Arizona Sting Forward Lindsay Plunkett

This week on “Ask The Pro’s” we chat with Arizona forward Lindsay Plunkett. Lindsay, a native of Peterborough, Ontario is a six year veteran of the NLL. He also has played Major Junior Hockey in the Ontario Hockey League for the Oshawa Generals, Guelph Storm, and St. Mikes Majors.

GM: When did you start playing lacrosse and who do you feel helped you the most while learning the game?

LP: I was probably around 4 yrs old. My dad Steve Plunkett was the most influential. Jim Johnston, Johnny Martin, John Grant Sr. JJ Johnston, Paul Evans, and so many other coaches helped me along the way.

GM: Who were some of your lacrosse heroes when you were younger?

LP: I didn’t really have lacrosse heroes growing up; I was more of a hockey guy. But Gary Gait was always one of my favorites. We were always so busy playing that I didn’t watch much lacrosse.

GM: You’ve lived what many kids today are trying to handle as a multi-sport athlete with both hockey and lacrosse. What advice would you give to kids on how you did it?

LP: I really never thought about it until I started playing major junior hockey and one of my teams told me they didn’t want me to play lacrosse. My advice is to always be upfront with the teams that you play for or are going to play for because the two sports will overlap at some point. I missed hockey training camps to play in two Minto Cups and half a season in Peterborough because I was playing in the Memorial Cup for Guelph, fortunately I had understanding hockey coaches at the time. Also when I was in University at Saint Mary’s in Halifax I played Varsity Hockey and in the NLL for the Ottawa Rebel. That was tricky because the seasons completely overlap. Trevor Steinburg was great to let me play both, Brad Self did it to. Don’t let people say you can’t play both; it opens so many other doors for you later in life.

GM: Which game did you prefer when you were younger; hockey or lacrosse?

LP: I hate to say this but it was hockey; I wanted to play in the NHL. But I am also from Peterborough so we played hockey in the winter and lacrosse in the summer, that’s how we grew up. Everyone wanted to play hockey, I was really lucky I got to play hockey at an elite level.

GM: Many hockey players credit lacrosse with giving them the hand-eye co-ordination to excel at lacrosse. Do you find the same helped you?

LP: Definitely, I found the amount of extra practice I had playing hockey and working on your hand eye coordination helped me tremendously in lacrosse. The sports have similarities when it comes to upper body movements, especially having soft hands.

GM: After playing junior lacrosse in Peterborough you moved to B.C. and played for Burnaby. How did that occur?

LP: Actually I played one year in Junior B for the Orillia Kings and then two for Peterborough and then two for Burnaby. I was given the opportunity to travel to a great province and a beautiful place to live and I took it. Burnaby is such a storied lacrosse organization and I knew they had a chance to win the Minto Cup. I loved playing on the west coast.

GM: Describe your Minto Cup winning team in Burnaby from 2000.

LP: Well that team was truly great, you can go down the list of players we had and almost all of those guys play in the NLL now. It was a fun team to play on. It’s great to see ex-Burnaby guys because we shared in winning that title.

GM: For those that don’t get to see you much, tell us about the environment playing in Glendale for the Sting.

LP: It’s great; our fans are very loud and really into it. They support us well, lacrosse is very new in Arizona still so we are taking the time to introduce the sport and build on our fan base. The Jobing.com arena is probably one of the best in the league, plus you can’t beat the climate in Phoenix.

GM: Are you a fan of the old 5 man up, 5 man back style game or do you prefer the offence / defense currently played in the NLL and Major Series Lacrosse?

LP: To be honest I have been playing just offense for so long now that I can barely remember playing defense (ha-ha). I stopped playing both ways in junior. I prefer O/D it gives the players the ability to focus on their best aspect of the game therefore it provides the best product on the floor and makes it very entertaining.

GM: Give us your most memorable sports experience (hockey or lacrosse).

LP: The 1997-98 Memorial Cup, I was playing for the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League and we traveled to Spokane, Washington and lost in the Finals in Overtime to the Portland Winterhawks. All the games were sold out and it was huge media frenzy. It was great hockey and a great experience.

Fun Questions

GM: The toughest defender to beat in the game today is…..

LP: Scott Self, I know I play with him in Arizona but in the summer he drives me crazy. He is big and quick, tough to get around.

GM: The goalie that gives you the most trouble is….

LP: Pat O’ Toole probably, Gee Nash is tough to beat when he is on.

GM: Do you have a pre-game ritual you can share with us?

LP: Not much I’m a pretty quiet guy, just keep to myself before the game try not to think about anything except go out there and work hard.

GM: Your favorite away arena to play in is…..

LP: Denver (The Pepsi Center). They have great fans

GM: If we gave you the opportunity to sit and speak with any sports person past or present who would it be?

LP: I would like to meet Mario Lemieux. He has done so much in hockey, he has overcome cancer and he continues to increase the popularity of his sport for the future.

GM: Thanks for your time.

LP: Thank you.

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