Hunter makes most of suspension

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

Dale Hunter's two-game suspension from coaching has given him a different perspective on the London Knights.

Instead of watching the game from ice level, the Knights bench boss took in Sunday's win in Kitchener from the press box and observed last night's tilt with Peterborough from the owner's suite at the John Labatt Centre.

"When you're on the bench, you're looking to see what lines the other team is putting out there," said Hunter, who was suspended for his part in London's brawl with Plymouth last Friday. "When you're up higher, you get to watch the game a little bit more and you get to see some different things."

Hunter thought assistant coaches Jacques Beaulieu and Jeff Perry were excellent in London's 6-3 win in Kitchener on Sunday and still doesn't think his top guns are getting too much ice time.

"They used Dylan (Hunter) on defence on the penalty kill late in the game and it worked," Dale Hunter said. "Our guys can handle the ice. It all comes down to special teams and that's where (top forwards Hunter, Rob Schremp and David Bolland) are getting the extra ice. When we're five-on-five, we've been rolling three lines almost all the time."

The Knights play their next eight games on the road while the Scott Tournament of Hearts sweeps into London, but Hunter thinks it's a good time to get the team out of its comfort zone.

The next three weeks, including a five-day swing through eastern Ontario at the beginning of March, will be looked upon as a way to build more team chemistry.

"The kids get to spend four or five days playing cards and eating together at the restaurants and riding the bus," Hunter said. "It helps you grow closer. I like that it will happen this year right before the playoffs. It's good timing."

It won't be good timing if the Knights lose their winning ways on the road. Either way, Dale Hunter will be back on the bench trying to incorporate what he learned while he was the eye-in-the-sky.


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