Robert Hagg Hoping To Find Rhythm On Phantoms Blue Line

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Robert Hagg continuing to develop his game with Lehigh Valley. Photo: Nina Weiss
An injury to Robert Hagg in the Lehigh Valley Phantoms' 2nd game of the season back on October 16th in Springfield caused him to miss three weeks. Amidst injuries throughout the lineup, Hagg is starting to get back on track and is hoping to get into a rhythm through the middle part of the season.

"I'm feeling better and better every game I play," Hagg said Tuesday after the team's practice. "I think last weekend was probably my best weekend I have had so far this year. I hope to keep it up this week."

The second year pro has just two assists through 19 games this season, but that isn't discouraging him as he heads into this week's set of games.

"I want to put up points, but they haven't bounced my way so far," Hagg said, adding, "but it's a long season. If I'm just doing the right things out there they will come sooner or later."

Hagg's coach Scott Gordon doesn't have last season's play to judge from, but has come in this fall and challenged Hagg in a few areas he's hoping to see improvement in. 

"The areas I have asked him to get better in, he has," Gordon said of Hagg. "Making quicker decisions with the puck, moving his feet and attacking as opposed to retreating."

While Gordon has Hagg on the second power play unit this season and doesn't see the second year Swede as a true first unit guy, he still expects that Hagg can and should contribute offensively to add to his two points on the stat sheet this season.
"One area I like to see him get better in is getting his shots through, and sometimes that's nothing more than just doing it quicker," Gordon said of advice he's given Hagg and all the Phantoms' defensemen. "That's something all of our D can get better at and I'm sure he will continue to do that," he added.

Hagg is also relying on advice given to him by Flyers Development Coach Kjell Samuelsson, a fellow Swede and defenseman who has 813 NHL games of experience. 

"He's coming up with a lot of small things you can think of," Hagg said of Samuelsson. "It's nice to have him around especially with the language. And he's played a lot of games in the NHL."

As for the advice Hagg has received from Samuelsson, it's the kind of attention to detail he will need to be a successful pro.

"All the small details," Hagg explained of Samuelsson's advice. "You need to push yourself harder every day, how you handle the puck, checking [over your shoulder] when going to grab the puck in the corners."
While he isn't producing offensively as much as last season, Hagg continues to develop his game and looks forward to extended, injury free playing time to get his game where it needs to be in order to be ready for that next step.


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