Speed kills, hopefully doesn't injure

Just when I was having coverage envy over the transcripts provided by LA Daily News beat man Richard Hammond from his extensive interview with new Kings coach Terry Murray [those links are broken up into several posts by topic], Newsday checks in with some thoughts from Scott Gordon about the logistics of settling and his practice philosophy.

Not quite the pages and pages of stuff on youth, coaching, toughness, etc., that Kings fans got on Murray, but it's only Gordon's first week. Murray's sit down happened after a month on the job, a job he won much earlier in the offseason.

Anyway, the salient thing for me was a little expounding on Gordon's love of speed: Not only does he see speed potential on the Isles roster (agreed), but he wants to instill a higher tempo by practicing drills at an "overspeed" rate. A rate in which, from the sounds of it, players are pushing the limits of their balance, "past their comfort level."

That way, the theory goes, even when they dial it down to a "safe" speed during real games -- which is probably necessary to properly read and react without overskating plays, anyway -- they'll still have high tempo as their default.

This is an interesting concept, one that I imagine will require the right kind of sale to convince players. ("You want me to increase my odds of losing an edge and crashing into the boards?") And it's the first specific tactic to come up where critics might chide -- particularly after an in-practice injury: "Ack, but he was a goalie. What does he know about players doing X?"

I'm eager to see if this takes, and if we'll notice the difference.

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