Before tonight's Binghamton Senators game at Canadian Tire Centre against the Toronto Marlies, we caught up for a post-skate chat with Sens prospect Francis Perron to talk about his transition to the pro game, the AHL version of the Battle of Ontario and a whole lot more...
You can also listen to the full interview on SoundCloud here.
Does the Battle of Ontario exist in the AHL as well?
I didn't think so at first and then the last couple of games, especially the last one, was a really hard game. There were a couple of fights and it was really physical and emotional. So I think it's there and with last game being so emotional I expect a really good game tonight.
Management keeps tabs on you all year but is there any extra motivation knowing that they'll be at tonight's game?
I think it's a motivation for everyone. Coaches, the GM, the assistant GM and all the staff are going to be there and watching and everyone knows that. Everyone wants to bring their 'A' game tonight and show them what we've learned this year and what we've gotten better at. I think it's great for everyone to show that.
Do you have any personal goals for the rest of this season?
I need to score a goal (laughs). I think it's been 26 or 27 games so maybe tonight's the night. As a team you just want to come to the game every night and play the right way. It's not easy but we need to find a way to push through it and try to get better every game.
What has been the biggest adjustment you've had to make to transition to the AHL?
For me, it's the bigger guys. Obviously, I'm not a big guy so it was a big adjustment for me. I'd also say my time to react on the ice. In Junior, I had a lot of time and space and I could do my thing and make plays but in the pros you don't have a lot of time with the puck and you have to know what to do with the puck even before you have it. It's different but I think I've learned a lot and at first it wasn't easy. The ice-time wasn't always there but over the year I've learned a lot. I feel better, my confidence is better so I think it's all in your head. When your confidence is there you can make plays and just do your thing.
What's been the biggest change outside of the rink from going from the QMJHL to Binghamton?
It's way different from Juniors where you are treated like a kid and it's not the same thing. You're in a billet, you don't do a lot, you have curfew every night and the coaches call to see if you're in your billet. Now you're on your own. You have to cook for yourself and you don't have a babysitter so it's different but I really like it. I feel like I'm a mature guy so it's helped me a lot.
You can catch Francis Perron and the Binghamton Senators tonight in Ottawa when they take on the Toronto Marlies at 7:30 p.m. at Canadian Tire Centre. Tickets are available here.