TAMPA, Fla.--Wednesday was an off day for the Colorado Avalanche after a grueling back-to-back set of games in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
In fact, the season started with three games in four days, so Wednesday was a time for some rest for the gladiators that take to the ice on a daily basis.
With a sunny, 80-degree day in Tampa on the horizon, there was plenty of opportunity for activities, and most guys on the team took advantage of that fact.
After sleeping in, a big group of guys went out to get some food and take in the ALCS baseball game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians. With 14 Canadians on the Avalanche's roster, it's safe to say that they were disappointed with the result, a 3-0 loss in Game 5 that eliminated the Blue Jays from the postseason.
"Yeah, it was good. Good to get a day off and rest up and get away from the rink," captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "These road trips are fun because you get to hang out with the guys all the time and get a little bit of team bonding in at the start of the season."
For those uninterested in America's national past time, the green grass of the local golf course offered another respite. Spending some time staying loose on the links on a bluebird day is certainly a nice way to unwind.
One particular trio ventured down to St. Petersburg to partake in a fruitful fishing expedition. Francois Beauchemin, Gabriel Bourque and Eric Gelinas rented a boat and went out on the water, relaxing and casting lines into the blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
It was too windy to go out into the deep seas, but that didn't mean their experience wasn't successful. The group caught roughly 30 fish in all and added in a shark for good measure.
It helps having a captain that knows what he's doing, and theirs was one worth having. Matt Douglas, a 31-year-old professional fisherman--who was recommended by former NHLer Vinny Lecavalier--has four boats to his name. He spends every day out on the water, and it showed. The three Avs players said that if there was a 15-minute period where nothing was biting, they would navigate to a new spot and immediately start reeling them in again.
After the day in the sun was done, everyone returned back to the city for dinner and a full night of sleep ahead of Thursday's contest against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"It's always good to have a day, especially on the road in the beginning of the year. [There's] some new teammates and [you] get to enjoy an afternoon with them and a good dinner and just kind of not think of hockey for a day. Just have fun and relax. It's always nice to get that mental break, too, as well as a physical break."