Marti Makes Long Awaited AHL Debut Tonight

Friday, November 6, 2015

Christian Marti makes his Phantoms debut tonight against Hershey. Photo credit: Nina Weiss
After skating with the team at practice this week as a regular participant for the first time all season, Swiss-born defenseman Christian Marti is ready to make his North American pro debut this weekend with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.

"I got told I'm going to play Friday and probably Sunday," Marti told The Home News after Thursday's practice at the PPL Center.

Marti missed training camp, the preseason and the first nine games of the season after undergoing an unanticipated shoulder surgery this summer after development camp in Voorhees, New Jersey.

"It's been awhile unfortunately," Marti said. "I didn't plan on having a shoulder surgery when I came here but it happened. I know nothing should happen [now] and I should play with full confidence."

As for who Marti is looking to learn from, he obviously mentioned veteran Andrew MacDonald as being a guy to take notes from. But the second name on the blue line he's looking to learn from? Samuel Morin.

"He's a big guy," Marti said of Morin, adding, "I'd say we are both kind of same players."

"He's a mean player on the ice, so I want to adapt to that too. In Switzerland, we are known that we are not as physical. I can learn a lot from him. To be mean around the net with some cross-checks. You can never be mean enough, in a good way - as long as you don't take penalties. I want to take a big step in that direction. It's what the big guys are doing too."

Not only will Marti need to adjust to the physical play in North America, he will also need to adjust to the smaller rink surface used here.

"I had some experience with the smaller rink in junior," Marti said, having played one year in the QMJHL before spending the last two seasons playing pro hockey in Switzerland. "I know a little bit about it, but for sure it's going to take some games for that too. The guys can help me out a lot. Watch what they are doing and learn from that. I think the easiest way [to learn] is to play."

If that wasn't enough for Marti to adjust to, how about switching from his normal spot on the left side over to the right side on defense.

"I'm usually on the left side, but I think he's going to put me on the right side," Marti said he was told by Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon. "I'm going to need to figure out what the easy plays are on the right side. It's the off-side of my stick, so for some plays it's going to be tougher."

All in all, Marti is just happy to be back at the rink and getting ready for his North American pro debut tonight with the Phantoms as they face rival Hershey Bears tonight at 7:05 p.m. ET.

"I'm going to need a couple games to get back into rhythm," he added, mentioning the physical contact as an area he will need to quickly adjust to. "I think the hardest thing coming back into practices were the battles in the corner and in front of net. I'm looking forward to playing with those guys."

You can follow live coverage of the Phantoms' three-game weekend here and on Twitter -> @TonyAndrock_TCG. The plan is to have live in-game updates on Twitter with full recaps of the action and thoughts from the guys in the locker room here online shortly following the conclusion of each game.


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