PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Penguins Forward Nick Spaling joined Trib Sports Columnist Rob Rossi and 93-7 The FAN co-host of The Starkey and Mueller Show, Chris Mueller for “Backchecking With The Pens,” a show that will air on Sportsradio 93-7 The FAN every Monday night.
Things opened up with Spaling talking about playing with injuries as the guys had mentioned watching Peyton Manning play in the AFC divisional playoffs with a torn quad.
“I had that torn labrum and played through the rest of the season,” he said. “That was a tough one.”
Spaling added he couldn’t imagine trying to play on a torn quad.
The Pens forward also talked about the wear and tear of an NHL season and players resting during the regular season to make sure they’re ready for the playoffs.
“Guys are playing high end minutes,” Spaling said “I think those guys who are playing high end minutes need to take some time and take what they can for rest. I think they need that.”
Spaling was acquired by the Pens as part of the James Neal trade that also brought the Pens winger Patric Hornqvist. Spaling talked about what it was like going through that process.
“Obviously it was a little awkward summer for me,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting a trade or anything. I definitely didn’t want to go to the arbitration.”
Since being traded to the Pens, Spaling has spent some time on the second line with center Evgeni Malkin and told the guys what it has been like working with the Pens star and if the language barrier has presented any problems for him.
“He’s been good actually. I didn’t know what to expect,” Spaling added. “He talks and talks about plays and never gets too angry on missed opportunities. Him bouncing ideas has helped my game.”
Finally Spaling discussed the gritty part of his game and what it’s like blocking shots and throwing yourself in front of NHL slap shots.
“I’m always hoping it hits right in the shin pads,” he said. “Pucks aren’t going to always hit you in a good spot. It’s part of the game”
Be sure to check out “Backchecking With The Pens” every Monday night at 6 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The FAN.