Hello again Hawks fans,
I am writing my second journal entry after just completing our 17 day road trip. I will use this journal to give you some insight as to what went on while we were on the road for such a long time.
We played seven games in the span of 17 days. As the trip started, coach Savard challenged our team to look at this trip as a seven-game series and give our best effort to win it. We did that with a 3-2-2 record and finished with two great performances against Columbus and Nashville.
While on the road we spend a lot of time on the airplane and in hotel rooms. Guys all have something different they do to pass the time. One of the fun things a group of us do on the airplane is play a PSP handheld game called SoCom where there are two teams and we can all play against each other.
There is a team of the guys who speak French -- Lapointe, Lalime, Barker, Perreault and Toews -- against the all-English team of Sharp, Seabrook, Kane, Wisniewski and myself. It is a fun way for us to get a release from hockey and yell and make fun of each other.
I would have to say the English speaking guys took it to the French guys pretty good on the trip, but I'm sure if they read this there will be some arguments about that.
We spent five days in San Jose, which was nice to be in a warm climate away from all the snow here in Chicago. We stayed at a great hotel with lots of nice shopping around and some great restaurants to eat at. So when we weren't at the rink practicing or playing, guys spent a lot of time shopping and walking around enjoying the weather.
We then went to Edmonton and Calgary where the weather was not so nice. In Edmonton it was -20 when we got off the plane. We really didn't spend any time in either of those cities -- just getting in, playing and leaving. The Calgary game was especially memorable as we played a tight 2-1 game where guys really felt good about how hard we battled in a playoff like game and atmosphere.
From there we went to Vancouver, a city that the guys always enjoy being in. We got in two nights before the game so the first night we had what is called the rookie dinner. It is a team meal where all the rookies pick up the tab for the team and the trainers. It was a fun night, and any time we have a chance to get the whole team together and joke around and share stories it is a great way to bond -- sort of a 'rite of passage', if you will, to the NHL.
At one point in the dinner all the rookies had to stand up and share a special memory of their first year in the NHL, so that is neat to hear everybody's different stories. I will share with you a memory I had of my first year last season.
Before my first NHL game in St. Louis I was very nervous. In our stalls we have white and black helmets. When we play on the road we always wear white helmets, so obviously before we go out for warm-ups everybody grabs their white helmets and heads out to the ice.
I get out there for warm-ups before my first game and am looking around so nervous and excited to be playing in the NHL. As I skate around, Marty Lapointe calls me over and says, "Hey Bur, you have the wrong helmet on. We are supposed to wear the white one." My heart dropped thinking, 'I cant believe here I am in the NHL and I am in warm-ups wearing the wrong helmet'!
So I skate over to the bench about to go back to the locker room to change helmets when I look into the glass to see that I was, in fact, wearing the right (white) helmet. Marty was just messing with me. It was something I will always remember.
We finished up with our two best games of the year in Columbus and Nashville, beating them both with great efforts. It's exciting for us to come back home now and play in front of all of you at the UC. This team still has high hopes of making a strong playoff push down the stretch here and we want to continue playing how we did finishing up the trip.
Thanks to everyone who sent in so many great questions after my first journal entry. The response was overwhelming and I will use my next journal to answer as many questions that you have about our team as I can.
Again, thank you all for your great support, and we look forward to that continued support as we make a great push to get ourselves in a playoff spot. I can promise you we are committed to doing so.