blank'/> THE PUCK REPORT: Jordan Staal Interview - 2010 NHL Awards

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jordan Staal Interview - 2010 NHL Awards

Last month at the 2010 NHL Awards in Las Vegas we caught up with 2007 Calder nominee and 2010 Selke nominee Jordan Staal to chat about the Pittsburgh Penguins locker room, rivalries, and brotherhood. These are his stories.

Q: What’s with the nicknames on the Penguins? Rob Scuderi was The Piece and you're Gronk?
A: Apparently, yeah. That was Army (Colby Armstrong) a long time ago. He’s not a very smart guy I can tell you that. To be honest, we have a bunch of pretty funny guys but I think the biggest thing is our team is so close. You know, when we’re on the road we have team meals with 15 guys and we have guys that are around each other all the time. So we find dirt on each other pretty quickly and we find nicknames even faster. There’s a lot of funny ones and a lot of funny guys on our team.

: Who are the guys handing out nicknames?
A: Well Army was when he was on team. Billy Guerin has got a few. There’s a lot of guys who throw in their two cents.

: Who are the leaders in locker room? Is it a loud or a quiet room?
A: It’s not too loud. When there’s things to be said there’s a few guys in the room, Billy’s one of them and a few of the older guys, that like to say things. Sid (Sidney Crosby) says some stuff when it needs to be said but he’s not a very vocal guy. But when he does talk, people listen. There’s a few other guys that are like that in the room.

: How about you? Are you joker or a quiet guy?
A: I don’t know, I’m kind of a mixture. You get me on the right day I can be pretty funny. But around the games you know I can be pretty serious and try to get things done.

: Did the Penguins miss Rob Scuderi and Hall Gill this year?
A: Yeah, I think so. They were a big reason why we won the Cup. They were a great pair. I was playing with them a lot being on the shutdown type of line and those guys can do some wonders in the defensive zone and go play in the other end.

: Talk about how Matt Cooke's hit on Marc Savard impacted the team this season.
A: Yeah, that was tough. Cooke always seems to be finding himself in those situations but that’s the way he plays. He plays hard. He plays to hit guys. He goes out there and plays hockey. It was a tough situation for him especially. You know, you don’t want to see a player like that go down but you want to keep the game as hard-nosed as you can. There’s that fine line.

: Who are the toughest defencemen for you to play against?
A: I don’t know, there’s quite a few. I think the Flyers had some pretty solid defence that were tough to play against. Three or four guys there that are pretty good. You know, it's not one specific guy, but there’s a few teams here and there.

: Who are the biggest rivals for Penguins these days?
A: I think there’s two. Philadelphia is obviously the biggest one. That’s been going on for a long time. But I think Washington is another one that is starting to grow. It's really something that our team gets up for and wants to win.

: I guess you don’t face the Western Conference enough to develop rivalries.
A: No, not really. You want to win those games obviously, just like any other game. But when you’re not playing a team too many times, it’s tough to build that rivalry.

: Tell me about growing up with three brothers.
A: Yeah, it was the way brothers pretty much always grow up together. We gave it to each other pretty hard. I think we all had that competitive level which made it even worse. But it definitely helped us to make it where we are today.

: Who had the worst temper?
A: Well Jared probably had the worst temper. Probably because we were bugging him the most. But I don’t know, we were all pretty tough on each other. Eric was kind of the mediator between us all. Marc was probably the biggest pest.

Many thanks to Jordan for speaking with us. Best of luck next season.