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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich --
It is probably no coincidence that the common denominators during this incredible three-year run for the Griffins other than heads coach Jeff Blashill are the teams three veterans, captain Jeff Hoggan and defensemen Nathan Paetsch and Brennan Evans, who’ve done an incredible job of keeping this team relaxed even in along playoff run.
“It’s pretty loose," says Griffins defenseman Brennan Evans. "I think that comes with some of the veterans, we are pretty loose there is not a whole lot real serious guys in there, it’s loose and it’s fun but when it’s business time everybody gets pretty serious.”
“I had a friend with me after game one and he was around the locker room for game two and he said what a job your guys have done of just, they look poised, they look calm, they look like they are just focused on going to win a hockey game and that’s how we went out and played," said coach Jeff Blashill.
So how do the veterans handle the rookies? After all, the Griffins have some pretty high profile new guys like Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin, but Evans says they are taking it easy on them.
“They are actually lucky that we had two sleepers or else the rookie would be on the floor sleeping on yoga mats but we had two sleepers so right now it’s just emptying buses and cleaning up garbage on the bus I think is all they are doing," said Evans.
So, did Tyler Bertuzzi have to sleep on the floor on the way to Rockford?
“Ah, no, no," said Bertuzzi. "We had two sleepers so I had a nice bed.”
Has he ever had to sleep on the floor on any bus trip?
So Evans says rookies sleep on the floor, Bertuzzi says he’s never slept on the floor on a bus ride, so something doesn’t add up, best guess is the veterans are having just a little bit of fun at the rookie’s expense all in an effort to keep the team loose. They’ll try to do that game three Thursday night.