Defensive-minded Aulie Eyes Another Championship
By Jeremy Houghtaling
It starts with the term "shutdown defenseman."
After that, Keith Aulie rattles off the rest of his responsibilities, memorized not in a mirror but through repetition on the ice.
"I try to go out there, play hard, finish my hits, make my first passes, be tough for their forwards to play against, kill penalties, and be consistent back there," Aulie said before taking a breath.
Likely set to at least challenge for a spot on the Tampa Bay Lightning blueline this season, Aulie has taken his talents to the Syracuse Crunch during the NHL lockout. A team that has been near the top of the Eastern Conference in points and penalty minute leaderboard all season, the Crunch welcomed the 6-6, 229-pounder’s ability to log substantial ice time.
Thanks for writing up a piece on Aulie who has become a bit of a "controversial" prospect. My question is what are your observations of his play this year? Has more time in the Tampa system helped his overall play? Thanks
I'll ask Jeremy, who wrote the piece. By all accounts, not a lot is asked of him, but he's played well. He's usually on the first PK unit and takes key defensive shifts.
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