Saturday, November 22, 2008

Keeping up with my boys version 3.0

Surly sophomore fights flip-out flash
Coyotes' bad boy realizes temper hampers career
Scott Cruickshank, Calgary HeraldPublished: Sunday, October 26, 2008


Daniel Carcillo insists that he has no role models.
So when a couple are suggested -- Sean Avery and Steve Ott -- the short-fused winger is not amused: "I'm not like those guys." With disdain, he refers to them as
"chirpers."Another offered name, however, did manage to tickle his fancy.Coyotes' Daniel Carcillo, won't hesitate to bash bodies with bigger players like the Flames' Jim Vandermeer."Obviously, it would be nice to get out of the category of Avery and Ott, and get into the category of Rich Tocchet -- but that's a ways down the road," said Carcillo, resident bad boy of the Phoenix Coyotes."I just want to be the most complete player I can . . . put points up and, obviously, protect my teammates, protect myself, provide a spark."That's really what I'm shooting for."
Which, of course, is the direction the Coyotes would like to see the undersized/overheated Carcillo go. Because they love the kid's moxie. But they could live without his flip-outs. As a rookie last season, the King City, Ont., native paced the National Hockey League in penalty minutes -- a towering 324, surpassing Jared Boll of the Columbus Blue Jackets by nearly 100."I wanted to come in and establish myself," explained Carcillo, only five foot 11. "I may have gone a little overboard -- but that's still the way I play. That's not going to change. I'm going to get my fights every year."April's hat trick was an indication of his skill. So, too, are the 13 goals in 57 games."I'd like to produce more offensively this year," said Carcillo, 23. First, though, he'll have to calm down. Becoming less excitable was a year-long message from the Coyotes -- punctuated by a mid-season demotion to San Antonio -- that failed to find purchase. "That's a lot easier said than done," Carcillo said of the
transformation. "There are points in the game that, you know, kind of tick you off and make you go off the deep end. But you've got to pull yourself back. I've heard it my entire playing career, so I've kind of gotten used to it. "(The Coyotes staff) gives me pointers, but, ultimately, it's up to me, right?" Only three games into this season, however, he earned a suspension for fighting Ben Eager. At the time, Carcillo happened to be on the bench. "Just stupid on my part," said No. 13. "You can't grab a guy who's on the ice. It was dumb. I served my two games. That's that." Carcillo is wise enough to realize how his temper is hampering his career.Not much penalty-killing duty, because the team doesn't want to be down two men. Not much
late-game toil, because the team doesn't want to be short-handed in the crunch.
"With all my penalty minutes, they may not trust me as much as another guy," said Carcillo, who, fittingly, was the return (along with a third-round pick) from the Pittsburgh Penguins in the February 2007 trade of Georges Laraque. "So it hurts in some ways. And it helps in other ways -- the (opposition) isn't going to fool around with our younger guys if I'm out there. There's positives and negatives to it. "Obviously, it's a fine line to walk." But if you think he's surly now?
"Oh, I was a lot worse than I am now -- yeah, way worse," said Carcillo, grinning. "I wouldn't be here right now if I acted the way I did two years ago. With maturity and age and experience, you learn a lot."


scruickshank@theherald.canwest.com

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