One-on-one with Keith Aulie
Defenceman Keith Aulie was returned to the Toronto Marlies after playing a dozen games with the Leafs. He was returned to the AHL on December 17.
Q. How would you describe your 12 NHL games playing with the Leafs?
A. It was great. Playing in the NHL is obviously a great experience, no matter what. I’m going up there and learning different things, and I’m trying to improve myself now and keep getting better.
Q. Were you given a reason for being returned to the Marlies?
A. They said it’s a bit of the number game (upon Mike Komisarek’s return), and they said sometime I can come back and keep working on my game. I’m going to make that my goal to come back here and work as hard as I can every day, and try to help these guys out.
Q. What’s the biggest difference between the AHL and NHL?
A. I don’t know if there’s one biggest one. Obviously the speed’s a lot faster. Things happen a lot quicker out there, and you have to be thinking about the game a little bit more; a little bit faster anyway. A lot of things are different, but I think the speed is the biggest thing.
Q. Brian Burke stated that he would not have made the trade with Calgary, involving Phaneuf, if you weren’t included in the deal. How do you use that as motivation in your development?
A. It’s obviously good to hear from a guy like Brian, but at the same time I try to keep that stuff out of my head. All that stuff is their job. My job is to go on the ice and play as hard as I can every day – coming into work and trying to get better.