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‘I have really improved my skating’: Christian Folin looks forward to the upcoming season

Eyes on the Prize caught up with the Canadiens defenseman after a training session.

Patrik Bexell

Christian Folin was all dressed up in Montreal Canadins gear when he took to the ice at Campus Frölunda for summer training with other NHL players like Henrik Lundqvist, Adam Larsson and John Klingberg among others. It’s a practice with some intensity but it’s more to get the feeling for the puck and the ice back again.

Still, Folin looks like he worked hard when he is on the ice, when asked him about it he laughs. “I have been on the ice all summer, and this is my third practice today.” He goes through his schedule: “I skated from 7-8 am, a second breakfast before a gym session from 10-12, lunch and now an ice practice at 4:30-5:30 pm. A total of four hours of work today, it is draining but you need to put in the work right now to be ready [when the season starts].”

After the interview above, we spoke about his skating training, and the extra work he puts in every summer and then caught up to ask how it is going.

”I have felt the improvement [in my skating], I have worked with my trainer here who is a local coach, Niklas, in Gothenburg. I have really improved my skating I feel I am getting faster. Not only from point A to point B, but the small turns, being able to recover easier, to be able to be more aggressive and my lateral movement.”

Folin realizes the game is getting faster, and that he has to improve to take a spot on the Canadiens blue line this season, even if he has wanted to get faster all though his career. “The game is getting so much faster, even from when I came into the league it has been getting faster with every year. It is something I have always worked on, all through my career I worked on it, trying to get faster. Even as a 16-year-old playing [in Sweden], I always wanted to get faster, and I need to get faster. I feel every summer I take a big stride with my skating”.

There is a lot of talent on the ice, and Folin looks at his peers to figure out new things and pick up skills that might benefit him, or the Montreal Canadiens further down the line. “You learn from looking at some of the guys out there, John Klingberg especially, when he has the puck you just see how smooth he is. He doesn’t give the puck up. He keeps it close to his stick, close to his feet, he skates around the puck and protects it so well. He will not just throw the puck away, he gives it to someone else. That is a really good asset, that stands out as his playing style - the way he moves the puck. You learn something watching these guys every day; and you get to take shots at (Henrik) Lundqvist, hopefully I can give our forwards some advice when we play them later this year.”

With no Boston players on the ice there is another rivalry that brews in the locker room; “I never pass any of the Toronto players; I just run them into the boards.” Folin looks confident when he delivers the obvious joke at the end, but there is some truth to the statement as well.