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Columbus Bluejackets News » News » BLUE JACKETS NOTEBOOK 2008-11-26
Blue Jackets rookie center Derick Brassard found another reason to stay on the ice after practice yesterday.

This summer, while living in the Columbus condominium of Blue Jackets television analyst Danny Gare, Brassard watched a DVD of Gare's sweater-retirement ceremony in Buffalo three seasons ago. On the DVD were some of Gare's highlights during his 14-year NHL career, including two trips to the All-Star Game and two 50-goal seasons.

"Danny was a great player," Brassard said.

So when Gare got back to town this fall, Brassard asked him for a little on-ice help with his shooting. About a week ago, they settled on yesterday.

"You can always get better," Brassard said. "I want to reach my potential. I want to get a little better every day.

"I started to shoot the puck more last season (at Syracuse). In junior, I was always playing on the outside, trying to make a play with the puck. So I asked Danny to show me a couple of shooting things."

Gare, a Fox Sports Ohio analyst since 2005, was impressed that a young player would seek out his advice.

Brassard, after all, was born a few months after Gare retired following the 1986-87 season.

"When I got here last year, a lot of (other young players) didn't even know that he was such a great NHL player," Brassard said.

Gare has lots of thoughts, opinions and philosophies on shooting, such as:

* Always shoot the puck from the mid- to low slot area, extended wide through the faceoff circles.

* Focus merely on getting the puck on net from the tops of the faceoff circles.

* Shoot 100 pucks before practice and 100 pucks after practice, every day.

Brassard and Gare spent about 25 minutes together yesterday. Gare told Brassard that he'll chart his shots on goal for the next several games, and the two could work together again soon.

Brassard later critiqued his coach: "It was pretty funny, but he was not able to shoot. Everything went (high)."

Gare was shocked by his pupil's comments.

"That little bugger," Gare said. "He said that?"

\ Home-cooked

The Blue Jackets have a 6-2-3 mark in their past 11 games, but they've lost their past two in Nationwide Arena.

Combined score: 12-4.

"We need to play a lot simpler game," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We're trying to put on a show. We're playing with a lot of reward and a lot of risk, and the risk has really hurt us.

"We need to simplify our game. I don't want to say we need to approach it like a road game, but we need to play with more fear. It gives us a bigger sense of urgency."

The Blue Jackets will need that urgency tonight against Phoenix. They are 0-2 vs. the Coyotes this season, including a 5-2 loss two weeks ago.

"In order to play against Phoenix, we need to have a different attitude," Hitchcock said. "They play with speed and tenacity, and we have to match that."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: November 26, 2008

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