Fireside Chats: Eric Lindquist, November

Eric Lindquist has been the play by play commentator for the Worcester Sharks the last three years, and currently assumes the duties of Director of Public Relations and Broadcasting. He also won the Showcase Showdown on the Price is Right, but Plank and TCY were unable to confirm if he kissed Bob Barker upon winning. Mr. Lindquist was nice enough to be our resource for all things related to the Worcester Sharks during last year's run through the Calder Cup playoffs, and has returned to shed some light on the state of the San Jose Sharks' AHL affiliate in Massachusetts. You can catch Eric's play by play for all Worcester's games on WTAG AM 580, and visit the Worcester Sharks site for more info on the team. Enjoy.

[Editor's Note] We had the usual conversation with Eric this month, but also asked some questions about the city of Worcester and the experience of attending an AHL Sharks game. Those answers, along with additional questions about the Sharks prospects, can be found after the jump.

Alex Stalock has put up some impressive numbers through nine games this season, posting a 1.84 GAA .931 SV%. Has he shown that he could step up and contribute in San Jose if Evgeni Nabokov (who will be a UFA next season) is not brought back?

Stalock has been very impressive. He's gotten a lot of attention throughout hockey circles, mostly because his excellent stick work allows him to act as a third defenseman on the ice. Alex is real fun to watch, you can see his "fire" when he plays in net. He simply reeks of confidence. You can tell that the Sharks know they have a chance to win every time he is in net.

By most accounts, Nick Petrecki has struggled at the professional level so far. Do you see any problems with his game? In your opinion, what does he need to work on?

What accounts? Everyone forgets he is just twenty years old and only played two years at Boston College. Im my opinion, he has gotten better with every passing game. Nick has a presence about him, in addition to terrific size and strength. He also has a mean streak, and when he hits, the opposing player feels it. I look forward to seeing him play after 20 games, and 40 games...

Roy Sommer just achieved his 400th win, the fourth highest total in AHL history. What's his philosophy as a coach-- does he stress defense first, or does he encourage a dynamic and aggressive forward group?

Roy and [assistant] coach Cunniff follow the same system as the San Jose Sharks. When interviewing the players, they all seem to agree that Roy is a "players" coach. All the guys really enjoy playing with him. It helps that Roy has a great working relationship with Coach Cunniff; Cunny works with defensemen while Roy works with the forwards. Roy and Cunniff were roll up your sleeves type players when they played and they expect the same from their players.

Mashinter, Staubitz, McLaren. All have shown that they are willing to bring a physical presence to the ice. Who would you pick to be Jody Shelley's successor?

All three are REAL tough. Frazer McLaren blossomed at the end of last season, contributing on the PK and skating on a very effective third line. When he engages in battle, well, I can't recall a fight that he lost in a one-sided bout. However, he's not a "goon"; he's a tough guy who can play. Frazer dropped the gloves 21 times last year, good for a Worcester Sharks record.

Though 13 games Brandon Mashinter has fought 5 times and is 5-0. He'll take a punch to throw one, but usually only fights on his terms. He has played on the top line and shows some real offensive skills, and I think he'll only get better with confidence. He's a real exciting player to watch because he always seems to be involved in the game mentally and physically.

Lastly, Brad Staubitz is as tough as they get. The opposing team knows when he's on the ice. Staubitz has become a tremendous body checker and boasts a wicked shot. I would put Staubitz up pound for pound against any one in either league.

Eric was also kind enough to fill us in about what it's like to take in an AHL tilt in Worcester. If you're ever in Massachusetts and want to take in some Sharks hockey, consider this your guide.

Is there an establishment near the arena that fans get together at before the game? What's the atmosphere like?

The Uno's Chicago Bar and Grille across the street is usually busy before and after the game with Sharks fans, and sometimes players. Worcester is filled with nice bars and restaurants so there really isn't a true "meeting spot" before each game.

What's the best seat in the house to catch the game?

With the new seamless glass and rink there really isn't a "best" place to watch the game... every seat is a real good one. There are some real unique sight lines at the DCU Center, for instance, there are seats in the corners that almost jet onto the ice surface. The seats behind the goals are real close to the action, and the "balcony level" offers a real good look at the ice. Even when the arena is half full the building gets real loud because everyone is so close to the playing surface.

In terms of food and beverages, what vendors at the arena you would recommend?

You can't beat the $1 hot dogs on Wednesday night. The Charter Zone, a full service bar located behind the goal where the Sharks shoot twice offers a unique place to hang and watch the game while in a friendly bar setting.

Any interesting quirks to the building?

I really like our building. The broadcasters have one of the best looks in professional hockey with a makeshift platform at center ice above the press section. The bar located behind the goal is real cool and the seats behind the goals are unlike any other in the AHL.


Go Sharks.