Q&A with Rob Zepp

By Holly Gunning





Q&A with Rob Zepp





Goaltender Rob Zepp is
in his third year pro under contract with the Carolina Hurricanes, who drafted
him as a reentry in 2001. He was called up to Lowell of the AHL last season for
five games, and again this season for one game, but otherwise has remained with
the ECHL Florida Everblades, largely due to the
logjam in goal in the organization, exacerbated by the split affiliation in
Lowell. The 22-year-old is
10-11-6 on the season, with a 3.02 GAA and
a .918 save percentage.

 

Hockey’s
Future caught up with Zepp following the Everblades’ 5-3 loss to the Gwinnett Gladiators on Tuesday.

 

HF: How do you think your season is
going so far?

RZ: Things
have been going pretty good. The team’s
been struggling as of late, unfortunately, and we’d like to correct that. I’m pretty happy with the way things have
been going so far and hopefully we can make a good run here in the playoffs.

 

HF: With Maund
being injured, you’re having to play a lot of games
right now. Have you ever played so many
so close together before?

RZ: Yeah, I
did it quite a bit in junior, and last year I did it quite a bit too. It’s pretty tiring,

it’s my fourth game in five nights tonight, so you’ve got to kind of dig deep
for it. But yeah, I’m used to playing
quite a bit like that.

 

HF: How do you feel physically right
now?

RZ: I’m
disappointed that we lost, and physically a little tired, but a couple days off
will help that.

 

HF: You’ve been in the league for
three years now. What kind of change
have you seen over time?

RZ: Yeah,
the league’s getting better, there’s a lot of younger
guys, a lot of affiliations with NHL teams.
A lot of younger prospects in the league making it
more competitive.
There’s not many bad teams in this league, every game is a
good game.

 

HF: Who would you say is the best
shooter in the league right now?

RZ: I’d
have to say the best in the league would be Steffon Walby from
Mississippi.
He’s a veteran player. He’s got a heck of a shot, and he’s a real smart,
experienced player, so he’s probably the toughest.

 

HF: Was there anything in particular
that you took away from the three training camps you attended with
Carolina?

RZ: Yeah,
just the experience of playing with those players, you know what level you have
to get to and you watch them and the professionalism they carry about them
every day and you try to pick up on that, and their maturity level and their
work habits. It’s been a real positive
experience.

 

HF: Did they give you any
instructions when you left as far as what to work on?

RZ: Yeah,
they told me a few things to work on, and I’ve been working hard on it. I’m always trying to improve my game and get
suggestions from whoever. So yeah, I went away with a lot of positive
feedback and I’m trying to improve myself.

 

HF: Is it a secret what they told
you? You don’t want to give away your
weaknesses?

RZ:
[laughs] I don’t want to give away everything to you, I’ve got to keep
something a secret.

 

HF: I’ve talked to a lot of goalies
and no one wants to talk about their weaknesses.

RZ: They
don’t want everyone else reading about it. [laughs]

 

HF: You talked about the maturity
level of the NHL guys at camp. What is
it exactly that you can see it takes to be an NHL goaltender?

RZ: The
fundamentals of the game. They don’t make many mistakes. They play big all the time. Their rebound control is excellent. Very quick laterally. Physical maturity and
maturity out on the ice, reading plays and all the stuff that comes with
experience and a lot of talent.

 

HF: You have a plain white mask
right now. Do you have anything personal
that you think you want to put on one day?

RZ: That’s
why I have it plain right now. I
couldn’t decide on anything quite yet. I
was supposed to get it painted, but I couldn’t really come up with anything so
far this year.

 

HF: What is the thing that people
would be the most surprised to learn about you?

RZ: I’m
trying to play the guitar. I’m a big
music fan and I’m really trying to be a student of music and develop myself
that way.

 

HF: Acoustic or electric?

RZ: Acoustic
right now, but I’m getting an electric.

 

HF: You want to play in a band?

RZ: I’d love
to play in a band. I’ve got some buddies
back home who are excellent hockey players who are really good too, so I wouldn’t
mind doing that. Just for fun.