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Three Minutes With: Predators goalie coach Mitch Korn…

This is the second in a multi-part series leading up to the 2010-11 regular season.


To help bridge the gap between now and the regular season, we will be doing a series called Three Minutes With. Every installment will be with a different member of the Nashville Predators family. Could be players. Could be coaches. Could even be fans.

In the second installment we have Preds Goaltending Coach Mitch Korn. With the goaltending factory that has become the Nashville Predators, Korn is mainly responsible for many starters around the NHL such as Pekka Rinne, Chris Mason, Tomas Vokoun and Dan Ellis, among others.

Jeremy K. Gover: During the season, you have guys in Nashville and guys in Milwaukee and, last year, you even had Jeremy Smith in Cincinnati. How do you coach all of those guys in all of those different places?
Mitch Korn: Well, the good news is, I have a clone. His name is Ben Vanderklok. Ben is our assistant goalie coach and we work together in ensuring that these guys get as much attention as the two of us can provide. Obviously while I spend a lot of time in Nashville, last season I traveled to Milwaukee once a month for anywhere between five and seven days. I also traveled to Cincinnati once a month for anywhere between three and five days. So when you add all of that up, we had some pretty good coverage in both places. Obviously we’re talking to the goaltenders all the time in modern technology, whether it be via texts, BBM’s or even phone every now and again. Yes, we actually hear their voice. And (we) talk to the coaches as well. In today’s day in age, we can get on the American League website and we can watch video that way so I think we’re able to cover it pretty well.

JG: Now you mentioned the AHL’s website having video. I assume there’s a lack of video in the ECHL so what do you in those cases?
MK: There is a lack of video. Again, Ben goes in there and when he does he watches video, when I go in there, I watch video with him. Unfortunately, there is a priority order. It goes the most is in the NHL, the next most is in the American League and the next most is in the East Coast League. That’s just how it is.

JG: Obviously this is an informal skate but what are you looking for when you work with the two goalies here and in other places that aren’t as structured as training camp?
MK: I’m not really looking for anything right now. I’m just watching for the sake of watching. I guess I’ll know what I’m looking for when I find it. 

JG: Finally, after I tweeted how you brought out the white pucks, we had a lot of people ask what the purpose of those are. Would you mind giving us a little Hockey 101 here and explaining about the white pucks?
MK: So that already made Twitter, huh?
JG: Yeah.
MK: Oh so that means Dan Ellis read it? *laughs* You know, what I’ve always tried to do is to make practice more difficult than a game and to try to create situations that you can’t replicate other than in a game. One of the things about the white pucks is a function of tracking. Following the puck. It makes it harder because we’re not used to it so it really forces you to focus and track. And you notice too we had a screen board. We use that to take away vision and require, again, fast puck recognition. That’s what all these things are designed to do.

JG: Thank you very much.
MK: You’re welcome.

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