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ONE-ON-ONE WITH: Steven Goertzen

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets took time to sit down with 21-year old rookie forward Steven Goertzen to discuss preparations for his second professional season. What do you feel is the strong point of your game?
Steven Goertzen: I feel I am good in the corners. I have a gritty style of play. I like to go to the net and like to contribute more defensively. I am more of a defensive forward. What part of your game do you feel you could improve on?
SG: The offensive side of the game I need to improve on mostly. I think my shot and my confidence can be improved, too. What do you feel is the most important lesson you have learned in your hockey career?
SG: I think it’s the respect for the older guys. The guys here are great guys and the older guys are really great. They treat you well, and they show you how to treat other guys. They just make you feel comfortable and preach the respect of your teammates is really important. What is it like adjusting to the speed of the NHL game?
SG: It’s been good. That’s the one part that I really enjoy. It’s so fast and the puck is moving so quickly, it just makes the game that much more fun to play. It has been a bit of and adjustment. Once you get used to it, you just appreciate how the guys at this level can do things with the puck at that speed. Things are coming at you pretty quickly. How has it been adjusting to the new NHL rules?
SG: It’s been tough, definitely. As far as me being a defensive forward and as far as zone coverage in your own end, you really, really have to be careful with your stick. I think it’s good. I think it will open up things for me as far as on the forecheck and stuff. I think the rule changes are good, once you get used to them. How did you get your start in hockey?
SG: I didn’t start until I was 7-years-old. I asked my parents when I was 6 if I could play and they said, “Well, you can play next season,” and thought that I would forget about it. But the next season came around and I was still asking. I had a rink in my backyard my whole life, so I would always skate back there. What is it about hockey that you love so much?
SG: Everything about it, I have done it my whole life. Basically since I was little I wanted to play at the top level. I have just always had that mindset and mentality that everything has revolved around hockey. Hockey has been around me my whole life and I just love to play it. In the summertime you take a month to rest after the season, but at the end of the summer, you’re just waiting to get back out at it. If you weren’t playing hockey, what would you be doing?
SG: I have never thought about that. I have always though about playing hockey. I guess if I wasn’t playing hockey, I would be interested in being a pilot. My uncle is a pilot and I have been up in the plane with him and learned some stuff that way. And some of the stories he tells me, they sound pretty cool, so that would be pretty interesting. What is your pre-game ritual?
SG: I really don’t have too much of a pre-game ritual. I just kind of stay in the same routines, I guess. I tape my stick and spend some time by myself just trying to get myself ready for the game. Nothing too specific. What is your nickname? How did you get it?
SG: I really don’t think it’s anything special. My last name is Goertzen, so they call me “Goertz.” So, nothing too special there. Every since I have played hockey it has stuck with me.

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