The Dallas Morning News indicates Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas recently returned from a 15-game stint with HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish Elite League.
Q: You had some good games and bad games in Finland (2 goals, 3 assists, -11 in 15 games), how do you feel about your overall play?
Robidas: It wasn’t as good as I would have hoped, and I probably put too much pressure on myself. The Finnish League is very good, and the challenges are really tough. The rinks are all different sizes, so sometimes you get a big European rink and sometimes you get a rink that’s closer to the NHL. You have to adjust game to game. It’s an intense league, so they play very hard.
Plus, HIFK is sort of like the Montreal Canadiens over there. We weren’t winning (13-13-5, ninth place) and you could tell that everyone there was under a lot of pressure. So, of course, I felt that pressure, too.
I would have liked to have done better.
Q: You played a lot of minutes there, getting over 30 minutes in one game. Where do you feel you are in your career right now at age 35? Are you comfortable playing fewer minutes if that’s what the Stars want from you (Robidas saw his minutes decline from 24:32 in 2010-11 to 22:46 in 2011-12)?
Robidas: I will do whatever the coaches want. I’ve always been that way. But I don’t think I have to cut my minutes back. I didn’t feel like conditioning was a problem. I had no problem with my hip (past surgeries), and my shoulder surgery (from the summer) responded very well. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to play, just to see how all of that was working.
I know we all get older, but I felt good, and I think I can play lots of minutes. If they decide I need to to play 18 or 20 minutes, I’m fine with that, too.