(I recently caught up to Oil Kings goaltender and Flames prospect Laurent Brossoit after his trip to the memorial cup.)
Andrey Osadchenko: You are the MVP of the WHL playoffs this season. Did you feel that you lived up to expectations at the Memorial Cup?
Laurent Brossoit: Obviously, I did what I did in the playoffs. Then we came here and we lost 2 in a row in the round robin. I could have done a little bit more. I wasn’t there to make a statistical statement or anything like that. I wanted to win and leave those losses behind.
AO: Do you feel like you had a career season?
LB: I think this season has been huge for my career. It kind of got me on the radar. I’m hoping to take advantage of that and get even better.
AO: What do you think allowed to have such a great season? Maybe you changed something in your pre-season preparation?
LB: I think I just simplified my game. Last year I would try to make a big save all the time and kind of get in my own head. This year I just simplified everything – mentally and physically. I control my rebounds, I realized I don’t have to come out and make big saves all the time. I made sure this is my second priority rather than my first.
AO: You were on the national stage as the MVP of the WHL playoffs. Would you say that sort of pressure was something you could use to build from or it was unnecessary burden for you?
LB: I would have been there if I didn’t strive off pressure games. We showed a lot of character in the games against Portland. We bounced back when we were against the wall. I think this season I’ve improved a lot mentally where I needed to. I don’t as nervous in the games, I feel more confident in the net no matter what’s at stake in each game.
AO: Were the Flames getting in touch with you more often this season more than they used to?
LB: Yes. They were pretty good at getting in touch and having tabs on me. Definitely there’s more to come. Because obviously the more success I got, the more calls I get. They’re letting me know they’re happy with my performance and where my game’s headed. It’s flattering to know they’re supporting me.
AO: You came to the Memorial Cup fresh out of Game 7 of the WHL final series. How difficult was it for you to start a whole new tournament that quickly?
LB: Every day was Day 1. We needed to get used to the teams there. Everybody was saying that Game 1 is the toughest because you have to get used to the players and the way they play. I think we had to focus more on our own game. All of the teams were in the same boat with us – they had to get used to the way we play.
AO: Were the guys you were up against at the Memorial Cup any different from those that you played against in the WHL?
LB: I wouldn’t say so. I mean, the media hype always goes to such an extent that you get a little intimidated. You get there and you see all those Huberdeaus and Jurcos… And then you get out there, get a little settled and you realize that they’re probably just as intimidated of you as you are of them. You slowly realize that you can keep up with the pace of the game. I really didn’t notice any difference between the shooters at the Memorial Cup and the WHL.
AO: A lot of skaters were complaining about the ice conditions in Shawinigan. Has it affected you as a goaltender?
JB: I think the ice affect skaters a lot more than it does me. For more, if the ice doesn’t get dry quick enough before I get out there, I start cutting up the crease. They did a pretty good job making sure the Zamboni’s getting out there quickly. So there wasn’t a lot of complains for me.
AO: You were one the favorites among fans in Shawinigan because of your French heritage, which is a little bizarre for a guy who was born in Surrey, BC.
LB: My French comes from my grandpa. He was from Montreal, QC. And my grandma was from a French town in Saskatchewan. My parents don’t speak French. I went to French immersion school until grade 9. That’s why I speak a little French. But the only other person in my family who speaks French is my sister. That’s why I probably lost it so quickly.
AO: The atmosphere at the rink in during your first game against Shawinigan was just electric. What are the differences atmosphere-wise between the QMJHL and WHL?
LB: It’s definitely a different atmosphere. We have an NHL-size rink and it was very loud in Game 7 of the finals. To be honest, it actually felt like Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. In Shawinigan it was different. There were obviously not as many fans but they are definitely huge fans. Prety loud. It’s a small, confined rink so there’s different type of noise.
AO: You are one of the rare players it’s fun to follow on twitter. Maybe you don’t tweet a lot, but the things you tweet are rather enjoyable. What made you be that guy?
LB: Everybody on the team tweets clichés and obviousness. You know like “Game 7 tonight”. Just things that no one really cares about. I tweet what’s on my mind but obviously I try not to go out too far and get me in trouble.
AO: Is there any PR guy who watches everyone tweets?
LB: Coach tells us: ‘If you gotta think about what you’re tweeting, whether it’s appropriate or not, you probably shouldn’t send it out’. So if it gets back at coach, we get in trouble.
AO: You may be Team Canada’s goalie at the next World Juniors. Is it something you think about now?
LB: Well, just when people bring it up like this. It’s in the back of your mind. Obviously, it would be a huge honor. But those are the kind of things you don’t want to think too much about. You’d just add extra pressure on yourself. I just have to play well to be able to get there in the future.