CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Olli Maatta’s face twisted. He had a hard time finding the words he wanted – and it wasn’t an English-Finnish thing. How do you break down the complicated process of improving your skating?
“There’s a lot of biomechanics and technical stuff. It’s a lot of stuff,” the Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman said during the early days of training camp at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
“It’s tough to explain. Just staying on your skates, not necessarily having (physical) pressure on the ice. I feel like it helped me a lot.”
Perhaps the most important aspect to Maatta’s offseason work on his skating was simply the decision to make that a focus point. Maatta’s strong, confident skating was one of the things that made him an attractive prospect before the Penguins made him the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Introspectively, Maatta saw a decline that he wanted to address, and he was honest about it.