Read our Interview with Riley Armstrong, the Forward and Top Scorer of the DEL2 Club EVL Landshut Eishockey. Riley was traded to Landshut this season and became since the first 19 Games with 10 Goals and 24 Assists the 1St Star (Top-Scorer) of the DEL2 League. His younger Brother played over 470 Games in the NHL and has won the Goldmedal with the Team Canada in 2007 at the World Championship.
Riley, now you are playing for the second time in Germany. 2011 you first played for the Augsburg Panther (DEL) for 17 games and currently you are playing for the EVL Landshut (DEL 2). How came?
Riley Armstrong: My first time playing in Germany came after a short stint in the KHL and I was living in Europe alone. That first year I just didn't feel comfortable playing in Europe and still thought I could play back home somewhere. I thought I might have wrecked my chance of every coming back but my agent Greg Flowers gave me a chance to come back and prove to every team in Europe that I can play hockey. My role has always been a 3rd line guy and I have been giving the opportunity in Landshut to be a 1st line center and playmaker and play lots of minutes. Now, living here with my family I feel like I'm at home. I'm enjoying my time in Germany and I think it has translated to my play on the ice.
What are your impressions of Bavaria / of Germany?
Riley Armstrong: Germany and Bavaria are beautiful, there is so much history and site-seeing to do here and we have been trying to see as much as we can when I have days off. So far the people of Landshut have been very welcoming to us and i cant wait till they turn the christmas lights on downtown!!
You have started pretty good in Landshut. 31 Points (10 Goals, 21 Assists) so far ( 18 games ) . You played a long time in the AHL (American Hockey League). How about the level – DEL2 compared to AHL?
Riley Armstrong: I would say the DEL2 is comparable to somewhere between the ECHL and the AHL and the DEL would be in between the AHL and NHL.
(Foto copyright Stefan Diepold/eishockey-online.com)
Are you personally happy with your performance and how the EVL is doing?
Riley Armstrong: I couldn't be more pleased with the teams play so far we have a strong team with 4 solid lines and great goalies. Brian Stewart has been unreal this season for us which helps a ton. We play every game rolling 4 lines which allows everyone to stay fresh for the full 60 minutes and play hard every night which is what we want and what the fans of Landshut want also. I didn't think I would be doing so well to start the season but playing on a line with Ty Morris and Cody Thornton has been awesome both are great players that I think can play in the DEL. We have clicked as a line from the first day and hopefully we can keep rolling and the team keeps rolling also.
Did you know some team mates before moving to Landshut?
Riley Armstrong: Yes I knew Josh Godfrey and Brian Stewart before coming here. I played with both played in Elmira (ECHL) and Binghamton (AHL). It was awesome to come to a team with these 2 guys. Both are great players and awesome teammates, they make it easier to come into a locker room and feel comfortable right from the start.
Do you already speak a little bit German? Or do the other guys improve their English?
Riley Armstrong: Haha good question! Amber, my girlfriend has been doing rosetta stone and she has been doing really well learning the language. Myself on the other hand is a little behind but I have picked up on the hockey words which helps in the locker room. For the most part the players and coach on the team have been awesome helping me out with German but also speaking in english to myself and the other imports.
You played two games in the NHL. How was this experience for you? Any interesting stories about that?
Riley Armstrong: It was an awesome experience, a dream come true for me! San Jose had such a strong team with so many great players it was unreal to be in the same locker room as them. I just remember I was so nervous for my first game in Phoenix and on my first shift I was on a line with Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau two All- Stars in the NHL . Im thankful I got the chance to play in the NHL but wish I could have played more consistent to stay longer then 2 games.
Your Brother Colby played more than 470 games in the NHL and won Gold with Team Canada in 2007 at the World Championship. Currently he´s playing in Sweden. Are you in touch with him?
Riley Armstrong: Yes, Im very close with my brother we talk or text everyday he is someone that has a lot knowledge for the game and he helps me out and give me pointers on how to be a better player. My girlfriend surprised me during the break with a trip to Sweden for my 29th birthday so that we could visit with my brother and his family. She kept it a secret for over a month so it was a well thought out birthday present and we were able to have a good visit.
Did you ever had a Gordie-Howe Hattrick ? Do you remember the first one?
Riley Armstrong: I actually recorded my first Gordie howe hat trick last season in Utah. Fighting hasn't been my strong point in hockey so i try to stay away from that and try to put up points and help the team win.
Any plans on playing in the DEL again? You only signed a one year contract in Landshut . Would you re-sign?
Riley Armstrong: I haven't really thought about next season I'm focused on this season and playing the best hockey I can. Yes, I would love the chance to play in the DEL again, but first I have to prove to the DEL teams that I'm a good player and hopefully someone takes a chance on me and I do well. We love Landshut and they will be the first team I talk to about next season. Landshut has given me the chance to be a top player and the best scenario for us would be if Landshut got into the DEL next season. I think the team has performed at the DEL level this year and would be a good addition to the league.