Thursday, August 19, 2010

Q&A with Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs Head Coach Scott Muscutt

In the latest edition of "They Said It" Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs Head Coach Steve Muscutt talks about bringing the team back to glory after the Mudbugs finished 3rd in the Northern Conference and upsetting the Colorado Eagles in the Northern Conference Semifinals and came within 1 win of beating the eventual President Cup Champion Rapid City Rush.

This was one of the most successful seasons in recent memory for the Mudbugs where despite making the playoffs every year since 2004, they have been problems advancing in the post-season which include a couple of occasion's where they finished on top of the conference.

One of the biggest recent post season failures was in 2008 where after a 44-14-6 record for 94 points, the Mudbugs were swept by the Texas Brahmas in 4 games straight during the Brahmas first season at the NYTEX Sports Center in North Richland Hills, Texas.

After Bossier-Shreveport's strong season, head coach Scott Musctt is looking to bring home the Mudbugs first League Championship since 2001 and the fans are looking as they have high expections for the 2010-2011 season.

Here's a look at other "They Said It" Segments

Dayton Gems Brian Gratz

RGV Killer Bees Chris Brooks

Laredo Bucks Terry Ruskowski

Rapid City Rush Joe Ferras

Quad City Mallards Frank Anzalone

Here's the Bossier Shreveport Mudbugs Records over the last 3 seasons.

2007-2008 Season

Regular Season: 44-14-6 94 PTS, Northeast DIV. Champions, 1st in Northern Conference

Playoffs: Conference SFS: Lost to Texas Brahmas 4-0

2008-2009 Season

Regular Season: 39-19-6 84 PTS, 3rd in Northeast DIV, 4th in Northern Conference

Playoffs: Beat Rocky Mountain Rage 2-1 in Play In Round, Lost to Colorado Eagles 4-0 in Conf. SFS

2009-2010 Season

Regular Season: 38-22-4 80 PTS, 3rd in Northern Conference

Playoffs: Beat Colorado Eagles 4-0 in Conf. SFS, Lost to Rapid City Rush 4-3 in Conf. Finals

Here's the Q&A from the Central Hockey League Website

Your team finished strong last year despite many injuries, what did you learn about that team in April?

I could not be more proud of the group of guys that finished the season for our club. They wore the jersey with pride and refused to let excuses stand in the way of their best efforts. As a result, we were able to overcome a lot of adversity and come very close to achieving our goals.

With some of the obstacles of this offseason and the CHL getting five new teams, how has it impacted what you are trying to do recruiting?

I believe it has actually helped our recruiting by giving us an opportunity to find out more about the character of the players we are signing or bringing to camp. Not knowing the financial details and other parts of the operations of the league just lets us know who wants to be a Mudbug no matter what.

You are bringing many of your core players, does that help during camp and beginning of the season because they know what to expect from them?

I think (and hope) that helps all year. Our year was a lot of fun last season and I would like to have many of those guys back again to try to win a championship. Although we try not to put as much emphasis on the beginning of the year, the familiarity does help guys get comfortable in their roles.

The Mudbugs have a former player in Jason Campbell now changing gears and moving into the front office as a GM, how do you think he will do in his new role and what from his playing days under you will help him lead the team off the ice?

Soupy has been, in a word, phenomenal. He is a great friend, father, husband and hockey guy. His transition to GM has been seamless and Mudbug Fans are going to be thrilled with what he brings to the table! I don't think he needs to take anything from me to lead this team off the ice, he is ready and prepared and passionate. Always has been, always will be.

Ken Carroll announced his retirement over the off-season, what has it been like coaching one of the best all time in the CHL and what will his absence mean to the team?

Kenny is one of those guys that made you love going to work because he was going to be there. He always competed so hard that he made everyone around him better every day. Kenny Carroll will certainly be missed and obviously there's no way that can be replaced in the locker room. We as a franchise will be honoring Kenny astonishing career this season as we learn to move forward into a new era without him.

The Mudbugs moved to the South or Berry Conference this season, does that change anything regarding your approach?

Well, let's see: More games against Allen, Texas, Laredo, Odessa, Rio Grande Valley and Arizona and we still have to battle Tulsa and Mississippi. My approach now contains more game film, more heart medication, more Tylenol and more work. This is going to be great fun every night.

What is the biggest challenge to having five new teams in the league that aren't scouted or known very well in the league?

I think the challenge remains the same with the new teams. You have tried to figure out quickly what works and what doesn't against some very good hockey teams. The difference is likely what the every game tendencies can't be a part of your pregame preparation; they are now a between-period adjustment. We are thrilled to have these teams in our league, and it's great to attack the 2010-2011 season.

Who has been the biggest influence on you and your coaching style?

When I started out (this was an easy one to answer) my father, Mike Johnston and Mike Kelly (who both went on to coach in the NHL) all gave me the desire to coach. Now I enjoy coaching in the CHL more every year. With the players and coaches that are in the league game in and game out, you're always learning something new that you didn't know the day before. That gives you the passion to stay competitive and keep improving.

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