Wayne Gretzky didn't wait for the question to end. The Phoenix Coyotes coach obviously was already attuned to the same idea.
Question: When a proven scorer like the Canes' Eric Staal has been in a slump, as an opposing coach coming into a game, does that make you a little ...
"A little nervous?" Gretzky said, finishing the sentence. "Yeah."
Gretzky, with a wry grin, noted the Coyotes helped Columbus Blue Jackets star Rick Nash bust out of his slump last week. Nash scored his first goal in 10 games, albeit in the Coyotes' 5-2 win. Tonight, the Coyotes face Staal, who is without a goal in his last eight games.
"Everybody, and I don't care who you are, you go through stretches in your career where things don't go the way you want it to go," he said. "But as long as you're contributing and working hard, as Nash does in Columbus, like Staal does here at Carolina, you're eventually going to get that goal. And once you get that one, you kind of break through and get going.
"But as a coach, I'll tell you, there are a lot of other little things a guy can do to help his hockey club. And watching Staal play, he does that. He's big, he's strong, he's physical, he wins faceoffs. He does a lot of good things for the team and he's going to get his goals."