Alright, the quick points:
Q: Is it true your nickname is "Suts"?
A: Yeah. "Suts", "Sutsy" there's a couple different ones, but that's pretty generic.
Q: Where did you learn your skating?
A: You know what? I used to go to skating camps when I was younger in Calgary. I think guy's name was David Roy, if I can remember. He did a bunch of skating camps. We used to go two or three summers when I was about probably 12, 13, 14, that's kind of when I first got to figure it out. I don't think it came from my family members, don't tell them I said that, but I don't think they taught me how to do it.
Q: What's been the biggest adjustment to becoming a Pittsburgh Penguin this year?
A: I think just learning a new system and all new plays, just kind of getting adjusted to the way that we play and the x's and o's of the game, I think. You know, obviously, you get into the game and you just kind of go with the flow of how things are going and it comes natural, but the first few games I think I found it really felt like I was thinking lots and hesitating a bit and kind of unsure on things. Now, it comes a bit more natural and definitely feel that after the first 10-12 games that it comes easy to me now.
Q: How are Dan Bylsma's practices?
A: They're pretty similar. Once you get to this level, especially on a schedule like we've got where you're playing lots, practice time isn't quite as long and usually shorter skates and more days off. So that's kind of been the way it's been this year. Our practices have been a half-hour, 45 minutes, and they're usually not too strenuous. There's things where, after a game, you say you need to work on the next day in practice, so there's the chance to kind of nail it in.
Q: What does it mean for a player to be able to practice or be around the all-world talent the Penguins have? Does it help you at all?
A: I think just practicing with or against those guys every day is obviously boost. When you're playing against good players it makes you better, so that's obviously a difference. It's fun to watch sometimes, for sure. They obviously have quite a bit of talent, and they're special players.
Q: Have you ever been part of something as intense and fiery as the Penguins against the Philadelphia Flyers?
A: It's definitely a good rivalry. It's pretty intense on the ice, for sure. I think the overall media attention and attention from fans is so magnified more than anything I've ever seen. I think, as a player, the more you get into that stuff the more you get away from your game. I think it's important to treat it like you're playing any other team and try to control the emotions. The team that seems to stay in control and play the right way is the team that's going to win.
Q: What do you have to do for Bylsma to get some more powerplay time? James Neal is on pace for like 700 goals this season, so how do we get more powerplay time for you on this team?
A: I don't know if there's much to do. We obviously have a pretty good first powerplay unit with Nealer, Sid, Letang, Geno and Kuny I think it's one of the better units in the league. Just to be on the second unit we have a chance to go out usually in the last few seconds of it and try to create something. You take what you can get and hopefully we can find ways to start creating a little more on it.
Q: Takes us back to Saturday in a game that fans loved and both coaches hated. (7-6 win over Montreal)
A: That was something else. It was a game that I'd never really seen or been a part of that much back and forth offence. It wasn't like there was a ton of scoring chances, it just happened to be that the chances team got were all pucks around the net that were banged in and obviously a few good shots. It was a fun game in some ways and in other ways it was frustrating. We managed to get the win at the end of a road trip and it was one we needed.
Q: Also on that road trip was the return back to Carolina, how was that for you?
A: It was pretty weird. It was different. It was a little strange. Just getting to the rink and seeing the old guys, it was something I never really had to deal with before. You know, it's tough the first time, so I'm glad it's done with and over with. Now it just kind of feels like you're past that first game, it's one you kind of work off on the calendar when the schedule comes out and to get it done with is kind of nice.
Q: What was your relationship like with Jim Rutherford or maybe more specifically the owner, Peter Karmanos?
A: To be honest with you, I never really talked to Peter much. He lives in Detroit. He's down there a few times a year, but you don't really see him a lot. Jimmy's around all the time. You usually see him around the room now and again, just kind of chatting with the guys and stuff. I had a good relationship with everyone there and the staff is awesome, very similar to how it is here in Pittsburgh. Both two great organizations. So far, in my career, I've been blessed to go to two pretty cool places.
Q: What is it about Cam Ward, when he goes down, that the Hurricanes miss so much?
A: I think just his calmness and his poise in net. When Cam's playing his best, he makes it look easy. He looks very relaxed and [call drops]
I think it's a tough injury for him. When he's playing his best, he's a guy that just makes it look so easy out there. He looks so cool and calm. He's very smart and his rebound control is great. I sounds like Ellis has been good for them this year, so hopefully he does well, and I'm pretty good friends with Justin Peters so it's a good chance for him too.
Q: How much of an advantage do you think second generation hockey players have as you transition from a junior player into the pro ranks?
A: I think the biggest thing is that if you ever have questions about little things, you always have someone to call and give you advice on things. That helped me a lot, especially my first year in the league. It's a big adjustment. I was only 19 years old and it's a big adjustment going from junior hockey to turning pro more so than just what happens on the ice, most of it is what happens off the ice. It is an adjustment that I think having something that's gone through that in your family is an advantage in ways that a lot of people don't really get to figure out and they have to kind of learn a lot more themselves.