It's just about time to hit the road for the second long trip of the year. There is certainly something special about road trips in this game. Unlike other sports, "team bonding" is extremely important here.
What exactly is team bonding? To me, it's the players getting into an environment where they learn more about each other. Everyone who has a family enjoys spending time with them at home, but on the road your teammates are your family. That means spending time with one another, both at the rink and outside the rink. Simple things like having dinner with your teammates and going to a movie together can make a big difference on the ice. That's because you're developing a trust factor with those around you.
In this game, if you don't trust your linemate, or your defensive partner, you're never going to excel. Taking these long trips helps you to develop those qualities. That's not to say the trips are easy. Traveling thousands of miles across multiple time zones is tough both mentally and physically. That's another area where that sense of camaraderie comes into play. Everyone goes through the same grind and all can appreciate what the other guy is going through.
What makes these trips most special is when you come out of them with a winning record. That's what happened on the first trip and if it happens again, the team will be in great shape when it returns. Great shape point wise that is, but there will be some sleep needed to re-charge the batteries.
The plan is for me to have some video footage when we return from this trip. That means if you're a big fan of shaky home video (shooting after three cups of coffee), this will be a feature you'll want to check out here on bluejackets.com.
- Bobby Mac