Monday, December 28, 2009

A few minutes with…Jason Deitsch

After over a month on Injured Reserve, the 2009 Playoff MVP talks about getting back into the game

He was the 2009 Playoff MVP, scoring 26 points (11 G, 15 A, +9) in 16 games culminating in the Ray Miron President’s Cup Championship win in May. Last season, Jason Deitsch tallied 44 (20 G, 24 A, +18) points in 36 games played, including 15 points (7 G, 8 A) on the power play and seven game winning goals and 71 penalty minutes. He was called up to the Houston Aeros (AHL) for 28 games where he contributed 15 points (4 G, 11 A).

This season, Deitsch has scored 12 points (3 G, 9 A) in 16 games, including a power play goal in Saturday night’s loss to the Allen Americans. Out for almost five weeks with a shoulder injury, he has returned to the active roster and is ready to make a run for the playoffs.

I spoke to Jason after Sunday’s win against the Wichita Thunder. Here is our conversation.

Q: You’ve been out for almost five weeks; how did it feel getting back into the game on Saturday night?

A: It felt really good to get back out on the ice. Five weeks is a lot of time off. I just did what I could to stay ready and I thought I had a good game…It feels good to be able to be back out on the ice with the team and help them battle through the stuff we’ve been going through, so it’s good to be back.

Q: You scored one of the Brahmas rare power play goals…how did it feel to get that score in your first game back?

A: Oh, it felt really good. To get the power play goal, which is something we need to do…for me to get one in my first game back was good for my confidence.

Q: It’s been a rough season for the Brahmas thus far with player changes and a really tough schedule for the first six weeks. It seems like the guys are getting on the same page and back in the groove. How has it been in the locker room for all the guys just trying to get through this part of the season?

A: It’s been good. I think the Christmas break helped, giving guys a little time off. Some guys got to go home and see their families. We’re starting to come together as a team and we’re a little more stable with the guys here now; there’s not so many guys coming in and out. It’s good and if you have a new guy come in, we’ll just welcome him with open arms and make sure he does his part to help us get on the right track to get back to where we want to be like we were last year.

Q: You seemed to be a target for other teams in many of the early games this season. It seemed like guys were going after you left and right. Then Hiebert comes in and all of a sudden, the target’s off your back. Am I right there – did you notice that?

A: Uh, I noticed it early in the year. I don’t know – it felt like I had a target on my back tonight (laughing); it’s probably because I was on a line with Hiebert. I don’t know, I mean, obviously if I’ve got a target on my back, it means I’m doing my job. It comes with the game and I enjoy that part of the game. You’ve just got to battle through it and do what you can to help the team win.

Q: They say the tougher thing than winning the cup is defending it. So far this year, again, it’s been rough. You guys seem to be on a good track. What’s your outlook for the rest of the season?

A: Our ultimate goal is first off, to get to the playoffs and then battle our way back to win a championship. I think over the last few weeks when I was injured, we made some strides in the right direction and I think we just have to continue to build on that. We have a big week this week. We just played two games and we have four more games in the next seven days, so we just have to stay focused. We have to just take it one game at a time and one shift at a time and keep this thing going in the right direction.

Q: Let’s talk a minute about the Allen Americans. It’s been a hell of a rivalry so far and it’s split down the middle in wins and types of wins. They’ve been a tough opponent. Are you surprised that they came out of the gates as an expansion franchise with such a good and such a tough team?

A: No, not really. It’s really no surprise. The assistant coach there, Bill McDonald has been around for a long time. I knew with him there, that he would have some connections and know a lot of players. You know, it’s all about just finding the right players and finding players that play well together. They do a great job playing well together. They have a big, strong team, so it’s been a good battle between us. It’s a good cross-town rivalry. We just have to keep it going.

Q: On a personal side, you’ve got a new baby at home. How’s it going – are you getting any sleep?

A: She’s been wonderful. The first eight weeks or so, we’ve been up a little bit in the middle of the night but for the last four or five weeks, it’s been perfect. She sleeps through the night. It’s been really good...I hope I don’t jinx myself with that (laughing). She’s been unbelievable; a blessing.

Photo Credits: Robert Keith

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