Marlies coach Dallas Eakins meets the press, and other leaflets

“I don’t know if I ever feel pressure. I think pressure’s when you’re sitting in a foxhole in Baghdad or somewhere and you’re trying to save a guy’s life. That’s pressure.” — Dallas Eakins

Well, that quote right at the end of the video caught me off guard. A lot of reporters, on the first day of Toronto Marlies’ camp, were looking to get head coach Dallas Eakins’ thoughts on being the only game in town this fall. To Eakins’ credit, he doesn’t reply very often in clichés unless he is being directed by a questioner to answer in clichés.

Rest of the video after the jump, and some takeaways. If you still have time, links.

The major takeaway from this comes about six minutes into the video. Dallas Eakins tells reporters that Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle and video coach Chris Dennis will be with the team in camp to go over system and express the importance of continuity in the system.

This is the major advantage with having the AHL team in the same city as the NHL team. Eakins also mentioned that the AHLers can look across the practice facility to the NHLers on the other side. If you’ve never been to the MasterCard Centre, it’s quite a cool facility, with two rinks lined up on both sides separated by a hallway with concessions and memorabilia. There are enough windows to be able to see who is using the ice on any given sheet.

So not only do the Leafs and Marlies share a common city, but also a common practice rink.

Another thing I found interesting was Eakins’ response to a question from a reporter asking if the NHL lockout was somehow going to affect the Marlies mentally. The general editorial stance of the Nations Network is that at high levels of play, mental discrepancies in a player’s game are negligible, and what counts is what they do on the ice. I liked how Eakins responded to that question:

“As much as we talk about the individual here, getting to the NHL to fulfill his dream, these guys are wired and they don’t even know it. They’ve been wired ever since they were little kids that, as soon as they step on the ice, it’s never been about the individual, it’s always been about the team.”

Tomorrow it sounds like Eakins is going to put the players through an on-ice test that tests his players’ balance between sprinting and endurance, but admits that he’s not going to put too much stock into it if he doesn’t see the data he expects.

He also talked about an aggressive penalty-kill style, and Carlyle believes the same thing. Woohoo.


  • The Maple Leafs website has interviews with most of the other Marlies. Head on over to find your favourite. We’ve defaulted you on Paul Ranger. []
  • Tony Notarianni explains why Leafs’ ownership could benefit from a lockout, even if they’re missing out on revenue right now. Why choose to make $3M now when you could make $15M later? [The Hockey Writers]
  • Video of Morgan Rielly’s first fight of the WHL season (in a 7-1 loss) has finally surfaced online. [Buzzing the Net]
  • In other NHL team news, there’s a fight over Nail Yakupov. [Yahoo!]
  • Elliotte Friedman explains collusion over at CBC. “Unwritten rule” could also mean “we’re going to match anyway, so this whole thing is pointless”. [CBC]
  • The NHL cancelled the rest of the pre-season. [National Post
  • Elsewhere on the Nations, former Leaf Matt Stajan has some travels planned for the lockout. [Flames Nation]

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  • Great article..

    Eakins looks like a good one.. if he’s not coaching the Leafs he’ll be be coaching some other NHL team.. even with his new contract.

    Despite everythig else.. big Burkie never stood in the way of his people taking a promotion somewhere else.