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Lindberg On "Earning a Spot" With Rangers This Year

by Matthew Calamia / New York Rangers

As he did last year, forward Oscar Lindberg finds himself amongst a crowded group of forwards vying for a spot on the Rangers' bottom-six spots. This time around, though, Lindberg is much more comfortable auditioning on Broadway.

"I just think the more I've been over here, the more experience I got," Lindberg told following the start of Training Camp presented by SAP at the MSG Training Center.

While that comfort level should help him on the ice, Lindberg isn't one believing his spot is a lock come October.

"I got to [know] more of the guys and coaches here so I feel more comfortable, I think, but I don't think that's something I should be thinking about, that I should be on this team and what not," Lindberg added. "I have to play good an earn a spot."

Last year was Lindberg's second full season in North America. After a strong rookie season with Hartford in 2013-14, in which he scored 18 goals and 44 points, Lindberg raised the bar last year, finishing with 28 goals and 56 points in the same amount of games.

"I think I adjusted a lot to this game over here, but I think I've become a better player too and I think that's gotten me to have a better year last year," Lindberg explained. "I think the whole team was good last year, and I think that helped a lot too.

"I think this year I've adjusted pretty well, and I think I know how to play over here."

Lindberg will have to show the coaching staff that over the next two weeks. There is competition among positions on the team's bottom-two lines from newcomers Jarret Stoll, Emerson Etem and Viktor Stalberg, as well as incumbents Dominic Moore, Tanner Glass and fellow Swede Jesper Fast.

That competition, though, is a positive for not only Lindberg, but for the team.

"You always need competition. I think that's good," said the 23-year-old Lindberg. "Players become better from guys competiting for the same spot. I think that's good for the whole team."

While they may be competing for a similar role on the Rangers, both Fast and Lindberg are good friends, with Fast believing this could be his fellow countryman's year.

"I feel like he's one of those guys who is always in the mix every season in training camp," Fast said of Lindberg on Friday. "This year is probably that year that he's going to get over that bump there. I've seen him play a lot and he's been one of the best players in the AHL for two years that he's been there producing."

Lindberg said he hasn't talked to the coaching staff much, but at this point, he knows it comes down to one simple thing: performance.

"Just coming into camp," Lindberg said, "it's just you've got to perform well and show [the coaches] your good side."

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