Stars forward Jamie Benn is helping to lead the Texas Stars into the Calder Cup Finals starting Thursday. He has 14 goals in his playoff run with the Stars and the rookie needs just one more to break the AHL rookie playoff record held by Rochester’s Sean McKenna (14 in 1983). Here is a quick Q&A with Benn, who talked to ESPNDallas.com about his season and the playoffs.
Q: How much have you enjoyed being a part of a playoff run?
A: I was excited to come down here and make a strong playoff push. I had a feeling that was going to happen at the trade deadline when I was put on the playoff roster. I think I’m just having fun and playing hard. We have a great team down here and my teammates have been playing really well.
Q: How does this compare to other playoff runs you’ve had in your brief career?
A: I was in the WHL playoffs last year and coming here it’s a step up. Playing in big games and two game 7s both on the road and winning both has been great. An experience like that will really help me out.
Q: What was it like playing two Game 7s on the road and coming through in both of them?
A: It was definitely tough. The first one went to overtime and we got the win and we came back from two goals twice in that game, so that helped us in the second one when we were down two goals again. We came back in both games.
Q: What was it like to score winning goal in overtime of one of those Game 7s?
A: That was probably one of the best goals to score. Whenever you have a chance to put a team out and go on to the next round, it’s pretty special. It was a pretty big goal for me in my career.
Q: What’s the process of joining the Texas Stars for this run been like?
A: When I first came down here, we had a team dinner and wives and kids came. It’s a great group. The farther we go the more confident we’re getting. We are tight off the ice. It seems like everyone is always together, whether they are at the rink or eating lunch or by the pool. It’s special to see and it helps us out.
Q: What have you done with this long break between series?
A: I’ve been resting and relaxing and enjoying the time off until another hard series.
Q: How do you look at your season as a whole?
A: It’s been pretty crazy. I got to experience a lot of stuff in the NHL this year. I thought it was a great year. I t was unfortunate we didn’t make the playoffs, but overall, I thought I played good.
Q: What do you think you did well and what do you want to improve upon for next season?
A: One of my better assets is putting the puck in the net and finding guys so they could do it. I need to get stronger and learn the game more. You can never learn or listen enough.