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Adjusting to life in Finland

Monday, 10.03.2011 / 12:54 PM

By Andrew Gordon - Special to / Andrew Gordon Player Blog

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Andrew Gordon Player Blog
Adjusting to life in Finland
Hello everyone, this is Andrew Gordon and I'm going to be blogging about what me and my team, the Anaheim Ducks, are doing this week while we're in Helsinki, Finland. This is my first year with the Ducks and I am really excited to be here this week.

We had a long trip to get here, even longer than the ones the other guys that have played with the Ducks before are used to. The preparation started right after the game Friday night at home (against Los Angeles). I spent a lot of time before talking to some of the European guys. Jonas Hiller especially -- I made him my European liaison.

He said to sleep as little as possible Friday night so that I can just crash out the whole way here (on Saturday). But since we had two flight legs to get here -- one from L.A. to New York and one from New York to here -- he said do not sleep on that first flight so hopefully your body will just shut down the whole way here from New York. That way, you get virtually a full night's sleep and get here in the morning ready to go.

I did the opposite. I fell asleep for pretty much the whole first flight from L.A. to New York, and then I was awake just pretty much staring out the window from New York to Helsinki. I had to battle yesterday and stay up the whole day. Luckily, we had some activities.

We came right here (to Hartwall Areena) for practice. Nobody was real crisp, but it is always good to get the travel legs out when you get off a long flight or a bus trip. That was good, and from there we went and had lunch. The first thing I had once I got to lunch was some reindeer sausage. I ate a little bit of reindeer because that's one of the cultural things you're supposed to do when you're here. I wanted to check that off the list early.

Later we went out on Teemu (Selanne's) boat. He's got a big yacht, so Teemu took us out and we got a good waterside view of Helsinki. We went out to Sauna Island, and we got to experience a little of that. The culture here is just everyone loves the sauna. Everyone just goes crazy about the sauna here.

We got to experience the whole island. There are three different types of saunas. People were just walking around and going in and out of the hot tubs, and in and out of the saunas and then in and out of this freezing water. It was a real good time. I think it sort of brought the life up for guys who were close to passing out on the boat halfway there.

That was really good. From there when we got back off the boats it was around 6 p.m., and you sort of battled yourself at that point. If you had to go for a walk, guys went for a walk. Some guys went to get dinner. We had to find ways to stay social and not fall asleep at 6:00 or 7:00 and then wake up in the middle of the night.

It was a long day and it was a tiring day, but I really feel like for the first 24 hours we experienced about as much of Finland as we could in a hurry. Now that we have that initial shock over with a little bit, and we got that first real rest so we're accustomed to the time zone more. From here on out the rest of the time that we have off I'm going to keep touring and maybe soak up a little more of Helsinki.

That's all from me for now. I'll check back in tomorrow.
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