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Sydor Eager For Start Of Season

by Joe Sager / Pittsburgh Penguins

(Pens TV Sydor Interview

Since Darryl Sydor joined the Penguins this summer, he’s been looking forward to Friday.

That’s when Pittsburgh opens its regular season with a game in Carolina.

He has been eager to skate with his new teammates and battle in the daily grind that is the NHL.

“Every day is a better day. We’re through training camp and the preseason, so now is the time that matters the most when two points count every game,” he said. “It’s been a nice adjustment and a good adjustment and now we’re just excited about the season.”

Sydor, a two-time Stanley Cup champion, has added more stability to the Penguins’ defense, which improved last season. The team allowed 70 fewer goals against in 2006-07.

“I think the defense looks good,” he said. “The group that was here has done a good job. I am just trying to help out when I can.”

Sydor, 35, played a big part in the Dallas Stars defense a year ago. He finished fourth among Stars blueliners in average ice time at 20:08. He had a plus-or-even rating in 52 of the 74 games in which he played.

The Penguins welcomed his skill and veteran leadership.

“They are a good group of guys and, by all means, they have accepted me,” he said. “They’ve welcomed me into their own little family away from their own families – that’s what a hockey team is.”

Sydor played against the Penguins and watched them last season. Now on the inside looking out, he knows the team must get used to a much-tougher campaign. The Penguins’ 105-point finish a year ago opened the eyes of many.

“It’s going to be a different season than it was last year, that’s for sure,” he said. “We have to be prepared for it. There are a lot of media and other people predicting us to do well. It’s time for us to put ourselves to the test and achieve what we want to achieve.”



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