These one-goal games (7 of the 8 Stingrays’ games this season have been decided by one goal) must be wreaking havoc on your nerves.
Yeah, there are definitely some tight games. I’m glad to see we’re coming out on the winning end of the last couple. One-goal games mean that we’re playing solid, for sure. I think that has come around in the last few games, and I like the way we’re looking.
Is the power play a major concern right now? The team hasn’t scored on the man advantage in the last four games.
I would say it’s a concern; you want production. But to say it’s a major concern would be blowing it out of proportion. We have guys who are trying to do the right things and it’s not really clicking right now. But I don’t think that it’s something that we need to get really worked up about. We’re going to work on it, improve it, and find ways to utilize our skill more effectively. But the bottom line is that we have to keep it simple and just keep working. I’m confident it’ll come around.
On the other side of the special teams coin, you’ve got to be pleased with the way the Rays were able to shut down Florida, known for having a high-octane power play, in all three games last week. Definitely. I thought our penalty kill was very good. We were very smart on it, and we kept Florida on the outside. We made them come through us for chances. They did get some solid chances, but in the end Todd Ford and Braden Holtby were there to shut them down. I also thought that, when those guys did make the first save, we were there to get the rebound, pounce on that and make sure we got things out.
Speaking of Holtby, is there any chance he’ll rejoin the team for the northern leg of the road trip? Yes. He’s joining us tonight, so he’ll be back on the roster tomorrow.
With Trent Campbell out is there a time table for Johann Kroll and Zach Tarkir to return to the lineup? Zach Tarkir looks like he’ll be good to go on Friday. Johann Kroll is more up in the air; we’re not sure, he’s day-to-day right now. His injury…it’s not going away as quickly as it came. I think it’s going to take a little time, and we’re going to make sure that Johann’s ready to go before he gets back in the lineup.
They say that long road trips make for great bonding opportunities. Have you gotten a sense of that cohesiveness yet?
I think so. You get to know your teammates pretty well when you’re on the road, and also you have to adopt a style of play that is very team-oriented. And that’s what we want at all times. It’s been good for us to be on the road, and to come together a little bit and really play that kind of hockey that we’re going to need to continue on the road.
Lastly, are you looking forward to returning to Reading and Trenton, two places where you spent time during your playing career?
Yeah, I am. It’ll be exciting. It’s (Sovereign Center) always a great place to play hockey. Now, to coach hockey, it’ll be a fun night on Saturday. Probably a good crowd there in Reading. It’s a good hockey town, so I’m looking forward to returning. Lots of great memories in Trenton, too. The fans are great and management treated me great for the three years I was there. I’m looking forward to getting back there and seeing some old friends.