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Tuesday @ The Rink

CHAT LIVE With Minnesota Forward Ryan Potulny

Welcome to the CSTV.com moderated chat room!

On Tuesday, December 6 at 2:00 p.m. ET, Minnesota forward Ryan Potulny pays a visit to "Tuesday @ The Rink", presented by CSTV.com and USCHO.com. Potulny is the Gophers leading goal scorer this season and is second in points.



Ryan Potulny


Junior forward Ryan Potulny is off to a great start in 2005-06, as he leads the No. 4 Golden Gophers in goals and is second behind Phil Kessel in points.

Potulny was Minnesota's third leading scorer in 2004-05, as the Golden Gophers returned the the NCAA's Frozen Four. He was a third-team All-WCHA selection, finishing with 24-17-41 scoring totals. He set career highs in goals, assists, points, penalty minutes, power-play goals and game-winning goals. He tied for the team lead in goals with Danny Irmen and led the team in power-play goals.

A graduate of Lincoln Southeast High School in Lincoln, Neb., Potulny spent two seasons with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL, where he was a teammate of fellow Golden Gopher Danny Irmen. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers with the 87th pick in the third round of 2003 NHL Entry Draft.


** GET YOUR QUESTIONS IN NOW!!: Ryan won't be stopping by until 2:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, December 6th, and his time will be limited, so feel free to submit your questions now and we'll save them for his arrival!
CSTV.com Moderator: Welcome back to "Tuesday @ The Rink". Our Golden doubleheader continues as we are now joined by Minnesota forward Ryan Potulny.
Ryan Potulny: Hi. How is everyone tday? I'm ready to take your questions.

Mike (Minneapolis): Ryan, Congrats on a great individual season so far. I've followed the team for the last 10 years and one thing that troubles me about the team this year is the inconsistent effort level. Why is it that the team seemed to lack intensity against Wisconsin?? I've followed our teams long enough to know that if this team can put together high effort levels all the time you can get back to the frozen four. Thanks for always being a classy player that makes me proud to be a fan of the M.
Ryan Potulny: Hi Mike, thank you for your support. This team is going through a little bit of a learning curve right now. This year some of our key players are younger guys and it is hard for them to realize that in college hockey you have to show up every night. I think that also is pinned on the older guys and we need to be better leaders.

Tim (Miami): Ryan, It seems like Coach Lucia is always juggling the lines until March. Do you think this helps the team, or would you prefer to stick with the same linemates for atleast the second half of the year, or until you find a good line combo? GO GOPHERS!
Ryan Potulny: Personally, Tim, I would rather have a line combo and stick with it. But Don knows what he is doing and he likes to try and juggle until he can find a good combo. He said that last year some linemates got too comfortable and didn't have the zip at the end of the year.

Dave (Menomonie, WI): Ryan, with all the young talented players coming into the gopher hockey program this year there has been high expectations for this team. Do you think this has affected your team chemistry.
Ryan Potulny: No, not at all. It can be hard at times when you get high end recruits but the recruits that Don brings in are very classy kids. Once you get into the Gopher lockerroom and start looking around you really get humbled as a freshman. We will continue to build team chemistry throughout the season and will be as strong as ever toward the end of the year.

Shad (Alexandria, MN): What do you attribute to your success on scoring while on the power play? Go Gophs!
Ryan Potulny: I attribute the scoring to the 4 other guys on the ice with me. I am lucky enough to play with excellent players. I love to shoot the puck and on the power play I seem to get more opportunities.

Alex (Coon Rapids): Ryan, does playing for a school that's got so many rivals both in and out of conference help keep you focused, with the number of "rivalry games" you play?
Ryan Potulny: It can be a positive and a negative. It's a positive because we have more rivalries and we get up for those games and it keeps us focused at times. The negative is that it seems like we are everyone's rivals. Everyone wants to beat the Gophers.

Josh (Grand Forks): Ryan, how much extra pressure do you feel to have an outstanding individual performance when you come home to Grand Forks?
Ryan Potulny: I do feel a little bit of pressure on me coming home in front of my family and friends, but I have learned over the years to thrive off of the pressure and love playing at the Ralph. My teammates do an excellent job of taking some of the pressure away as well.

Jon (Fargo): Ryan, do you personally do anything different when preparing for a weekend series at North Dakota.
Ryan Potulny: I treat it as I would any other big weekend. I try to stay intense and focused throughout the week and really have a good week of practice.

jeff, in minny: Any regrets not playing for your home town Sioux?
Ryan Potulny: HAHAHA. No. They are an excellent team and have a great program, but I love playing for Minnesota's Pride on Ice, the Gophers.

Dave (Menomonie, WI): Ryan, your brother Grant was a great player at Minnesota and I see several similarities. I was wondering if you patterned your game after his or if he had much of an influence on your game.
Ryan Potulny: He has had the biggest influence on me my entire life. I have looked up to him my whole life and the main thing that I try to learn from him is his work ethic and passion for the game.

David (Minnetonka, MN): It seemed like you and Danny Irmen meshed together really well last season...how has the shift in lines that's put him with Phil Kessel affected your own play this season?
Ryan Potulny: I feel that right now with Phil so inexperienced it is nice to have Danny on his line to help out, as is the same with Blake and I. For myself, I don't let line combos affect my play. I play hard every night and try to be a player who helps his linemates look good. I have been paired with Wheeler and he is a great player.

Chris Thompson (madison): Minnesota had a tough series against the UW Badgers last weekend; where does UW goalie Brian Elliot line up in comparison to other goalies you have competed against in your career ?
Ryan Potulny: I think he is a great goalie. It is hard for me to compare him as one of the best in my career because I have only played him twice. I think that the system and defense that he has around him also helps him out.

Mike (Minneapolis: Ryan, Other than yourself who in your opinion is the best all around player you've skated with at the U?
Ryan Potulny: Danny Irmen, Troy Riddle, Keith Ballard and Gino Guyer.

Tim (Miami, FL): Ryan, What do you think needs to be improved upon the most in order for the Gophers to reach the Frozen Four this year?
Ryan Potulny: I think we need to find our identity. The Gopher teams in the past have always been fast skilled teams that pay with grit and hate to lose. In the past couple of years, nobody has wanted to play the Gophers and I think we need to get our swagger back. For us to do that, it starts in practice and we need to develop better habits, and as of Monday we have already started our better practice habits.
CSTV.com Moderator: Ryan has to run to practice, so that is all the time we have with him this afternoon.
Ryan Potulny: Thank you all for the questions and for your support of Minnesota hockey.
CSTV.com Moderator: Join us next week for another "Tuesday @ The Rink" doubleheader, when we will be joined by Northern Michigan Head Coach Walt Kyle and Dartmouth Head Coach Bob Gaudet. See you next Tuesday at 1PM Eastern.

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