PHILADELPHIA | a year ago, Kristopher Letang looked his teammates in the suit jacket and tie. Wounded in the neck, the defender of quebec visited the infirmary for the 23 last few games of last season and for the 25 games of the second conquest of a row of the Stanley cup.
Letang was dressed in his uniform of the Penguins for the celebration on the ice at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, tn. But this was not the same feeling.
“I so badly wanted to play, I found it painful to stay in the skin of a spectator, recalled Letang in interview to the Newspaper. This year, I want to enjoy it fully. I savor every moment and I have a smile in my face.
“I’m glad, he continued. This is hockey so emotional and intense. The players play to the best of their ability. This is an exciting time. Last year, the players I kept them involved. They were asking me several questions, I looked at some aspects of the game and I could give them my comments. I stayed present and I was in the meetings with the coaches. I spoke quite often with the younger players on the team. I had a role, but there is nothing that makes me more proud than to be in the action. “
For this third game against the Flyers, Letang has been afraid to forfeit due to a cut on the left hand occurred in a contact with Claude Giroux during the second meeting.
“We made the decision that I was to play in this match only five minutes before the meeting “, he said.
Letang was nothing like a defender injured. In addition to his two assists, the number 58, led his team with a game time of 25 min 40 s.
Back from the brink
In three games since the start of the series, Letang is faithful to him-even with three passes and a folder of +4. The Quebec of 30-year-old has enjoyed another good season with a harvest of 51 points (9 goals, 42 assists) in 79 meetings. However, they posted a record of -9.
“There have been ups and downs, he replicated. Initially, I found it difficult. I had started to skate just a week before the start of the camp. I was a little bit behind the other. I had asked Mike [Sullivan] to make me play the most of meetings as possible during the schedule preparation. But in the beginning of the year, I had trouble when we were playing two games in two nights. I came back to the game after an absence of eight months. I learned from this experience. I felt better by the end of the season and since the start of the series, I played good hockey. “
The colleagues of Pittsburgh has been chosen as the representative of the Penguins for the obtaining of the trophy, Bill Masterton, awarded to the player showing the most perseverance and a spirit of teamwork exemplary.
“It is never a good news, as it is an honor that rewards a player who often comes away, he started with a smile. I would prefer to avoid bad news. “