouldn't take away from how irritated he was at Siddall for his actions though. Siddall popped his head into the office because he had been told to, and the interaction said plenty.)
I headed into the locker room and seeing Hoops, asked him to go get Scheller for me. He disappeared and a couple minutes later, a doe-like face appeared. I looked at the kid, and quickly put together what had happened. Hoops had suckered Jeff Dunne, who just played his first game of the season, into thinking he had an interview. I smiled at him and said, "I asked for Scheller," upon which he went immediately after Hoops. Funny, but I still didn't have Schell.
Eventually I found Scheller on the exercise bike, where Brando was giving him a hard time about watching TV. I asked Schell some questions that I intended for my game story, but since he knows I normally don't write game stories, he didn't take them in the context of the game and gave more general answers. It was my fault for not specifying, but I did enjoy one of his answers. I asked how the team felt with goaltender Josh Johnson back there.
"Good," he said emphatically. "He's a competitor. He works hard, he's the one who put us out last year in the playoffs with South Carolina. He's a great guy to have in the room, he's got some experience, and he battles in practice just like he battles in a game. You see that coming from a goaltender and it makes you work hard in front of him. He'll be good for us. He's in my carpool too."