I’ve been working with Joe Simon of Powerhouse Hockey for many years. I work with him in the off-season and I worked with him during the season in minor hockey. He focuses on the small things that directly improve my game on a week to week basis. He’s been great for skill development and he’s put me in a lot of game situations, a lot of one-on-one work. He’s been great for me because he played junior hockey in the OHL Kingston and Hamilton, when he was my age and he played pro hockey in the minors and in Europe. He’s been through this and he’s been a great teacher and mentor for me so far.” Peter Holland

This article, referencing Joe Simon of Powerhouse Hockey is from Jonas Siegal’s column on December 15, 2013. “TORONTO – Peter Holland was riding the GO train just a couple days after he was traded to play for his hometown Maple Leafs when he was recognized by a fan. It was the kind of surreal moment that made life playing at home all the more real.

“That never would’ve happened in Anaheim, California,” Holland, a native of Caledon, told the Leaf Report with a chuckle. “That was pretty cool.”

No longer on the west coast with the Ducks, the 22-year-old enjoyed the biggest night of his NHL career in front of the hometown crowd on the Saturday night stage. With his parents and childhood skills coach (Joey Simon from Powerhouse Hockey) in the stands, Holland scored twice and added a helper as Toronto stunned the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks 7-3 at the ACC.

It was the club’s first win in regulation since Nov. 19 and third in the past 20 games.

Moved up in the lineup onto a unit with Joffrey Lupul and Mason Raymond – David Clarkson was serving the first of a two-game suspension – Holland scored his fourth this season and first of the game on an early power-play, notching his second on a tic-tac-toe feed from Lupul and Raymond. He would add an assist on the second of two goals from Lupul.

“They’ve given me a good opportunity here and I think that as long as I’m playing my game I think I have the ability to play at this level,” said Holland, acquired from Anaheim in mid-November. “Obviously playing with guys like Lupul and Raymond is going to help me stick around too.”

A first round pick of the Ducks in 2009, Holland nearly doubled his season output with the standout performance against Chicago, now at five goals and seven points in 16 games this season. With injuries plaguing the Leafs at centre ice – Dave Bolland and Tyler Bozak are both sidelined – opportunity is there for someone like Holland to grab hold of.

To this point, he had offered only brief glimpses of the skill his pedigree would infer. But with more opportunity – a career-high of over 19 minutes – he was able to show it off in a big way against the Blackhawks.

“I’m just kind of approaching it like it’s a job and it is a job,” Holland said.

As to the chance to play at home, after bouncing between outposts in Syracuse, Norfolk and Anaheim, Holland said it’s been more comfort than distraction.

“If anything I think it almost relieves pressure,” he said. “You’ve got more of a support network around you. It’s a thrill to play in front of them every night. Going back to minor hockey when your parents came to every game, driving you there and stuff, and now they can come to every home game here. It’s a good feeling.”

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