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Dropping The Gloves - Mike Comrie

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PSR hockey writer Alex Nseir chatted with the Penguins new addition at training camp in September.

PSR hockey writer Alex Nseir caught up with new Penguins forward Mike Comrie, who signed a one-year contract with the club in the offseason. The 30-year-old Edmonton native could certainly center a third-line for the Pens, but he may prove even more useful playing on a top line with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Comrie made history, as well as a great first impression, by scoring the first-ever goal at the Consol Energy Center in the Penguins 5-1 preseason win over the Red Wings in September.

Alex Nseir: How is Pittsburgh treating you so far?

Mike Comrie:
It's great. People here have been accomodating and made me feel at home.

AN: What do you think of the Consol Energy Center?

MC:
They've done a good job. It's big but it still feels intimate and I think the ice surface is nice and bright. It's going to be an entertaining place to watch a game. I think that there's been a lot of thought in terms of design, from the dressing room to the concourse to the seating area. It's probably nice for the fans to know that they can sit anywhere in the building and have a good seat.

AN: I know it's too early to predict line combinations, but how have you felt skating with Evgeni Malkin?

MC:
He's a very skilled hockey player; he thinks the game at an elite level. If you're out there with him you've got to get him the puck because he can make plays to find you.

AN: Was one of your camp goals to prove that you'd be able to play on one of the top two lines with Sidney Crosby or Geno?

MC:
I think that the first couple days you just try to get your timing and then you try to get a little better every day. Once preseason ends and exhibition starts I think you have to turn it up another level. I'm sure guys that are playing with each other are going to try to find a chemistry as soon as they can.

AN: You have had 20 and 30 goal seasons in the past, but not since 2008. Do you think being on a team like the Penguins will increase your offensive production?

MC:
I have a great opportunity to play with great players in a system that's built for an up-tempo style. I think it will probably take a few games to get accustomed to it, but from watching and seeing clips and learning more about it, it's a system that's great for players that think the game.

AN: Many of these guys have finally gotten a chance to rest after consecutive trips to the finals. How has the energy level been?

MC:
I think that going deep into the playoffs, the way the game is being played nowadays, it takes a toll. So I think that with the extra couple of weeks of rest that everybody got over the summer, I think that everyone is excited and ready to go.

AN: Do you think that with that extra rest, and the personnel changed, that the expectations are higher this year for the Pens?

MC:
I think that when you have a group of guys that have been successful at the different levels they've played, there's always going to be a great expectation. The mentality here is that you want to play to win every game, and it starts in practice. We've got great habits that have developed here, and the leaders -- they're young, but they lead by example. It's been fun to be a part of, and I think that once the season starts everyone is going to be ready to go.

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