Wednesday, February 3, 2010

D'Amigo here for now; Kerins likely to play Friday

TROY -- Jerry D'Amigo likely won't play four full seasons at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs, who selected him in the sixth round of last year's draft, will probably call for him before the end of his senior season, 2012-13.
D'Amigo's coaches and teammates are well aware of that strong possibility and RPI fans need to get used to the idea.
The Binghamton native, however, vows to give Rensselaer everything he has in the meantime, no matter what length of time that may be.
"I don't know," he said. "For me, it's a case of how long it takes for me to develop. If it's two, three years, that's what it is. My goal is the NHL. This is just a stepping stone." That stepping stone will get 100 percent from D'Amigo, however."RPI is my team right now and that's my focus. I'm going to give my best every night to help us win, do my best in practice every day to help us win," he said.
Recent trades by the Maple Leafs, who dealt away three forwards to get a top-flight, two-way defenseman (Dion Phaneuf) and a starting goaltender (J.S. Giguere), getting only one low-scoring forward (Fredrik Sjostrom) in return, fueled speculation that Toronto has near-term plans for D'Amigo.
While he notes that he speaks with the Leafs weekly, D'Amigo says he has no idea if he fits in the Maple Leafs plans to as soon as 2010-11.
"People can (conjecture) all they want," he said. "But I'm in the same position (as they), not really knowing what's going on. "
He was also asked about the many hard hits, not all legal, he's incurred in the six games he's played since his return from the World Junior Championships tournament.
"I know I'm going to get run," D'Amigo said. "No doubt about it. I just have to kind of rub it off, or get out of the way if I can, and not let them get in my head."If they want to come after me, let them do it," added D'Amigo, who has only 12 penalty minutes all season.
What frosts RPI fans are a couple of minor penalties that probably should have been majors when D'Amigo was run and worse, several no-calls on hits that weren't clean.
A blatantly obvious checking from behind penalty -- it was also interference -- was overlooked, depriving the Engineers a power play at the outset of overtime against Harvard. Rensselaer had lost the lead with 2.3 seconds remaining in regulation play.D'Amigo says he can't let the no-calls get to him; he has to play through them.
"I can't really do anything about what the refs don't want to call," he said. "I just have to play my game and not let it bother me."
Kerins skates, says he'll play: Paul Kerins, RPI's third-leading scorer (10 goals-13 assists-23 points), skated Wednesday for the first time since suffering a contusion near his left knee during last week's 4-0 victory at Yale.
The senior center/left winger is expected to play Friday night against St. Lawrence.
"He skated in orange (no contact) for the first 40 minutes today," head coach Seth Appert said. "He hadn't skated before today (but) he'd been getting treatment. I'd say he's 90 percent sure (to play).
"For sure," Kerins said after Wednesday's practice. "I skated for about half the practice and it felt good. I fell on it once in practice and it didn't feel so good when I fell on it but I was able to skate for another 10 minutes, then it was time to get off the ice and do the rehab work."


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