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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Yale Head Coach Tim Taylor

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, November 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET, Yale Head Coach Tim Taylor pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. The Bulldogs visit Brown Dec. 2 before a classic Harvard vs. Yale matchup on the 4th .

Tim Taylor

Tim Taylor, who has more wins than any head coach in the history of Yale hockey and is one of the most respected mentors in the game, has made a name for himself and the Yale hockey program by getting involved in every aspect of the sport. The head coach of the 1994 U.S. Olympic team at Lillehammer, he has spent 27 seasons (does not include two years with Olympic teams) behind the Yale bench and has coached more games than anyone in the history of ECACHL hockey.

There have been many memorable campaigns under Taylor in New Haven, but one stood out the most. The Eli leader led the 1997-98 Yale team that was predicted to finish 10th in the ECAC to its first conference regular-season championship and a berth in the school's first NCAA Tournament since 1952. That squad (23-9-3, 17-4-1) set school records for overall and ECAC victories, while Taylor swept all three coach of the year awards.

The Taylor regime (327-413-52, 27 years) in New Haven has produced one ECACHL title, six Ivy League champions, 18 ECAC playoff teams, a pair of 20-win seasons and many professional skaters. Taylor, the 1997-98 Spencer Penrose Award winner as the American Hockey Coaches Association University Coach of the Year, is a three-time (1986-87, 1991-92, 1997-98) ECAC Coach of the Year and a two-time (1991-92, 1997-98) New England Coach of the Year. He has coached all six of Yale's Hobey Baker Award finalists.

** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Tim won't be stopping by until 1:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, November 29th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome to another edition of "Tuesday @ The Rink". We've got a great pair of coaches lined up for today's doubleheader. First up is Yale Head Coach Tim Taylor.
Coach Taylor: Hello, hockey fans. I am happy to be here and am ready to take your questions.

Vancouver, Canada: Are you worried with such a slow start by the Bulldogs over the last two years? What do you feel is the cause?
Coach Taylor: Obviously, we are concerned with the slow start. I think there are measurable differences between the two team and we are doing our best to separate the two seasons. We opened this season against Cornell at home and played a good game against a very strong Cornell team and came up on the short end of a 4-2 game with an empty net goal at the end. The score was close and I think the time of possession of the puck and the shots were very close. Those were not the kinds of games we were playing last year, so I think that game was a good omen for us. We also played Harvard very tough on the road - it was another game we certainly could have won. There are certain things we can point to as progress. Sooner or later, they are going to show up in the win-loss column.

Erik - North Haven, CT: Coach Taylor, For the second straight year the team is off to a difficult start, what do you feel that you and your team need to do to turn this season around? Finally good luck this weekend, beat Brown and Harvard.
Coach Taylor: I think the specific areas of concern right now for us are on special teams. It would be every coaches opinion that an effective power play, the way things are being called, it is very important to have a very good power play and penalty killing squad. We are improving in those areas, but we need to come up with the right combinations there still. I think those are our biggest concerns right now. In general, the area of overall team defense is a concern. We are playing as many as six freshmen. As those players mature and get more comfortable with the challenges of Division I hockey, I think we'll become a better team.

Joe (Boston): Tim, Hey there. It isn't too often that a player who makes a name for himeslf as a hockey player at his undergraduate institution, then goes on to become a legendary coach at his alma mater's chief rival. In this case, Harvard & Yale. What led you down that path and do you root for Harvard vs everyone else except Yale. Thanks and best of luck!!
Coach Taylor: I was an assistant at Harvard under Bill Cleary for many years. When the Yale job opened up, Billy recommended I look into it. At the time, it was a very hard decision but I wanted the opportunity to be a Head Coach. I didn't think, at that point in my life, I would make a lifetime career out of being the Head Coach at Yale. It has turned into a long and tremendous ride for me here. And yes, I still follow the Harvard scores with interest. But I learned a long time ago that you "vote" with your paycheck, so Yale is obviously my first concern.

Steve (Albany): Coach Â- Someone told me that the ceremonial-puck drop prior to Yale's women's game vs. Quinnipiac was far superior to your drop prior to the ECAC Women's League All Stars vs. the U.S. National Team. Is this true? If so, any reasons why?
Coach Taylor: It seems like a pretty subjective opinion from my perspective. I thought my puck drop was perfect down to the very last detail and I will not take a backseat to anyone. This sounds like it might be a league commissioner pulling rank on one of his coaches.

Owen (Boston): So many great players have put on the Yale jersey over your tenure in New Haven. Can you name some of the best defensemen that have played for you?
Coach Taylor: It is very hard to name names and not leave anyone out, but there are a few players that rank among the very best that have ever played for Yale. Ray Giroux, who graduated in 1998 and is still playing professionally in Russia and has been an All-Star in the AHL. Dave Bassegio who was another terrific defenseman, was the captain of the 1989 team and is all-time leading scorer among Yale defenseman and is now the head coach of Bridgeport of the AHL. Jack Duffy was a local player from Connecticut and captained the 1993 team. Peter Allen was another great player in that 1993 class. Billy Nicholls, who graduated in 1983, was a terrific player for us. Jeff Dwyer, who graduated in 2004. Daryl Jones, who was Ray Giroux's defensive partner, was a great stay at home defenseman. Those are the some of the names that come to mind and I apologize to anyone I might not have named.

Wayne / Westbrook, CT: Hi Tim, I know you are very interested and involved in youth hockey in the US. What message would you send to youth coaches and parents regarding their approach with young players.
Coach Taylor: I think the strongest message I can send to youth hockey players and parents is that the amount of time spent on skill development and overall athleticism development during the younger and more formative physiological years is key to the improvement of hockey in this country. Unfortunately, our society and our culture is geared far too much to playing competitive games at these young ages, where there is a high emphasis on winning and losing. I know I sound like a coach preaching about how the old times were different and better, but certainly, when youngsters were playing shinny in fun games on the pond when they were young, and spending countless hours doing so as compared long hours travelling to competitive games between the ages of 8 and 12, it certainly was a different time and a different era. I think a better path for development when we look at the amazing resources we now have in this country, in terms of ice facilities and well trained, knowledgable coaches, I think now all that remains is that we get our priorities straight in the value of skill development at the young ages. Kids can still have a great deal of fun playing hockey without playing an inordinate number of games. I constantly scan the NHL's scoring leaderboard and I guess I feel deep down in my heart that there should be more U.S. born players on that list given the number of kids we have playing hockey and the resources we have in this country.

ttnorm, Naugatuck: Coach, it has been a rough start for your team. Can you share what your expectations are for the team the rest of the way? Good luck from a Yale fan.
Coach Taylor: What we desperately need at this point in time is a little success. Our players are working hard and have a lot of enthusiasm and confidence that we are indeed a good hockey team. We have to prove it on Friday and Saturday nights when the games are being played, and at this point in time, I think we enter every weekend believing that we are going to have success.
CSTV.com Moderator: That is all the time we have with Coach Taylor this afternoon.
Coach Taylor: Thank you for having me. I enjoyed myself. Thank you for all of the questions.
CSTV.com Moderator: Join us at the top of the hour for part two of today's doubleheader, when we are joined by Denver Head Coach George Gwozdecky. See you at 2:00 Eastern.

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