It was nice to get the first one out of the way.
You can't afford to go out there and watch too much, ... If you get caught watching, you're not going to get to the puck and not going to make good plays.
I'm not trying to be the next Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux, ... I am putting pressure on myself to do my best and perform to my potential -- that's all I can do.
I don't think there's ever a time where I step back and say I wish I was something different. I'm doing what I love to do.
I think to be great, you have to prove that you're the best year after year after year and show that by winning. I think that's something you have to earn. You have to prove that. I don't really think about it. I think that's something that's too far ahead for me.
I looked forward to it for a long time. It feels awesome. Yeah, I was happy. It's something you dream of, scoring in the NHL, and you only do it the first time once. It was big. There's a lot of emotion. The fans were great. It was so loud. I never expected to hear them (chanting) my name. You never expect that.
The defensemen went down and got out of position. So then the goalie had no choice but to play the shot so I knew Mark had an open shot. I gave him a quick look and got him the puck.
I'd love to have the opportunity to do that, ... Obviously I'm going to be a rookie, so I'm going to try to learn as much as a I can, be open-minded. And be a student. . . . I'm going to learn from one of the best guys in Mario Lemieux. So I'm going to try and be a sponge in that way and learn as much as I can from him.
I'm looking at it as short-term as possible. I want to have a good camp and push myself to raise my game as best I can. Obviously, this is a new level, but the pressure has always been there. I've always put a lot of pressure on myself to perform.
I'm trying to learn as much as I can out there, but I'm confident in what I can do.
I think I did all right but I want to improve. I don't think I'm happy with being average in that department and I want to make sure I compete with those guys. It was 50-50, I lost some battles.
was amazing. You don't have a choice but to play your best. They force you do do that because they're smart and that's the fun part for me, I'm being challenged to think faster and be creative.
I was anxious to get started. There was so much anticipation. I wanted to get in the routine of playing games. It was just nice to be on a team, not competing against these guys in camp [but] trying to work together to win.
Just being around him is going to help me ? the little questions about things in town, where things are, just seeing about how he goes about things every day, ... On the ice, it's good for me to see some of these older guys who've been in the league for a lot of years and see how they practice, just get into good habits. Being around those guys, it's going to rub off.
I feel comfortable, ... I'm definitely feeling challenged but with each day I gain more experience. I'm just trying to improve each day.
I want to play as soon as possible, ... You want to play but I don't pick and choose. It's not my job.
I can't believe it, ... For it to happen once, I was in shock. But this time, it's almost like ... 'It can't be real.' .
When you go through a time like we have, you go to basics. Get the puck at the net and play simple hockey, and try to get back (to winning) that way.
I look at it as a challenge, ... I'm not going to put too much added pressure on myself. I want to play in the NHL, and after that [happens], I can worry about things beyond that.
I expected the speed and the size of guys to be a little different than junior, and that I'd have to adapt to that. But as the first week's gone by, I think I feel pretty comfortable with that.
It's nice to finally get one. It's nice to be able to contribute.
I've always had a passion for hockey, ... That's the key. You can't be putting in time. You have to enjoy doing what you do.
If I can contribute and help out, it feels good. It's nice, especially when stuff goes on.
I realize there will not be another Gretzky, and I will be the first one to say I will not break his records, ... But for him to say that I could, it means I am doing something right. It was probably the best compliment I could get. I'm going to remember it.
For me to look far ahead would be a lot of years wasted, and a lot of time and work wasted, ... I've done the same thing since I was six -- try to get better and have fun playing hockey.