HFBoards

Go Back   HFBoards > NHL Eastern Conference > Atlantic Division > Toronto Maple Leafs
Notices

A Player Diary ... With Joe Nieuwendyk

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old
03-27-2004, 08:32 AM
  #1
TrueBlue
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hamilton, home of Pa
Posts: 1,588
vCash: 500
A Player Diary ... With Joe Nieuwendyk

Joe joined the Leafs as a home-town boy who's seen success everywhere he's played. Joe keeps you up to date throughout the season with his periodic player diaries.


-- Maple Leafs Centreman
March 24, 2003


It's been a while since my last entry, so I think a good place to start is leading up to the trade deadline.

It's always a tough time for a player. You try and say the right things to the media that is not a distraction and that you're focused on hockey, but deep down you know when you go home everyday and hear all the stuff that's going on, as a player you start to wonder if you could be traded.

Of course, in the media everything is more focused on the trade deadline and they've got 24-hour coverage on TV, something you don't see in New Jersey or Dallas, that's for sure. But that's just part of playing in the city and I don't think I'd have it any other way than to play in this environment and that's all part of it.

The whole trade-deadline scenario has kind of taken on a whole life of its own. It really can be a tough time for players. You could be uprooting your whole family.

When I found out I was traded to New Jersey two years ago I had just bought a house and had a baby. The way it can go is that you find out you're traded and three hours later you're on a plane and you just leave everything behind. That's always tough on your family that you leave behind and tough on you as a player.

It certainly isn't something that the players get as excited about as the fans maybe do.

There were a lot of names on our team floating around in rumours so it's always an uncomfortable time for players. I think everybody's pretty relieved when the deadline finally passes.

The result for us though was really quite pleasing and we got some pretty good acquisitions.

Brian Leetch is still one of the premier defencemen in the league as we saw with him getting the Offensive Player of the Week last week and to add a guy like that really solidified our lineup.

I know there was a lot of talk all season long about how we needed help on our blueline. Well this guy does a lot more than that. He solidifies everything back there and now you have a lot of options in the lineup as to who you put with who and I think that issue's been put to rest.

Ronnie Francis, with all the things he's done in his career, the experience factor and just the intelligence level in his playing style will really help us.

And who would've thought Calle Johansson? I don't think anyone expected that one and we sure didn't as players. But, here he is now playing regularly after sitting out all season long.

I'm sure we planned on easing him in a little slower but when Kenny Klee went down in Philadelphia he played around 25 minutes and that's a lot to ask of a guy who hasn't played in almost a year. He's the type of guy though who only needs a week or so to get ready and seems to skate so effortlessly that he's really settled in nicely thus far.

I've always liked Chad Kilger as a player. I've played against him for a long time and always thought he was tough to play against. Unfortunately it's a number game for him right now and hasn't got a chance to play yet, but I really think that there is a huge upside to him.

He's a big kid who skates well and shoots well so I think that he's an awfully good pickup for us as well.

In terms of my health, I feel good right now. I know I've had a history of some back troubles and have to be careful in my day-to-day activities, but right now I feel good. I'm making more of a concerted effort to strengthen my back, especially at this time of year.

As long as I'm not running around the house picking up the kids all day I think I'll be in good shape!

On the ice we've got quite a playoff race going on right now. I know I've never seen anything like it in the 17/18 years I've been playing. Usually at this time of year you can look at the standings and start to see where everyone's going to end up.

This year we don't know if we're going to finish in first or sixth, or even seventh. That's how tight it is. In a lot of ways though, I think that it's great.

It really does keep you on your toes and I'd rather have like this than maybe being way ahead in first place and not really playing for anything. I think it really keeps you focused on the games and can have you playing your best hockey at the right time of year.

Thanks for checking in with me and I'll talk to you in the playoffs.

Joe

TrueBlue is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 09:31 AM
  #2
Porn*
Registered User
 
Porn*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In your nightmares
Country: Israel
Posts: 33,615
vCash: 500
Send a message via MSN to Porn*
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
Joe joined the Leafs as a home-town boy who's seen success everywhere he's played. Joe keeps you up to date throughout the season with his periodic player diaries.


-- Maple Leafs Centreman
March 24, 2003


It's been a while since my last entry, so I think a good place to start is leading up to the trade deadline.

It's always a tough time for a player. You try and say the right things to the media that is not a distraction and that you're focused on hockey, but deep down you know when you go home everyday and hear all the stuff that's going on, as a player you start to wonder if you could be traded.

Of course, in the media everything is more focused on the trade deadline and they've got 24-hour coverage on TV, something you don't see in New Jersey or Dallas, that's for sure. But that's just part of playing in the city and I don't think I'd have it any other way than to play in this environment and that's all part of it.

The whole trade-deadline scenario has kind of taken on a whole life of its own. It really can be a tough time for players. You could be uprooting your whole family.

When I found out I was traded to New Jersey two years ago I had just bought a house and had a baby. The way it can go is that you find out you're traded and three hours later you're on a plane and you just leave everything behind. That's always tough on your family that you leave behind and tough on you as a player.

It certainly isn't something that the players get as excited about as the fans maybe do.

There were a lot of names on our team floating around in rumours so it's always an uncomfortable time for players. I think everybody's pretty relieved when the deadline finally passes.

The result for us though was really quite pleasing and we got some pretty good acquisitions.

Brian Leetch is still one of the premier defencemen in the league as we saw with him getting the Offensive Player of the Week last week and to add a guy like that really solidified our lineup.

I know there was a lot of talk all season long about how we needed help on our blueline. Well this guy does a lot more than that. He solidifies everything back there and now you have a lot of options in the lineup as to who you put with who and I think that issue's been put to rest.

Ronnie Francis, with all the things he's done in his career, the experience factor and just the intelligence level in his playing style will really help us.

And who would've thought Calle Johansson? I don't think anyone expected that one and we sure didn't as players. But, here he is now playing regularly after sitting out all season long.

I'm sure we planned on easing him in a little slower but when Kenny Klee went down in Philadelphia he played around 25 minutes and that's a lot to ask of a guy who hasn't played in almost a year. He's the type of guy though who only needs a week or so to get ready and seems to skate so effortlessly that he's really settled in nicely thus far.

I've always liked Chad Kilger as a player. I've played against him for a long time and always thought he was tough to play against. Unfortunately it's a number game for him right now and hasn't got a chance to play yet, but I really think that there is a huge upside to him.

He's a big kid who skates well and shoots well so I think that he's an awfully good pickup for us as well.

In terms of my health, I feel good right now. I know I've had a history of some back troubles and have to be careful in my day-to-day activities, but right now I feel good. I'm making more of a concerted effort to strengthen my back, especially at this time of year.

As long as I'm not running around the house picking up the kids all day I think I'll be in good shape!

On the ice we've got quite a playoff race going on right now. I know I've never seen anything like it in the 17/18 years I've been playing. Usually at this time of year you can look at the standings and start to see where everyone's going to end up.

This year we don't know if we're going to finish in first or sixth, or even seventh. That's how tight it is. In a lot of ways though, I think that it's great.

It really does keep you on your toes and I'd rather have like this than maybe being way ahead in first place and not really playing for anything. I think it really keeps you focused on the games and can have you playing your best hockey at the right time of year.

Thanks for checking in with me and I'll talk to you in the playoffs.

Joe


thats great... great guy!

where did you get that?

Porn* is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 10:00 AM
  #3
Schenn02
Registered User
 
Schenn02's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: abroad
Country: Canada
Posts: 10,732
vCash: 500
I love reading his player diaries. Its at mapleleafs.com

Schenn02 is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 10:39 AM
  #4
TrueBlue
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hamilton, home of Pa
Posts: 1,588
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Porn*


thats great... great guy!

where did you get that?
Yeah, it's at www.mapleleafs.com

Also, on the topic of Joe, here is an interesting article in the star. I loved the last quote.


Leaf foot soldier fits in
Ponikarovsky experiences tense rivalry with Sens

Nieuwendyk given major credit for being `fertilizer'


MARK ZWOLINSKI
SPORTS REPORTER

Alexei Ponikarovsky can tell you more about life in a government sports-military program in Russia than he can about the Battle of Ontario.

That's because Ponikarovsky spent five years in the program, playing for Moscow Dynamo. This is his first full season experiencing the intensity of Leafs-Senators games.

Those games have already been a slice of playoff-like hockey for the 23-year-old native of Kiev, Ukraine, whose excellent play has transformed him into a key performer the Leafs will call on when the post-seasons rolls around next month.

The dress rehearsal for the big show continues tonight when the Senators visit the Air Canada Centre before closing out the regular season next Saturday at home against the Leafs. Both of those games factor largely for the playoff hopes of the respective teams, which are only one point apart in the standings and have displayed all the bitterness that has characterized their rivalry for the past four seasons.

"Usually, I don't pay attention to all the stuff going on," Ponikarovsky replied when asked if Toronto-Ottawa matchups are the most intense of the season. "We as players are always talking about what the team is doing and doing it for our city."

Many Leafs readily admit that Ottawa has surpassed Montreal as a rival in terms of intensity and general dislike between the two clubs. Much of that has been fostered by a 12-5 record the Leafs compiled in dispatching Ottawa in three consecutive playoff rounds between 2000 and 2002.

In their last three games, the Senators have produced a 7-1 drubbing, followed by a 5-1 get-even Leafs victory and then a 5-4 overtime win for Toronto.

Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who is having a career season in points, became public enemy No.1 in Toronto during the 7-1 Ottawa win for his feigned stick toss. The Leafs thought he was mocking captain Mats Sundin, who was serving a suspension at the time for angrily flinging the shaft of his broken stick into the stands.

The Leafs battled back for their 5-1 win, a game accompanied by a one-sided punchout by Tie Domi over Shaun Van Allen and Leaf accusations that Alfredsson tried to end Sundin's season with a dangerous-looking hit to the knee.

Owen Nolan's famous "boo-hoo" retort followed the overtime game and was a response to the Senators' claims that most of their roster was barfing and shivering under blankets after a flu bug rampaged through their dressing room.

Ponikarovsky's role in the Battle of Ontario has been much less dramatic. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder's focus has been on trying to establish himself as a full-time player who has advanced a long way since first being called up from St. John's in the 2000-01 season. He has played 69 games this season with nine goals and 18 assists.

"We asked that question ... about a coming-out year," Leafs coach Pat Quinn said about Ponikarovsky.

"There were problems, the struggle with the language, homesickness maybe ... and then this year, saying maybe this is his last chance. But the two of them (Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov) have come a long way this season. They've fed off each other and I think they've been good for each other."

Ponikarovsky and Antropov are naturally drawn to one another. Both are tall, the same age, a pair of bookends who are affectionately dubbed the Kazonsky Twins by the Leafs.

They are indeed like like brothers. Ponikarovsky was only 15 when he entered the famed Moscow Dynamo program. Antropov, who was born in Kazakhstan, joined when he was 19 and they became roommates and immediate friends.

At the same time, though, the program demanded military service obligations be met. Failure meant permission to return to the country was cut off.

"I had my citizenship from the Ukraine at the time, but in the Ukraine they pushed me to go to play with Dynamo," Ponikarovsky said. "I tried to delay (involvement with the military), there were buyouts, I don't know. I just wanted to escape it."

Ponikarovsky was chosen by the Leafs in the fourth round of the 1998 draft, a miracle in his view since it was the same team that drafted Antropov.

The two youngsters had to overcome the language barrier and there was a time two seasons ago that one player openly chastised Antropov and told Quinn he refused to play on the same line as the youngster.

The difference today? Linemate Joe Nieuwendyk.

"It wasn't easy for them," Quinn said. "Joe didn't point any fingers. He talked about how to correct things. You could see the two of them grow, they were making a lot less errors.

"He was kind of like the fertilizer that made them bloom."

TrueBlue is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 10:44 AM
  #5
m-gro
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 193
vCash: 500
What a contrast to "the unnamed player who refused to play with Nik on the same line", eh?
I have so much respect for Joe, for his abilities and his character. I wish the team had acquired him a lot sooner than this season.

m-gro is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 10:56 AM
  #6
TrueBlue
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hamilton, home of Pa
Posts: 1,588
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by m-gro
What a contrast to "the unnamed player who refused to play with Nik on the same line", eh?
I have so much respect for Joe, for his abilities and his character. I wish the team had acquired him a lot sooner than this season.

I'm trying to think back 2 years ago who that unnamed player could be. I can't remember who he was playing on a line with. I was thinking if there was anybody it might have been Corson or possibly Green.
But what a guy Joe is. Even Pat Quinn on his half hour episode 'Pat's Perspective' after every home game, he keeps talking about Joe and how much he works with these kids. He said that after every game, he gives them accolades and tells them they did a great job. He went on to say in practice he is spends alot of time with them and has shown amazing patience with them. I think all that is all starting to show on the ice.

TrueBlue is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 11:49 AM
  #7
Mess
Global Moderator
 
Mess's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Country: Canada
Posts: 57,720
vCash: 500
I think Joey New ...Is directly responsible for making young Matty Stajan a better player on the ice and person off the ice as his room mate..

Mess is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 12:02 PM
  #8
Poignant Discussion
I tell it like it is
 
Poignant Discussion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Gatineau, QC
Country: Canada
Posts: 6,752
vCash: 1400
Send a message via MSN to Poignant Discussion Send a message via Yahoo to Poignant Discussion
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
I'm trying to think back 2 years ago who that unnamed player could be. I can't remember who he was playing on a line with. I was thinking if there was anybody it might have been Corson or possibly Green.
But what a guy Joe is. Even Pat Quinn on his half hour episode 'Pat's Perspective' after every home game, he keeps talking about Joe and how much he works with these kids. He said that after every game, he gives them accolades and tells them they did a great job. He went on to say in practice he is spends alot of time with them and has shown amazing patience with them. I think all that is all starting to show on the ice.
It was quitter Corson. Remember he only wanted to play with Green and Tucker

Poignant Discussion is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 12:48 PM
  #9
m-gro
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 193
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueBlue
I'm trying to think back 2 years ago who that unnamed player could be. I can't remember who he was playing on a line with. I was thinking if there was anybody it might have been Corson or possibly Green.
But what a guy Joe is. Even Pat Quinn on his half hour episode 'Pat's Perspective' after every home game, he keeps talking about Joe and how much he works with these kids. He said that after every game, he gives them accolades and tells them they did a great job. He went on to say in practice he is spends alot of time with them and has shown amazing patience with them. I think all that is all starting to show on the ice.
I really hope that Nieuwy is considering a coaching career when he retires from playing in the NHL. He'd be amazing!

m-gro is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 01:25 PM
  #10
TrueBlue
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hamilton, home of Pa
Posts: 1,588
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by NataSatan666
It was quitter Corson. Remember he only wanted to play with Green and Tucker

That's true, he built an alliance with Tucker and Green...do you see the way Green plays against the Leafs? Looks like he is out to settle scores with his ex-mates.

Two games ago, the guy comes across ice to fight Gary Roberts. Gary was a little surprised by it. Definitely some unfinished business there. Imagine playoffs if they meet? There will be fisticuffs.

TrueBlue is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 01:28 PM
  #11
TrueBlue
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hamilton, home of Pa
Posts: 1,588
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by m-gro
I really hope that Nieuwy is considering a coaching career when he retires from playing in the NHL. He'd be amazing!

No doubt he will. Either in Management or Coaching. Let's hope he stays with the Leafs organization. I feel pretty sure that he is with the Leafs to stay.

TrueBlue is offline  
Old
03-27-2004, 01:33 PM
  #12
TrueBlue
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hamilton, home of Pa
Posts: 1,588
vCash: 500
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Messenger
I think Joey New ...Is directly responsible for making young Matty Stajan a better player on the ice and person off the ice as his room mate..

Yeah Stajan has said before that in the Hotel room, Joe goes over lot of plays with him. I know he works with him a lot in practice on faceoffs.

TrueBlue is offline  
Closed Thread

Forum Jump


Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:48 PM.

monitoring_string = "e4251c93e2ba248d29da988d93bf5144"
Contact Us - HFBoards - Archive - Privacy Statement - Terms of Use - Advertise - Top - AdChoices

vBulletin Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
HFBoards.com is a property of CraveOnline Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. 2014 All Rights Reserved.