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Paul Ranger Answers Your Questions

by Staff Writer / Tampa Bay Lightning
Last week fans on filled the inbox with questions for Paul Ranger. This week you get your answers. While there isn't time to answer all the questions, here are the best of the best. Stay tuned next week for a different player!

Name: Emil Holst Volden
Hometown: Trondheim, Norway
Question: Hello Paul. I'm a huge Lightning fan, and I would be honored if you answered my question.  How does a normal day look like for you, during the season?
Do you do anything special, I know a lot of NHLers do?  Thanks!

I guess you mean a game day, Emil.  Game days are pretty much filled. They fill your day.  Like, there is one game at 7:30 p.m. and the routine starts as soon as I get up.  In my typical game day, I try to get eight hours of sleep the night before, get up, have breakfast. Usually I go to the rink about an hour or an hour and a half before the pre-game skate. For me, when I get to the rink I’ll usually be doing some kind of warm-up, like shoulder warm-ups or exercises. Then we go out for the pre-game skate and just kind of get the legs moving. After I get off the ice I usually have a little stretch or something. Then it’s back home (or the hotel, if we’re on the road). We have a big pre-game meal with all types of stuff available. I normally don’t like to keep things the same all the time regarding the food, although I have in the past. Now, I don’t worry about eating the same thing all the time. I feel like I’ll eat whatever’s there. I don’t put too much emphasis on that, as long as you’re getting your energy and the right type of nutrients that you need to play. I try not to be a superstitious guy. I try to stay away from that as much as possible.
After that, I might do whatever. I might go run an errand or just relax and read for an hour or just talk with some neighbors – whatever it is for an hour or so and usually I try to get to bed for about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes or so.
Then I get up, have a little snack, shower, put the snazzy suit on, and head over to the rink. I’m usually there two hours before the game. From that point it’s a routine in itself. Everybody’s in the same circle and you work around the schedule. There is usually a team meeting 90 minutes before the game. Before that I’ll put my gear on and do some shoulder stretches. I’ll take part in the team meeting and from that point forward I’ll continue to warm up, get on the ice for the skating warm up and then play the game.
Afterwards, I’ll drink a ton of water and have a meal.  Then, I’ll just settle down my body and my mind before I can get to sleep.

Name:  Danielle Carr
Hometown:  Riverview, FL
Question:  Paul, first of all, I just want to let you know that you are my absolute favorite player on the team and I could, quite possibly, be your biggest fan!!!!  With that said, what is the craziest thing you've ever had happen when meeting one of your fans?  Best of luck this season... so glad that you're finally off the injured list!
Ha! Oh wow! I don’t know.  I guess I’ve had some odd things happen, like where you get cards or flowers. I remember driving out of the parking lot at the rink once with my windows down and a paper airplane flew across my vision. It surprised me. I think it was just a note with a phone number or something on it. So that might be it, a paper airplane flying through my truck and landing right on the passenger seat. Things like that have happened. Nothing too serious.

Name: Nathan Cartmel
Hometown: Bristol, England
Question: Hey Range, firstly, how tough has it been getting over surgery two off seasons running? It’s something that really stands out about hockey players to me how quickly you guys bounce back, although it must take a lot of work! Secondly, which game in the regular season are you most looking forward to?
Together we will!
Yeah, it does take a lot of work, especially doing it twice! I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to rehab again, but obviously my shoulder needed to be repaired. Put it this way, I’m glad it’s over with and I’m doing my best to make the shoulder as strong as possible so I never have to go through this again. Yes, it does take a lot of work. It’s a pretty intense surgery as far as injuries go. It was tough going through it a second time. At least with this being the second time, I knew what to expect and I’ve been a little more aggressive with the rehab this time. Not as fearful of doing any damage or anything.
As far as the games go for the season, there isn’t any game I’m really looking forward to. Honestly, I haven’t even looked at the schedule yet. Not even once. That might seem odd, but when it comes time to play the games, it doesn’t really matter who we’re playing. I just take it game-by-game. I’ll study what kind of players the other team has and what kind of game they play, and then I’ll adjust my game and play accordingly. I don’t have any beef with any other players, yet.

Name: Josh Chapman
Hometown: Hamden, CT
Question: Paul, I'd first like to say that you've been great throughout your years in Tampa and hope for many more. With all the new additions to the team's defense, who would you prefer to play with, Meszaros, Ohlund, Hedman (if he makes the team), Walker, or Foster?
You know what, I’m not sure. I’ll tell you one thing though, I do personally enjoy, and I think I play my best, when I have a regular partner. I think a good partner for me would be somebody who I can play really well with. I know I played really well with Boyler (Dan Boyle) for a while. He’s obviously a real offensive-minded guy and I learned a ton from him, just as far as playing the game.
I think I could play either with an offensive guy or just a solid defensive guy that makes good decisions. I think a lot of times when you play with someone who has strengths in different areas then you do – say a stay-at-home D-man or an offensive-minded player, it can benefit you. And then, sometimes to shake it up it benefits you to play with someone who is the same type of player. I’ve played with guys who are two-way defensemen like I am and you sort of work off each other. One guy will join the rush one shift and the next time when an opportunity comes up it’s the other D-man.
So, it just depends. The only guy I’ve really played with in the past would be Meszaros, more than anyone. Well, it will be interesting. I’m sure the coaches are going to mix things up in training camp and have us play in different pairings and all kind of things. I’m interested to see what the new defensemen are like and how we can play together.

Name: Paula Manning
Hometown: Inverness, FL
Question: Paul, have you thought about what you might like to pursue after your NHL playing days are over?  You are one of my favorite Lightning players! Good luck and good health this season.
As far as what I’d like to do after, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it, actually.  I think for one thing, going to school and getting a post-graduate degree is something I’d want to do. Early on in high school I was very interested in kinesiology, but seeing all the injuries and what the trainers go through every day, I don’t know if that’s for me anymore. I still am interested in human movement and anatomy and all that, but I’m just beginning to think about where it could go. There are all kinds of things that I’m interested in, from biology to ecology to environmental science. Even philosophy, at times. It’ll be something along those lines.
As far as what I do after that, I don’t know. Just like everybody it may or may not have anything to do with my degree. We’ll see.


Name: Jayna
Hometown: Gainesville, FL
Question:  What are the top five songs that your iPod can’t be without? And which song on your iPod is the most embarrassing one (like Hanson's mmm Bop)?
Ha! Well, honestly I haven’t even touched my iPod in a long time. Over a month. I really can’t answer that question right now.

Name: David M.
Hometown: Lutz, FL
Question: Hey Paul, Hope the shoulder is doing well. As a defenseman what influences your decision to step up and hit an attacking player or simply to force him to the outside (for instance on a 2-on-2)? Thanks and good luck next season!
Well, these are split-second decisions. I guess I’d look to step up on a player and put a hit on him, or just step up and close off the play, anytime the opposing player with the puck has his head down or anytime I can surprise him. Another option is to step up on him if I think I can force an offside or force a player to screw up and lose the puck. Same situation exists on the other end of the ice, if a guy is flat footed you can step up and keep the puck in the zone.
As far as making a player go outside, it’s a lot better if a guy is going to beat you, that’s when you want to force him outside. Then, he’s got less of an angle to shoot or to deke your goalie in the net. By forcing him wide you have a better chance of catching up some speed and possibly poke-checking the puck into the corner. I think that’s a really underestimated move. If a guy has you beat and you can turn and just poke-check the puck into the corner, the play is dead. It might not be a big hit. It might not seem like a huge play. But if you can shut down an offense by just pushing the puck into the corner and having your whole team get back and defend from there. It’s a pretty good play.

Name: Kristin Williams  
Hometown: Winter Haven, FL
Question: Of all of the players to come and go on the Lightning team, which former teammate do you miss working with the most?  And what current teammate do you really enjoy working with on the ice?
On the ice, the former teammate would be Dan Boyle. I spent the better part of two years playing with him and learned a lot from him, hockey-wise.
Which current teammate? Honestly, I don’t know if there is anyone in particular, really. I’d say the answer is any guy that I can get the puck to. Guys that get open for passes. Marty (St. Louis)  and Vinny (Lecavalier) are really good at it. A lot of guys are really good at it.
My basic job is to defend and join the rush when I can, and a big part of my job is breaking out and getting the puck to the offensive guys. I think that’s one of my favorite parts of the game and I feel like I’m really strong at it – to be able to move the puck that way. So anybody that can get open and can receive a bullet pass, that’s good with me.

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