Leading points scorer Linglet: “No better time for us to play these games”

January 8, 2019 4:29 pm

When Cardiff Devils signed a player with over 300 KHL and AHL games respectively during the summer, he was touted as being the kind of player to really make an impact in the Elite Ice Hockey League. Now as the current leading points scorer in the EIHL, we caught up with Charles Linglet.

“We’ve been playing pretty good hockey as of late. We had a really good start, then a bit of a bumpy road, but now we’re back to old ways like at the start,” said the Belarus national team forward. “We’ve playing full a 60 minutes and dominating teams during game for long stretches. Added to that we have a great goalie in Ben Bowns playing some great hockey lately, too.”

“I joined a team that has won championships, and we have so much experience in our locker room. When things weren’t going out way we just knew that if we keep working at it, things would get back to somewhat ‘normal’ for this team,” he revealed, looking back on the Devils’ record earlier in the season. “We stuck together, played our system, follow the direction, and the leaders on the team took charge.”

Linglet moved up to being the Elite League’s top points scorer the past weekend with 14 goals and 33 assists so far, adding a personal milestone to his debut season in the league. “It’s nice; it’s kind of my way to show how I can help the team, by to putting up numbers,” explained 36-year-old. “I’m very happy about it, but also happy that first and foremost the team are doing well and other players are doing well. We have a lot of potential on offense, and so it’s somewhat easy to get points on this team because everyone can score goals and play well.”

With years of experience in the KHL, why did Linglet opt for a move to the Elite League and specifically Cardiff? “Firstly I had the option to go to university here, and that was one of the main things. Then a friend of mine knew the owners, so I got to hear good things about the organisation and how well it was run,” he revealed. “When I started talking to Andrew Lord I knew this was a championship-calibre team. I’m 36, toward the end of my career, and I haven’t had a chance of winning a trophy yet. In fact the number of times I was on top teams in leagues was very small! So the opportunity to win something was gold for me. I have a few years left and hopefully I can get in at least one trophy before I’m done. I feel like Cardiff is the best place for me to do it.”

Some things more professional than in the KHL

“The league here is It’s really good. To be honest, I didn’t know much before I came, and at the start I found it was more physical than any other leagues I’d played in,” continued Linglet. “I realised it’s a good league, fast, physical, and has good players, and I’m glad I adjusted fairly quickly. That is something I’ve done a lot by playing in different leagues, and normally I’ve found i need a few weeks and get accustomed to pace of play. The physicality was the biggest thing to get used to, and also I haven’t been used recently to having more time on the puck. In the KHL you have to make very quick decisions, and at the beginning here in the EIHL I felt I was rushing my plays because that’s what I was used to. I needed to find my patience a little bit, and I think it’s something I do well to hold on to the puck now for that little bit extra.”

What about the Devils’ organisation? “It’s up there with some KHL teams, for sure. We’re blessed that we can travel by plane to Scotland for example. Other than that, the locker room and practices are very professional. Some things more so than in a few places in the KHL, like getting a day off here and there, or having breakfast at the rink. In the KHL we wouldn’t get days off, and some teams don’t do the breakfast thing so I’d kind of forgotten about that. They’re just little things but it all adds up.”

While the Devils do have some longer trips up to Scotland, it’s nowhere near like what Linglet had to endure in the KHL. “It’s nothing in comparison!” he joked. “Although we chartered planes in Russia, which was nice, being on an aeroplane all the time for an eight day road trip, twice a month, took its toll on me. I’m enjoying being with my family here most of the time, and sleeping in your own bed after an away game is so nice!”

Toughest challenges yet

The Devils head up to Glasgow before facing Nottingham at home this weekend, and then face Belfast in back-to-back home games the following week. “These will be our toughest yet, but for us there’s no better time to hit these weekends,” affirmed Linglet. “We’re very aware that the Clan have been playing great since they beat us in the Challenge Cup, and Nottingham are always a tough game. Then we’re facing Belfast who we’re battling with for the top position, but we’re confident right now, and glad we get to play them while we’re also playing well. At the end of the day the race is going to be a tough one, but we have enough confidence to do really well until the end.”

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