Latendresse ; i can lose my spot
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09-13-2008, 04:55 PM
Next Day's News
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Full City
For everyone who doesn't read French well:
Latendresse: "I have a spot to lose in camp"
(1st & 2nd paragraphs just say he's worked hard offseason, trained in Ontario with Paul Lawson, a buddy of Timmins'. Joined by his bro, Valentenko & Canucks pick Cody Hodgson. He was the best player on the ice, and his skating: His skating looked more fluid. He also seems faster. (according to the writer.)
"I tried to fix certain weaknesses," said Latendresse earlier this week. "My style of skating is a little different. I think it's more explosive. I'm also more confident on my skates, I have better balance."
"I watched my diet. I think I've put effort in the right place," said the big winger, who is almost 10 pounds lighter.
Latendresse intends to continue this regime for years to come. "I will improve progressively," he said. "I should be at my best in 5 or 6 years, when a hockey player reaches their peak."
A competitive camp
The Ste-Catherine native knew what he had to do something when he decided to follow this program of improvement. Last season, his second in the NHL, left a bitter taste in his mouth. In 73 games, he scored only 16 goals and 11 assists, a poorer showing than the previous season (16-13-29). His ice time dpped a bit from 12:15 / game to 12:36 / game.
At 21 years old, this is Latendresse's 4th camp in Montreal. A camp where young players like Matt D'Agostini, Kyle Chipchura, Greg Stewart, Mathieu Carle and Valentenko will have a tough job cracking the lineup. Latendresse himself wants to avoid a nasty surprise.
"This will be a very competitive camp," he said. "The team has talent as well as depth. I know that I have a spot to lose."
Latendresse isn't counting on playing on the first 2 lines, where the additions of Robert Lang and Alex Tanguay have created a crowd.
"I'd like to be the left winger on a stable third line," he offered. "I would like to be promoted to the top 2 lines if and when my play merits it."
Nevertheless, Latendresse will have stiff competition. The Canadiens will give Max Pacioretty every chance to prove himself. The Habs owe him that after signing him to a pro contract after only 1 year in US college hockey.
[note: I'm not sure the word "owe" fits here accurately, take that with a grain of salt]
Other than that he's taking care of his boy, enjoys being a father, and says being a dad has changed him for the better,
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