Our second installment of Inside the IceMen’s ‘Interview Insider’ is with Center and Team Captain, Todd Robinson, who currently leads the team in points and assists.
Q: With 7 of the next 8 games coming on the road, what will be key in being successful away from home? What effect does a stretch of away games, such as this one, have on a team?
Robinson: We just have to keep it simple. Sometimes when you play at home you try to be a little fancy and I think going on the road, we just need to get out there and get pucks deep and throw pucks at the net. It’s going to be a good time for all of the guys to get to know each other too and that’s when a team comes together when you’re together for awhile. We’ve got a few games on the road here and next week we are gone all week, so we’re looking forward to it. Hopefully we can string some more wins together.
Q: What is the challenge in leading a team that has seen the kind of player movement the IceMen have seen this season?
Robinson: It’s new for me. I’m not used to guys coming and going all the time but it’s just trying to get everyone together with a common goal of winning games. We have to make those guys understand when they come in here that it’s not just for them to get in shape or to work on some things. It’s to do that, but also to come together with us and try to string together some wins. I think that we have a really good core group of older guys that know what it takes to win and it’s just a matter of getting everyone to buy into the same thing.
Q: How important was it to bring last season’s core group back for this season, considering the transition the organization is making?
Robinson: It was (important). I don’t think there are too many guys from last year, but I think we know what Rich (Kromm’s) systems are and we know how to execute them. It’s just trying to get the younger guys adapted to it because they’re coming from one system in St. Louis or one in Columbus or maybe from college or Juniors where they did something else. It takes a little time for everyone to get in the right mode and Rich’s system is something where if one guy isn’t doing what he’s supposed to do, then the system breaks down. So we need to get everyone on the same page and get it going.
Q: With recent improvement of the special teams, how vital is continued progress in that department to overall team success?
Robinson: It’s the most important part of the game almost, because there are so many penalties both ways that you can win games just on your power play and you can also lose games on your penalty kill. I think that the goalie is the best penalty killer on any team. They stop the puck and when our goalies are playing well, they give us a chance to win. That’s when we are successful.
Q: How do you connect the defensive play on this team with the progress being made by both goalies?
Robinson: They both work really hard and I think that it’s important to come to practice with the right attitude. If they play good, we have a chance to win and if they play so-so, it’s tough for us because that’s just how the game is. We rely on them and whenever we get a win, it’s because they’re playing well.
Q: You recently captured your 900th career assist. What does this milestone mean to you and what does it say about your game?
Robinson: It speaks to longevity for sure. I think that you have to play for a long time to accumulate something like that. It’s pretty cool because as you get older, you start reaching milestones and they’re all very nice. A lot of it tributes to the people I’ve played with, because I have played with a lot of good players who put a lot of goals in the net. I don’t know how many guys I’ve assisted on, but I’m sure it’s a few.