Jeff Zatkoff: "I'm Here For A Reason"

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

"There's always a little extra motivation, a little extra focus when you come in to play these kind of games," said Penguins goaltender Jeff Zatkoff of playing against his former team Sunday night. 

"Something to prove," he added.

After all, Zatkoff had spent the previous four seasons of his pro career with the Manchester Monarchs before signing a two-year contract with the Penguins over the summer.

As members of the media gathered around the Penguins goaltender after Sunday's game, Zatkoff had again triumphed over his former team.  Sunday night's shootout win was the third time.

On the season, Zatkoff is a perfect 3-0 against the Monarchs with a 1.67 goals against average and a .940 save percentage, including a shutout in his first trip back to Manchester on November 2nd. Despite allowing more than three goals for the first time in his last 21 appearances, Zatkoff and the Penguins rallied to get the win.

"Not your standard tight-checking game," Zatkoff said of Sunday's game. "A tough game for both Jonesy (Manchester's goaltender Martin Jones) and I to play. But once you get to overtime and a shootout anything can happen."

The two (Zatkoff and Brad Thiessen) have arguably become one of the league's top goaltending duo's. Both have been named AHL goaltender of the month once already this season.

With Zatkoff signed through next season, he is very much a part of the future plans of the organization.  It will be interesting to see not only what happens with Zatkoff the rest of this season, but where exactly he fits in the organization next year as well.

One thing for certain is he still has something to prove. With two good goaltenders on the team, the competition to be the starter down the stretch is obviously something Zatkoff is looking for.

"I'm in a great spot now here in Wilkes-Barre with Pittsburgh and I couldn't have asked for a better organization to be in. Things work out for a reason and I'm here for a reason."


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