As noted in a MayorsManor article over the weekend, after playing for the Manchester Monarchs this season, Jeff Schultz will step into the Kings line-up for the first time tonight, replacing injured Robin Regehr. After the team’s morning skate in Anaheim, here’s what he shared with the gathered media…
Fair to say you’ve worked all season to get an opportunity like this one tonight. What is it going to be like when you take that first shift?
“Its been a couple of years since I have been in the playoffs and there is no other place that I’d rather be. I’m going to try and help the team as best as I can.”
From playing under Bruce in Washington, how does his personality change, if at all come playoff time?
“He can get kind of wound up, but he’s pretty calm. I had him down in Hershey when I was there too. He’s always been focused and that’s why he’s had success in the playoffs. He’s a pretty emotional guy. He really shows his emotions out there and I think it’s the same way when he played. He’s really energetic and played hard each game.”
Are Bruce and Darryl Sutter as different as they appear to be to those on the outside?
“Like you said, one’s out there and the one kind of just keeps to himself. Bruce doesn’t like to give too much away like Darryl does and I think that’s just playoff hockey for a coach.”
What makes Bruce a coach that you want to play for?
“He would never turn you away if you had any questions for him. I think as a player, that’s one good thing. If there is ever any problems or concerns you can go talk to him and he’ll give you feedback.”
Is it tough at times to understand what Darryl says when he talks to the team?
“A little bit. I haven’t been around so much this year.”
It looks like you will be playing with Voynov. Is it hard to play with someone the first time?
“I kind of just watch film and talk to him just over tendencies. It’s more about playing systems rather than getting used to your partner.”
What is the hardest part about playing your first NHL game in quite some time?
“I think a combination of everything. I haven’t played a game here in a little bit after being called up. But I think just get a good first shift in. Either get hit or hit someone, so just kind of get myself in the game.”
Did you have in your mind when Regehr got hurt in game 1 that you were likely to play in game 2?
“I wasn’t sure. I was actually in here doing a little workout and he came in and they weren’t really sure what was going on with him. I just kind of found out the next day, they said that he will be out for a little bit.”
For more on Schultz, see the Monarchs Player Evaluations posted by MayorsManor correspondent Andy Tonge here.