Another installment of our Q and A with Steve Schuster, the Voice of the Thunder:
Long: Steve, you have seemed a little grumpy lately. I can think of three possible reasons:A. You like the Mets, and that organization is a mess. True.B. You know I like the Yankees, and youre jealous that my team is about to win its 27th World Series. False.C. You went all Bobby Brady and hung from a bar for hours, but it didnt work. You’re still short.
Schuster: A. True. B. False. C. Sure.Long: OK, down to more serious matters. Did you know I’m 6 feet 3, inches tall?
Schuster: On skates?
Long: You saw the last road game at Mississippi: What exactly happened in the closing minutes?
Schuster: Well, you could see the first goal coming. Mississippi pressured in the zone for an entire power play, and while Wichita killed it off, the RiverKings took advantage of what appeared to be a tired line and scored as soon as the penalty expired. I think the next two goals that were allowed were just a matter of lack of focus in a short period of time. That happens from time to time, and if you asked anyone on the team, they'd tell you it's something they won't let happen again. Wichita had lost 10 straight games in that building and had not won in nearly three years, so it's fitting that there was some tension at the end.
Long: How did Tim Boron look in that game? He has been battling a pretty nasty illness; did he show any ill effects?
Schuster: He really looked great. He was 1:44 away from a shutout. In fact, after Mississippi closed within one goal, Boron made two huge saves on shots taken in the slot to hang on to the lead. He said he was about 85 percent in the game, which is a good sign. There really wasn't any point in the game where you could tell he had missed over a week's worth of action. The illness was pretty severe, so it's good that he was finally able to get back out. A week off at home and two home games this weekend should help the recovery process too.
Long: Overall, what newcomer has impressed you the most through five games?
Schuster: Glenn Detulleo has been everything Brent Bilodeau had hoped. He's got speed, great hands, and great vision. Every time he touches the puck, he seems to be able to create a play. He has the skill to beat a defender one-on-one. He played on the same line with Jason Duda over the weekend for a lot of shifts, and the two seemed to really work well together. He is also a fantastic person off the ice, and it's not a surprise that he was voted as one of the team's captains.Long: It looks like Jordan Little and Kyle Bruce are close to hitting the ice for games. Which player will make the greatest impact?
Schuster: It's unfair to compare a forward to a defenseman since in general; different things are asked of those positions. Both bring an excellent physical presence to the ice and neither one is afraid to mix it up with the opposition. Little will help toughen up the blue line and should make whoever he pairs with defensively a better player. Fans know how tough Kyle Bruce is, and he also has the ability to put up some points. His scoring numbers in England were good last year, and he came up with some clutch goals in Wichita two seasons ago.
Long: The Thunder simply hasnt been able to generate many shots? Why not?
Schuster: Brent Bilodeau attributed it to trying to hard to go for the "pretty play." Though the final numbers don't show it, the Thunder improved on this on Sunday, when they outshot the RiverKings 15 to 6 in the second period and subsequently outscored them 3 to 0. The trend reversed in the third, when Wichita was outshot 22 to 4, so it will be important to get back to what they were doing in the second period of that game as the season moves forward.
Long: As always, we ask you to take us behind the Thunder curtain. What Thunder employee is most likely to create a paper jam in the copier and slink away without fixing it?
Schuster: I think I use the copier more than anyone else, so based on odds, I would be the most likely to cause a paper jam. As far as walking away from it, only a Yankees fan would be capable of that type of behavior.
Long: The Thunder has home games on Friday and Saturday against 0-4 Missouri. Anything less than a sweep would be a big disappointment, right?
Schuster: It's hard to sweep any team, though Missouri got pounded 8-1 by Odessa last night and are now 0-5-0. One thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of ex-Blazers on the Mavericks' roster, so they might be amped up to rekindle the old rivalry. If the Thunder plays the way they did for most of Sunday, then I think fans will be happy with the results this weekend.
Long: I heard all Thunder employees are dressing up for the game on Saturday night. The cool thing for you is that you can fit into most kids costumes, so the options are limitless. What do you think you will dress up as?
Schuster: If you know where to find an old St. Louis Browns jersey, I could dress as Eddie Gaedel.