Monday, April 02, 2012

Simmonds speaks 4/2/12

Q: Wayne, congratulations. Is this the first time you’ve been named the first star of the week in the NHL?

“Yeah it is the first time, it’s a great honor.

Q: Talk about the week that you’ve had. You did it all, you scored goals, you came back from that injury the other day…it must be pretty gratifying to have the team have the success that it’s had and you’ve become a big part of it.

“Yeah, I think I had a prolonged slump, I hadn’t scored in awhile and I got my first one, that felt good and they just kept coming from there. The team’s been really successful since the beginning of March and everything feels good right now.”

Q: How are you feeling right now? I heard that your face was kind of swollen up yesterday and that some people didn’t even think you could play. Obviously it was a rewarding week goal-wise, but one of your most painful ones…I’m guessing it’s worth it but how do you feel? Are you pretty sore?

“It’s not too bad. Yesterday I had a little bit of trouble seeing but I don’t think it made much of a difference; I still went out there and played as hard as I possibly could. Obviously I think that’s the most painful goal that I’ll ever score in my NHL career [laughter] …I don’t hope to do that again, but it was worth it.”

Q: You’re eye looked pretty bad yesterday, like you couldn’t even see out of it, how is it this morning?

“It’s a lot better. I think yesterday when I woke up it was better and then today I woke up and it’s pretty big, but I have all my vision and it feels a lot better.”

Q: Will you wear the visor for the rest of the year?

“Obviously I’ll wear the visor until the stitches come out…I’m not too sure I’m going to continue wearing it after that. Obviously I’m going to think twice about it after getting hit in the eye….I don’t know, I think I’ll make my decision sooner rather than later.”

Q: You guys are playing the Rangers tomorrow and they’ve handled you all five games this year, you could be facing them in a playoff round…do you guys see this as an important game to kind of set the tone in case you see them in the playoffs?

“Yeah, obviously we haven’t (inaudible) so far this year against the Rangers, they’ve beaten us all five games and that’s not a good thing. We need to come out hard, we have to play our game and I think in the games that we’ve played them we only played about 40 minutes of the game and they played the full 60, and you’re never going to win playing that way against that team.”

Q: Wayne, do you expect that, after what you saw yesterday, that this is the kind of playoff series you guys are going to get with them [Pittsburgh]?

“Yeah, definitely. It’s fun hockey, it’s like old school hockey. You come to the rink, you battle everyday, you know there’s going to be fights, you know you’re gonna get hit and you know you’re going to have to hit back and that’s the type of hockey that we like to play. So I think that suits our team well.”

Q: Were you going into yesterday’s game saying ‘I don’t want to get in a fight’ and then all of a sudden you’re fighting on of the toughest guys in the league…what’s going through your mind there?

“Obviously it wasn’t ideal for me to fight in that situation but, Danny took a solid hit there and obviously I’m going to go to my player’s defense, that’s the type of player I am. It doesn’t matter if I have stitches in my eyes, I have to go in there and stand up for my teammate.”

Q: Is it a real toll on you, whether or not to keep wearing a visor?

“Yeah, this year is my first year without a visor and I’ve taken a few shots to the face but…obviously it’s something I’ll keep mulling over but, I don’t know. I like it without the visor but then again, I want to have my eyes after I’m done playing hockey.”

Q: Why did you decide to stop wearing the visor?

“I don’t know. I honestly couldn’t tell you. I just took it off in the summer and it felt good so I continued that into the regular season…exhibition and stuff like that and I was playing pretty well so I didn’t want to put it back on.”

Q: You said earlier in the season that your mother doesn’t approve of you playing without a visor, she even called your agent. What has been her response to you scoring a goal with your face and everything?

“I don’t think she’s too happy right now [laughter] but obviously, that’s my mother, she’s not going to be happy with anything I do. She told me I should put on a full cage but it’s not college hockey, you can’t play like that.”

Q: Has this week been a culmination of sort of a dream year for you? No one really knew what to expect when you got here, they knew you were kind of a gritty player but, the goal production, everything that you’ve done here –does this give the whole year a little bit more recognition?

“Yeah, I think that since I came here I wanted to prove my worth and Lavy has put me in ideal situations offensively all season. I’m just trying to take those situations and do the best I possibly can and things turned out perfectly for me this year.”

Q: Getting back to the Rangers for a second, one of the players said after a loss in NY, the goaltending was the difference. Now that the goaltending has been better do you think that puts you on the same level as the Rangers?

“Our goalies have been playing awesome for us, whether it be Bob or whoever it is in the net. We’re completely confident in them. I think since the All-Star break both of them have been a big help for us …Obviously they have Lundqvist in net there and he’s one of the better goalies in the league and the goaltender does have a huge outcome on the game. I think we’re fully confident that we can beat New York with the goaltending that we’re getting.”

Q: You had 14 goals last year and you have 27 this year…Did you set a goal coming into the season for how many goals you wanted to score? And now that you’re pushing 30, do have in mind what you think you’re capable of?

“You know what, I think at the beginning of the year, I never—I don’t want to put numbers on myself, I don’t want to create pressure for myself…I came in and wanted to be a lot better offensively than last year. I think my second year in the league I had 40 points and I think that was the main number I wanted to get to. I wanted to get back to the production than I had in my second year. I think last year was a bit of a down year for me and I knew I was a lot better player than that so anything after 40 would be awesome for me and it’s been great. Like I said, I’ve been in most situations, I never really played power play before this year and I think that’s helped out a lot.”

Post a Comment