Last year I got too worried about the score sheet," Lupul said. "Everyone was talking about goals and goals and goals, and I said I had to get some points. For me, I don't think I'm a top-end offensive guy, I'm more of a hard-working, physical player. I have a little bit of natural ability to get those goals.LOL
I was putting the pressure on myself to go out and score goals when maybe I should have been putting the pressure on myself to compete, work, play more physical and, in turn, the goals would have come. I think things just started off bad there. I never really found a line. I played with every guy on the team four times. I never got comfortable there."Kind of odd then, when you see Gagner and Nilsson, two rookies, out on the ice during crucial stages of the games.
"He was the type of coach that had a couple guys he was really comfortable with and he played them 23, 24 minutes a game," Lupul said. "The other guys had to scrap it out for the bottom 12 minutes. I never really got into that comfort zone with him. He never really trusted me as far as John Stevens does, as far as penalty killing and four-on-four play and last minutes of periods. It gives you a lot of confidence when you come in and a coach shows that much confidence in you.
Jason Smith, who was also included in the Lupul trade that saw the Flyers send Joni Pitkanen and forward Geoff Sanderson to Edmonton, has seen a completely new player.STORY
He came in with a new attitude this year," Smith said. "He was refreshed and looking for the opportunity to prove himself again this year. He's taking that challenge. He came to training camp in great shape and he's working as hard as he can every night.