If you're don't want to see Jeff Zatkoff appear in a game over the next two months, you're not alone. Zatkoff hopes his season is done also.
That's not a condemnation of Zatkoff's play. It's simply the reality of the postseason. If the backup goaltender has to play for any reason, that's never a good development.
Zatkoff wrapped up his regular season with a 3-2 shootout loss to the Senators last night. Thrust into the backup role just days prior to the regular season in the wake of Tomas Vokoun being stricken with blood clots, Zatkoff appeared in 20 games this season and went 12-6-2 with a 2.81 goals against average, a .912 save percentage and one shutout.
Following last night's game, Zatkoff talked about his first NHL regular season and what life will be like in the postseason:
How do you assess your first regular season at the NHL level?
"This has been a great experience for me. This is my dream to play in the NHL To be able to get the opportunity and to get that chance, it’s been a dream come true. It was a lot of fun. A lot of hard work. It got long at the end there [of the regular season] when I think we saw playoffs in sight. I think everyone was getting anxious there to get to the playoffs. Looking back, it was great. It started off in the first game, probably not like I wanted to but from that, I think I was able to build from each game and establish myself."
How do you feel in terms of confidence as an NHLer after one regular season?
"I think it’s night and day difference. I always believed in myself that I could play at this level but you want to prove it to everyone else. I remember not even be able to sleep for my first few of games. Now, it’s like just another game. You just get comfortable with the guys, the situations, the speed of the game, making you’re reads. The games slowed down the more I’ve played and I’ve been able to build in each experience."
Do you have a greater sense of belonging here now?
I don’t think anyone really knew who I was outside the organization and [the Kings], in terms of fans and being able to play and getting some wins and showing what you could do at this level. Getting the backing of management on the [contract] extension really puts a lot of confidence in you. I think it was a good first season. Obviously looking to build and get better from here.
If things go to plan, you won't play for the next two months. How do you approach the postseason knowing you won't have any scheduled starts?
"Hopefully, I don’t play. Not saying I don’t want to. Same way I’ve been going. Really, my games are my practices. If I’m ever called upon or just have to go in there for a little while, I’ve just got to make sure I’m ready and on top of my game. No excuses for not being ready just because you’re not expected to play. It just puts a lot more emphasis on my practice habits."
(Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Join the conversation:
For many high schoolers, prom night is the most enchanted evening of the year. But that fairy tale does come with a cost.
According to a survey released this month by Visa Inc., families are tightening their wallets when it comes to prom spending. The average American household will spend $978 on prom attire, accessories and activities related to the dance, down 14 percent from $1,139 in 2013.
The decline comes after three years of steady increases in prom spending. The survey also showed that families out West will spend the most on prom -- $1,125 on average -- when compared to those who live in other parts of the country. Parents who are younger than 40 years old also spend less to help their children prep for the prom than those who are older.
Other Visa survey statistics:
- Parents who earn less than $50,000 will typically spend less on prom than the national average
- Parents will cover about 56 percent of prom costs on average, with students paying for the rest
- Canadian households tend to spend about 25 percent less on prom than Americans
- Men will spend more than double what women will on prom (about $1,357 compared to $673)
The survey is based on information collected from 4,000 telephone interviews. For prom money saving tips, visit the website for Visa's Practical Money Skills for Life education program at www.practicalmoneyskills.com.
And don't forget!
For prom prep tips for guys (social graces, what to wear, etc.), check out the PG's Guys' Guide to Prom.
(Photo: Getty Images/Fuse)
Join the conversation:
Under Pennsylvania law, parents of a child found guilty of a "tortious" or wrongful act that causes injury to another person are liable for $1,000 per person injured, with a $2,500 limit per incident, regardless of the number of people injured.
I spoke with some legal experts who explained what criteria have to be met before a parent is legally liable for a child's criminal acts.
Join the conversation:
The hostas are ready to be split and moved, but is the garden ready to accept them?
The best time to divide these plants is when they push up their tight shoots before they unfurl. For smaller plants I'll lift the whole thing and cut it in half or quarters depending on the size. For larger ones I'll just cut what I want from the sides. This job can be done anytime during the spring, but it looks better to do it before the plants get too far along.
If the soil is too wet though, gardeners must wait. I've dug some transplanting holes and found parts of my garden to be dry enough to work. If the dirt sticks to the shovel don't dig.
You don't want to destroy the soil structure. Turning over soil that's too wet will complicate gardening in that area the rest of the season. It creates clumps which will dry into bricks.
Like comedy, timing is everything when it comes to planting. I love expanding the garden by moving extra pieces of hostas to other areas. When you wait for the right day, you'll be sure to succeed.