August 16, 2011
The Anaheim Ducks overcame the absence of goalie Jonas Hiller(notes) last season to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but expecting Corey Perry(notes) to again score 30 points in the last 16 games of the regular season might be expecting too much. Better that the Ducks simply get their top goaltender back in the lineup.
"I'm going to be ready come training camp and the season," he told Schweizer Fernsehen TV. "And the All-Star game is certainly a goal again."
To prepare for the NHL season, Hiller has joined SC Bern along with Mark Streit(notes) of the New York Islanders, Yannick Weber(notes) of the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators prospect Roman Josi(notes). Their season begins on Sept. 9.
Ben from Switzerland is a Puck Daddy reader who passed along the Hiller interview, and offers a translated transcript below.
Reporter (starts at the 00:15 mark): Seven months have passed since the bitter diagnosis. A hard time with new tasks.
Jonas Hiller (00:23): "What I can say today is that, yes, today I am feeling much better than a month ago. This I can say. But I can't say that I feel much better than yesterday. There are like too small periods to measure. And that's certainly not been easy for me, somehow, this change. I'm accustomed to getting better every day, [someone] who sets myself new goals on a daily basis. I had to give myself so much time to progress. This was a difficult and especially depressing time."
Reporter (00:51): Jonas Hiller was frustrated but remained true to himself.
Karolina (00:57; Hiller's girlfriend): "He remained very calm, which surprised me a bit. I would have handled it much worse. Or many others would have probably lost their composure or others would have been more stressed about it. Of course he had days, when he was a little more thoughtful. But basically, he remained very calm throughout the past months."
Reporter (01:23): His workouts show one thing: Jonas Hiller is doing well. These exercises are not part of a therapy but normal workouts.
Hiller (01:38): "This was actually a completely normal workout the way I've done it the last few years too. We focused specially on torso stabilization, stabilization in general and less on maximum power. This worked out very well for me in the past years and it was pretty clear to me that we won't change anything fundamental. Sure, we added one, two things to the program, that we feel would help. But in the end, the preparation and workouts aren't that different than in other years."
Reporter (02:10): The hockey Club "SC Bern" is increasing its training intensity week after week. And Jonas Hiller keeps up to it.
Ivo Rüthemann (02:19, Swiss winger): "It's not long ago that he started with on-ice workouts, As we know, NHL players have a long summer to prepare for the upcoming season - and he bridges this long summer by joining us on the ice two to three times a week. He's going to get better and better, that's for sure, but for now, he already plays at a very good level."
Hiller (02:32): "There are still little things that I have to work on. But this is the same every year when you step back on the ice after some time off. I certainly will get used to it. And this is also the reason I'm here in Berne, to join the SC Bern and work on these little things before training camp starts."
Reporter (02:47): In a month, training camp will start overseas. Only then will Jonas Hiller have certainty. But one thing is clear already: He's doing much better.
Hiller (02:58): "Of course I know I still have to get some ice-training and I have to work hard towards it. But that is something that you do every year. And for that I am here in Switzerland. This is what I'm working towards. And then, I believe, that I'm going to be ready come training camp and the season. And the All-Star game is certainly a goal again."
Making the All-Star Game his goal is especially poetic for Hiller. While no direct correlation was drawn medically, the fact that he took two pucks off the mask in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh was long-suspected of having something to do with his season-ending ailment.
Sounds like Hiller's ready; and, from the looks of things, doing quite well for himself (yowzer).
Thanks to our new friend Ben from Switzerland for the translation.