You sent in the questions, and now Wojtek Wolski supplies the answers in the 2008-09 season's first edition of "Ask an Av"
I have noticed that whenever the Avalanche goes into a shootout, you always shoot. And for good reason too. How do you become so clutch in shootouts? Do you know your opponent's weaknesses ahead of time? Thanks for your time and good luck this year.
Clifford from Lisbon, N.Y.
I don’t think it’s so much the opponent’s weaknesses. Obviously I practice a lot and I try to ask the goalies for help as much as possible. They usually try to give me little tidbits of information about the goalie and sometimes about the ice conditions. If they’re sliding, and things like that.Before my hockey games in high school I would always listen to my iPod to get myself ready for the game. Do you do the same? And if so, what do you listen to?
Tobin from Littleton, Colo.
I listen to things in the car usually and sometimes on the bus on the way to the game. Not so much at the rink. Usually I listen to punk music, something that’s upbeat and a little faster. Some of the bands I listen to are Fallout Boy, All-American Rejects, things like that. I also throw in a little bit of the Top-20 music, anything from The Game to Kevin Rudolph.
So far what has been the most memorable moment in your career and why?
Aubrey from Denver, Colo.
Great question Aubrey. Probably my first goal or first playoff goal. That’s kind of an exciting time. It’s the first of something, and there aren’t many things at my age that become “firsts.” To have something that exciting happen is really memorable.Wojtek, who is your favorite team to play against? Whether it’s that you see potential to score big on stats, maybe a rival team for example, which team do you always get excited to play?
Mike from Burlington, Vt.
I think teams like Toronto or Montreal, because we don’t see them very often. The rinks are packed and it’s really, really loud. I also have some friends and family in Toronto, so those are probably the teams I look forward to playing the most.As a rabid Avs fan, I see and hear so much talk about "work ethic" and "working hard.” How does an NHL player like yourself attempt to get an edge on your peers/competitors in the hard work department and what does that mean to you? Thank you for your hard work--I see it on the ice!
Will from Boise, Idaho
That’s funny you should ask, because obviously everybody has worked hard to get here. But you can get an edge with the little things, like practicing your shooting and looking at video. Really paying attention to detail, especially in practice, helps out. With work ethic and working hard, it can also be in the gym. You can get a step ahead by doing more cardio or more weights.Wojtek – I’ve always wondered why you chose the number 8?
Chris from Broomfield, Colo.
Thanks for your question Chris. Starting out as a kid, actually since I was about eight years old, that number always seemed to work for me. When I got older I switched my number, but when I got a chance to pick my number in the NHL, “8” seemed to just be right.Who were some of your hockey heroes as a kid? And which of them did you try to style your game like?
Harrison from Colchester, Vt.
My two favorites were Mario Lemieux and Peter Forsberg. They’re both very skilled players. Peter plays with an edge and some grit. He’s always been such a big-time player and I’d like to get as close as possible to being like him someday.
I’m sure you’ve had a lot of great memories in your career, including some key goals and big games. Were there any moments from your days playing junior hockey that jump out in your memory?
Kati from Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
I think back a lot to my junior days playing with Brampton. There was one game that stood out where I had seven points against Erie. I had never done that before. I was on the ice for almost every goal of that game, and I had a couple of buddies on that team. It was fun to give them a couple of “minuses.” That was a memorable occasion, since it had never happened before.Would you want to play on the Polish national team if they would qualify for the Olympics Games?
Adam from Sanok, Poland
I would actually like to play on the Polish national team if I couldn’t play in Canada. I think one of the big things is that obviously I would want to play at the highest level. Right now, Poland isn’t in Group A, but if they did move into Group A, I could see myself playing for them. What's your favorite Polish dinner? My girlfriend is Polish and is a huge fan of yours. Hopefully I’ll be able to cook this for her. Thanks!
Nick from Colorado Springs, Colo.
Oh, wow. My favorite Polish dinner is breaded chicken with mashed potatoes and – I don’t know how you say it in English – but it’s a salad with a lot of cucumbers and either a sour cream or a whipped cream. I’m sure if your girlfriend is Polish, she’ll know what it is. Or a caesar salad, which is great as well. Polish food is traditionally a lot of meat and potatoes. Good luck!
Thanks to everyone who sent in questions from all over the world. It’s always fun to chat with Avalanche fans!