After a breakout playoffs and with a contract extension taken care of, Colin Greening will be looking to build upon what was a solid ending to his 2012-13 campaign and a rewarding summer. As things stand, Greening is playing alongside Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Eric Condra as they look to get their season off to a quality start both as a unit and in their specialist roles on the penalty kill.
I got Colin's thoughts on his linemates, the evolution of the team in his time here and his personal evolution as a player.
Here's what he had to say...
On two days of practice with Pageau and Condra:
It's great, Pageau is a quick little centre who moves the puck really well and Cons is someone I've played with for four years now and a good, smart two-way player. He makes really good decisions out there and he's great to play with.
On the evolution of the team each year:
Well you bring up two different things, the system and adapting to the team. The system itself hasn't changed since Paul has been here. I think we've brought in the right guys and you can see it from the pre-season that they've adapted to it very, very well. They've learned Paul's system. That's important, you want to bring in guys that will be able to learn it because if everyone's on the same page that gives you a better chance of success. In terms guys adapting to one another, it's been great. Bobby, Clarke, Corvo and everybody that has come in since last year, they're mixing in with the guys really, really well and that's important. You want guys that are easy to talk to and we've met their significant others as well and that helps as well. They all have really nice families so that's important, that helps the gelling of the team inside the dressing room and out.
On how the system impacts the style of play:
I think it's the speed. When you hit the ice and the emphasis as fast as you can, I think that goes two ways, both offensively and defensively. I think that's been a strength of ours.
On the evolution of his role on the team:
Well one is being on the penalty kill and that's something that, coming into pro hockey, that was something I hadn't done a lot in college. It was something I had to learn slowly, I got a little bit taste of it my first year and then my second year it was again, a little taste of it. Then last year I really put the emphasis on myself to be that guy that can go on the PK. I think towards the latter part of last year they put me in some situations that I felt confident in. I think once you get that confidence on the PK and you can read the play a little bit better, that's good for the team and that was good for me coming into this season. I definitely think that's a role I want to take on more and something I want to take pride in.
On potential further growth in his role:
It's really too soon to tell, I'm still learning, I'm still relatively new in this league and right now I think the most realistic thing to look at is the goals for this season and I just discussed them with you. Going forward I think I'll re-assess and see what kind of role I'll have on this team, and that depends on a lot of things. Who they bring in, who leaves, so it's something I could speculate on but it's just too soon to tell.
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