Quick Hits with Battochio

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:37 AM ET

Q.H.: What rituals or good luck charms simply have to be a part of your pre-game routine? D.B.: None, really. I usually eat something light, salad, sandwich, soup ... get to the rink about two hours before the game and pretty much do the basic stretches. I like to throw a rubber ball against the wall and catch it, just to get my hand-eye coordination going. But that's about it.

Q.H.: You've been known to be vocal during the game.

D.B.: I just like to let the ref know if he isn't seeing things. I'm not out there to cause any trouble or anything like that. I stand up for myself, too. I'm just not going to let someone push me around.

Q.H.: How scary was it to wake up on the floor the Christmas morning before last, after your body had violently shaken itself out of bed, and later informed you have arterial venus malformation, which is essentially a blood clot on the outside of the brain that could burst at any time?

D.B.: It was scary when it happened ... it's hard to put in words how I felt, actually. I never knew anything about what I had. You look back, though, and it went by very quick. It was just one of those things where I put it in my head that, lets get (the surgery) done and hopefully I'll get the best results, and that's what happened. I got the best care, the best support ... I had family behind me, friends, fans ... I had the best of everything.

Q.H.: What was it like practising with Dominek Hasek throughout the season?

D.B.: Incredible. It's hard to pick up things, with his style, but actually I think I have. Just to look at how he comes out on the ice, how he looks at things on the ice coming at him, you just learn a lot. As much as you enjoy him being around you, if you want to learn you have to watch him, too.

Q.H.: The run you're on ... is there a lineup of girls who want to date the hottest goalie in the OHL?

D.B.: No, no, no. None whatsoever. I have a girlfriend at home, and I've been with her pretty much for a couple of years now. So I don't see that in any way.

Q.H.: Which teammates most needed a reminder to keep the shots down in warmup?

D.B.: The guys aren't so bad now. But I think earlier in the season, the Czechs (Lukas Kaspar, Jakub Petruzalek) would get their shots a bit high. And they have hard shots. But everyone is pretty much in control of their shot now, and that's good to see.

Q.H.: Who has the hardest shot on the team?

D.B.: If (Brad) Staubitz gets something behind his shot, he can really blow, so does Chris Hulit. He has a pretty hard shot to stop ... he can pick the corner, too.

Q.H.: Like Hasek, Todd White and Dan McGillis have been skating with the 67's during the NHL lockout. How has it been facing those players?

D.B.: They're real, real smart with the puck. They come in on you and make it look they're going one way, but they have that talent to put it somewhere you're not even thinking. They do a lot of that, they trick you, play mind games with you. You've got to watch that ... be patient with them.

Q.H.: Your favourite way to spend a day that doesn't include hockey?

D.B.: On a nice sunny summer day, I'd go out, shoot a round of golf, come back for a swim and have a barbecue. Then just relax by the pool or the beach, spend time with some friends. That'd be fun.

Q.H.: What do you think of at the mention of the name Zack Stortini, the Wolves giant captain who has spent a lot of time in your face lately?

D.B.: He's a good friend of mine. When I was there in the summer, we used to skate together. He's a great guy ... he's kind hearted. He's working hard. People think other things of him, but I think he's just doing his job. He's trying to get under my skin a bit, but he's just trying to play his role.

Q.H.: What's your favourite breakfast?

D.B.: I love my bacon and eggs.

Q.H.: Where do you see yourself in five years?

D.B.: Just being successful, doing something I like. Whether it be playing hockey still or, if not, getting a career in something. And starting a family.

Q.H.: Is the NHL in your future?

D.B.: Yeah, there's always a chance for anything. But that's not my call. I can only do my best and see what happens. If it doesn't, I'll just move on in life.

THE FACTS

- Age: 19

- Home town: Sudbury

- Height/Weight: 5-10, 175

don.brennan@ott.sunpub.com


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