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01-04-2013, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Cory Conacher tries to not think about what could have been.
With the National Hockey League and the players’ association still working to resolve the lockout, the 5-8, 179-pound winger, who was expected to be a candidate for the Calder Trophy, knows that nothing is guaranteed.
"Even if the NHL figures it out and I get a chance to play in Tampa, I can't expect to be the best player and get all the points," Conacher said. "I have to do the little things that will help Tampa Bay win, and that's what is most important."
After a successful rookie season, Conacher has put up 12 goals and 15 assists in 32 games this year. It's not quite the pace he set last year, but the points that matter to Conacher are the two in the standings.
"That happens, guys get in slumps," he said. "Luckily for me, I've been in a slump here and there, but our team has been winning."
Conacher has continued to work on those little things that will get him to the next level, whether it's blocking shots, finishing checks, or occasionally dropping the gloves.
The multiple marks on his nose are evidence of the last item on that list. Conacher finished off a Gordie Howe hat trick Dec. 29 against St. John's.
"The second fight didn't go as smoothly as the first one," Conacher said while smiling.
Despite being caught with a hit up high late in his shift, Conacher engaged the IceCaps player.
"Last year, I'd get hit like that and wouldn't do anything," he said. "This year, I have that element in my game where if something dirty happens, I'm not scared to drop the gloves anymore."
Even with all the success and his game rounding out, Conacher still doesn't look back on what could have been – whether he had been drafted, signed by a different team or if he was in the NHL now.
"Everything happens for a reason," he said.
"It's still All In to me dammit." - Felonious Python
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