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Tarnasky thriving in expanded role for Bulldogs

5 December 2013 No Comment

(Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Club)

When the Montreal Canadiens signed veteran forward Nick Tarnasky over the summer, they knew they were getting an experienced player who wouldn’t shy away from dropping the gloves.

However, the organization probably didn’t expect the 230-pound enforcer to be leading the Hamilton Bulldogs in goal scoring through the month of December.

That’s exactly what Tarnasky has done, scoring a team-high seven goals for Hamilton so far this season.

While his production has come as a surprise to most, Tarnasky is just thankful for the opportunity that he’s been given.

“It’s a good opportunity I’ve had here so far in the season to play with some skilled players and get some good chances on the power play,” said Tarnasky. “When you score goals, you always have a lot more fun.”

At 29 years of age, Tarnasky brings experience to the Bulldogs’ lineup having played 245 career NHL games split between the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers.

Bulldogs head coach Sylvain Lefebvre has been pleased with Tarnasky’s play this season and says that his physical play and versatility have proven to be valuable for the team.

“He’s a guy that is physical finishing checks…intimidating the opponent at times,” said Lefebvre. “He plays hard at both ends and when he gets in front of the net he’s tough to move and he’s got a really good shot.”

Lefebvre also discussed the value of having secondary scoring in the lineup and the effectiveness of Tarnasky’s will to go to the ‘dirty’ areas of the ice.

“Most of his goals have been scored in the crease area or just around the slot,” said Lefebvre. “He knows where to go to get the goals.

Barring any injuries, Tarnasky is on pace to finish the season with 24 goals which would be a career high for the veteran.

With the Bulldogs in contention to take over the North Division lead, Tarnasky hopes to continue with his offensive contributions.

“I’ve had an opportunity to score some goals and have an opportunity to play with a team that’s pushing in the right direction,” said Tarnasky.

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