What does a goal, albeit in a scrimmage, do for your confidence? You seemed to be flying out there.
Peter Holland: Just a good start to training camp, I guess. It just felt good to get on the board. It just feels good to be back on the ice with everybody with the intensity where it is. It seemed like it definitely picked up a notch from the beginning of the week when we were still doing our summer skates.
You opened up on the wing. Do you still see yourself up the middle if the opportunity presents itself?
Holland: I think I’m a hybrid guy. Wherever they need me to play, I’m happy to play – whether it’s center or left wing. Obviously they started me on the left wing; I saw it on the lineup coming into camp. I’m happy to fill that role for now, but if something changes we’ll address it then.
What are you looking for game to game now that you’ve established yourself in the NHL in your mid 20s?
Holland: Just continue to develop my game and get better, and continue earning the trust of management and Babcock and the rest of my teammates, and just try to help this team get back on the winning track.
How different is it this year coming into camp, where you guys were learning everything that he wanted you to do [last year], and now have a year under your belt?
Holland: It’s definitely easier for a guy like me, who has been through a season with him. The systems are already ingrained in my mind. I know there are some young guys up here having their first training camp who are obviously having their first learning curve. It’s going to be an experience for them, but for guys who have been here for the past year, it’s definitely a little bit easier.
I’m sure you watched the World Cup like everybody else. What did you make of the speed with the young guys team, and how that’s becoming part of the game now more and more?
Holland: It was amazing. North America was my favourite team to watch in the tournament. Just so fast and skilled, and it seemed like they always had the D on their toes. They were a lot of fun to watch. McDavid, Matthews and I think it was Eichel as a line, or Scheifele. It was pretty impressive.
Anything surprise you about Matthews? Obviously he had the billing of the number one pick, but until you see him in action you don’t really know what you’ve got?
Holland: That’s the most I’ve seen him play just because he’s been over in Europe the last couple of years. So it’s the most coverage I’ve seen. To say I’m surprised I don’t think would be fair. He’s the first overall pick, so there’s obviously been a lot of hype around him. I think he’s just living up to that right now. He looks like a real good player.