Troy was kind enough to take some time on Monday to chat with Kevin and I about very pressing issues such as stick tape and nicknames. We caught him just as he was finishing attempting to get Dan Carr to crack up during an interview.
|G.R.O.S.E.N.I.C.K System In Action|
Troy was in the top 10 for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and put up amazing numbers this season (22- 5 - 3, a save percentage of .936%, and a goals against average of 1.64 goals per game). If you haven't seen it already, here is just one of his highlight reel goals that he made last weekend. Dude's real good.
UHB: How does the system in front of you benefit you as a goaltender?
Troy: Playing behind a defensive system like we have, guys keep shots to the outside. They stress blocking shots from the point, D Men fronting shots. Our D Men are great at clearing shots. All of that really makes my job way easier.
UHB: How do you explain your ability to make clutch reflexive saves?
Troy: It comes down to battling, doing whatever you can to keep it out of the net. You always have to live by the motto that you’d rather get hit by a bus than let one in. You do whatever it takes to keep it out of the net and sometimes that means making some crazy looking saves.
UHB: Do you think spending a year not starting in goal helped you develop better?
Troy: Definitely. Going into it, you never realize, going into it, what you can gain. For me, it was the first time I was ever a backup, so it took some time to adjust from that. Learning from Corey and Keith helped me realize what it was going to take to be successful at the college level. Knowing that you probably won’t be playing on the weekend, you can do so much more work both on the ice and in the weight room. You don’t really need to manage your energy as much. On a thursday, even if you feel your legs being taxed, you know that you don’t really have much to save it for, so you can work that much harder. When you’re a starter, on a thursday, you really need to watch how your legs feel and make sure you’re ready to go for Friday night.
UHB: Do you have any go to pregame meal or ritual?
Troy: Meals: Whatever the team is eating, which is usually chicken or pasta, maybe some veggies. Ritual: Not too much out of the ordinary. My roommates, Ikkala and Jooris, and I always walk the same route from our dorm to the rink. We have a little dance party on our way up just keeping it loose. Once I get to the rink, I stretch out, juggle a little bit, visualize, and then get back to team warmups.
UHB: Would you say you thrive under pressure or do you not let pressure get to you?
Troy: I try to approach things the same way no matter what. To me, pressure is built up by the media. Playoffs are win or go home but I try to approach every game the same way. I think that helps with consistency mainly. Knowing that if you stick with what has gotten you there makes you successful in the long run.
UHB: How do you stay focused in a game? Do crowds like the UMass fans at Bridgeport get under your skin?
Troy: No. I try to keep it between the boards during the game. As far as staying focused, I have some key words: Challenge, check puck, big chest and those things allow me to focus on what I think it takes to play well and that’s really all I’m focused on; to play well and the puck. You’ve got to keep in all within the glass.
UHB: Why is it that the majority of goaltenders wear white pads and what do you think about black tape on a white goalie stick?
Troy: Black stick tape on a white stick is just awful style. I’ve never done black tape just because I feel like when the puck is at your feet, you can lose it in the black tape so I think that’s why most goalies use the white tape. As for the white goalie pads, I think there has been a study, I don’t know how scientific it was but, I think white pads look bigger than predominantly colored pads. I know that’s why Marc Andre-Fleury switched from gold pads to white pads. People told him he looked bigger, so he kept with them so I think that’s why goalies have been doing it.
UHB: Opinion on puck playing goalies?
Troy: If you can do it, and do it well, I think it adds a huge element to your game. Defensemen always like a guy that’s playing the puck well because it makes life easier on them. They don’t have to go head for a puck in the corner when they can’t really see what’s behind them. A good puck playing goalie is huge but at the same time, if you’re playing the puck and you’re not really good at it, you can get the team into a lot of trouble really quickly.
UHB: What exercise or practice is the best thing for a young, aspiring goaltender?
Troy: Make sure you’re stretching every day. That’s huge for goalies, flexibility. That, and a lot of foot quickness off the ice as well as juggling and any hand eye coordination. Those are the biggest off ice things I can recommend.
UHB: Who is the best goaltender in the NHL?
Troy: Henrik Lundqvist is hard to argue with. I think that there are so many guys out there that are good for so many different reasons. Timmy Thomas has the greatest battle level. There is something to be said about that. The guy is just a diehard competitor. As far as a goalie that I like to emulate the most, I’d go with Pekka Rinne. He’s a stud.
UHB: Favorite movie/book?
Troy: Book: I don’t know. There are so many. (Struggle) The Game by Ken Dryden is probably the one that made the biggest impact in my life.
Movie: Step Brothers is up there with me so I’ll go with that
UHB: What is being played a lot in the locker room right now?
Troy: I’m not a DJ. A lot of Avicii, deadmau5.
UHB: How have your saves being on SportsCenter changed the amount of Facebook friends you have?
Troy: Facebook, not so much. Twitter, that one blew up. That one, I got a lot of request in the past couple of days.
UHB: Who has the best nickname on the team?
Troy: Jooris. He’s got Ja-booooonnnnneeee. I’d go with Jooris.
UHB: Favorite off-ice activity (a whole day without obligations, what would you do?)
Troy: Relax. Sit on the couch and watch TV with the guys. Maybe do some facebook creeping. Maybe play some video games.
UHB: Favorite hockey themed band?
Troy: Five for fighting. Easy.
Thanks to Troy for the interview.