Ahead of the 2017 AHL Skills Competition from Allentown, Pennsylvania, EOTP had an opportunity to speak to two of the night’s participants: St. John’s IceCaps goaltender Charlie Lindgren and forward Chris Terry.
EOTP: It’s your first full professional season. What has the experience been like for you? How does it feel to be an All-Star?
Lindgren: It’s been a great year. It’s a long season; you have your ups and down. The key is to stay level-headed, keep coming to rink every day to have fun and work hard.
How is life in St. John’s/AHL? Is it a major change from last year at St. Cloud State?
It’s a lot different. In college you have a more rigid schedule with practice Monday to Thursday and games on Friday/Saturday. Here [in the AHL] you’re playing games all the time. It’s a lot different.
You have to treat your body differently here; have to take care of yourself every night. Gotta stay loose and make sure you stretch out those muscles. I think so far this year I’ve learned a lot.
What’s it like playing alongside a veteran like Yann Danis? Has he shared any tips or advice with you this year?
Definitely. Yann has been unbelievable to me this season. He’s a guy who has a lot of experience in hockey. During games or practice he’ll have little tips to help me out when I need it. I’m still young, so having Yann has been big for me.
Did you pick up anything during your time in Montreal, either from Stephane Waite or the other goalies?
I think a big thing is just watching them, and learning visually that way. The best way for me to learn is just by observing them there. I’ve learned a ton from Steph, Al [Montoya], and Carey [Price], so it’s been good. I love being up there.
It’s a big month in the family too; you being an All-Star and your younger brother winning gold. How happy are the parents?
Oh, they’re excited, it’s been a bit hectic for the last month. They enjoy it though. They love seeing their kids doing well, and being around the hockey community.
So who’s the favourite in the family?
(Laughs) No no, no one is playing favourites, everyone is all the same to them.
EOTP: This isn’t your first All-Star Game, how does it feel to be here again?
Terry: It’s an honour anytime you get to play in the All-Star Game. It was pretty last-minute last night, but I’m here now and it’s gonna be a fun time.
When did you find out you’d be coming to the game and how was the trip?
(Laughs) Yeah we flew to Toronto last night, landed around 10:30 PM, and that’s when I found out. We were headed to our home in Michigan, actually, so we went there and I got in this morning. Could have been a lot worse for sure.
What’s it like being a part of competitions with guys you’ve been playing against all year?
It’s an event put on by the AHL: it’s meant to be fun and a good time. Once you’re off the ice, you’re all on the same team. You get to meet some new guys, and catch up with old friends you haven’t seen in a while.
You’re one of the vets on a young team in St. John’s. What’s that experience been like?
It’s a little different. I don’t feel that old, but ... a lot of young guys, and guys that are learning that are going to be good pros. They’re all great guys. They take it all in, they’re good players. We hit a bit of a rough patch this weekend, but they’ll bounce back.
You’ve been playing at a high level all year, and had a few stints in the NHL with Montreal. How was your time with the team?
It’s the hockey Mecca of the world. It’s crazy there! The fans are unbelievable; it’s an Original Six team after all.
I’ve had two call-ups and think I’ve gotten better each time I’m up there. Just looking to get back there now.
Any bold predictions for the skills competition?
Hopefully a couple of wins for the Eastern Conference!
EOTP would like to thank Lindgren and Terry for taking the time to answer a few questions. We’ll have the results of the AHL Skills Competition, with the key moments for the IceCaps players, posted after the event. You can watch it live on Sportsnet starting at 7:30 PM EST.