Belfast Telegraph

New signing Goodwin aiming to give Giants a cutting edge

Attacking threat: David Goodwin is ready to put his speed and playmaking ability to use for the Belfast Giants
Attacking threat: David Goodwin is ready to put his speed and playmaking ability to use for the Belfast Giants
Adam McKendry

By Adam McKendry

People sometimes think that sports people live thrilling, high octane lives where the excitement never ends.

In some cases - think LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo etc - that may be true. But away from the names at the very pinnacle of world sport, there are still everyday lives to be lived and regular activities to be done.

So, along those lines, it's refreshing to hear that David Goodwin has embraced life in Belfast by going shopping.

"I saw the Christmas markets, that was nice. I had to go down to the post office the other day so I feel like I'm living a very normal life. I went to the Lidl downtown and the grocery store too!" says the Giants' new centreman of his first week in the city.

The American forward turned down some of the more exotic food choices on offer at the markets, but that does not make Goodwin bland in any way, and seeing him on skates will blow that notion out of the water very quickly. The Giants brought him to revitalise an offense that has hit the buffers in recent weeks, and he looks like the man to do that.

His track record speaks for itself. The 27-year-old is 12th on Penn State University's all-time scoring charts and 25 goals in two years with Finnish Liiga side SaiPa is nothing to be sniffed at. That's the kind of output that the Giants hope they have added to their roster for the remainder of the campaign.

A down year to start the season with Allsvenskan side Mora IK opened up the opportunity for the move to Belfast to take place, and it was one that neither party shirked away from.

"My strengths are my speed and my playmaking ability, so I'm definitely going to be using those assets. I like to get around the net and get some greasy goals. Those are the three things that I feel like I can contribute, so hopefully I can do that and help the team," he states.

"The coaches and Steve (Thornton, Giants head of hockey operations) did their research on me. They know what kind of player I am and they wouldn't have brought me in if they didn't think I could help."

While there would usually be an acclimatising period for new players where they could find their feet in a new league, Goodwin won't be granted that for two reasons.

Firstly, he's been brought in to rejuvenate that misfiring Belfast offense that has scored just six goals in their last four games - all defeats. He's replaced Jean Dupuy on the roster and is more than likely to take his place in the line-up as third line centre too, while seeing powerplay minutes isn't out of the question either.

Secondly, his debut will come in a massive double-header away to the Cardiff Devils (10-5-0, 20pts, 2nd) at the Viola Arena today (7pm) and tomorrow (4pm), and you can guarantee the Welsh side will not ease up just because he's making his first appearance.

Andrew Lord's perennial Elite League challengers haven't had the season they maybe would have liked so far, much in the same way as the Giants themselves, but rest assured they will bring two big performances against Goodwin and his team-mates given the nature of their rivalry.

"I would love to be able to help the guys out and get things back on track. We have two really tough games coming up and I don't think there's any better way to do it than against Cardiff.

"It seems very tight at the top. If we can go on a little streak we'll be right at the top, and we have a few games in hand so that will benefit us.

"I think it'd be so cool to bring a Championship to Belfast. You see YouTube videos of the past when they've won, it looks like the city rallies around the team when it comes down to the end. It seems like that'd be really cool to be a part of.

"My No.1 goal is winning as a team, and then on top of that I want to perform for the team and the fans."

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