Light-scoring defensemen Darren McMillan and Shawn Germain gave a lot of interesting insights into their jobs that I wasn’t able to include in today’s story about the Reign’s light-scoring defensemen.
For one, both guys have been pretty much doing what they do for the Reign all their hockey lives.
“When I was like 15, I played a little bit more an offensive game, but I was playing in a town of 5,000 people (St. Paul, Alberta) — I was one of the better all-around players,” said Germain, who . “When you go to a certain level, you almost have to decide what you’re going to be. When I played juniors, I was pulled aside and told, ‘this is what you’re going to do’ … kill penalties, block shots.”
Said McMillan: “I always just wanted to do whatever I could to help whatever team I’m on win. That’s omeething I paws prtty good at doing. It’s good to know you can help in ways other than scoring. That’s one thing I can do. I’ve always been good at it.”
Since they don’t score goals, notch a ton of assists, or even have that great of a plus/minus rating, I asked each how he knows that he played a good game after it’s done.
“I wouldn’t say there’s any number you can put on it. It’s just a feeling you have,” Germain said.
For McMillan, “it’s just when I’m on the ice, stopping the other team from scoring, or having a good day penalty killing, making good passes out of my own zone, I feel I had a good game. That’s how I judge if I had a good game.”
Germain, however, did throw out one number that was somewhat of a marker of success: Stitches. This season, the 26-year-old said he’s had to get about 10 stitches to his face, “and this is one of my slower seasons.” In his life, Germain estimated he has received more than 200 from the back of his head to the front. “One year in juniors,” he recalled, “I had to get 40 in my ear on one shot.”
“I don’t mind the stitches to the face, it’s the blocked shots when you can’t feel your leg the next day. You become numb to it, to be honest.”