It’s been a great start to the tournament for us; I’m proud of how well we’re coming together as a team. This is an awesome group of guys, hopefully we can keep the chemistry strong and keep rolling.
Things are going great off the ice too. We had a day off Tuesday, so a bunch of us explored Saint Petersburg, the second biggest city in Russia, where we’re staying. The highlight was visiting the Church of the Savior on Blood. I was able to take one photo before my phone died and no, I still haven’t taken any photos that I’m actually in. I’m working on it! Until then here’s Boone Jenner and Morgan Riley in front of the incredible church.
It’s a challenge getting around here sometimes because of the language barrier. I don’t speak a lick of Russian, so simple things aren’t simple. One time we were trying to find a cab and literally we couldn’t find one anywhere. We were on a main street too, so it was confusing. We asked a bunch of people and they were just looking at me like I had three heads because they had no idea what I was saying. Eventually we got pointed in the right direction, but I now have a better understanding what Nikita Tryamkin goes through in Vancouver.
The differences in language haven’t stopped fans from approaching us, thankfully. A lot of people ask for Corey Perry, so it’s nice and easy, you just direct them off to Corey. There have been a couple of Vancouver fans, one guy even had a Vancouver jersey! He was yelling “Vancouver, Vancouver, Ben, Ben!” so I went over and said hello. It’s cool knowing we have Canucks fans all over the world, or maybe that was Nikita’s family, who knows!
Someone asked me the other day what has surprised me most so far and I’d have to say the food. Coming here I thought the food was going to be a little suspect, but I’ve had some pretty good meals. Steak and lamb and club sandwiches. Avoid the fish, it’s nothing compared to what we have in Vancouver. We’ve been going for dinner as a team mostly, so the plates are laid out for you. We have tried venturing into restaurants on our own too and usually we sit down, realize the menu is only in Russian, then apologize and leave awkwardly. Smooth.
Of all of my teammates, I’ve gotten to know my roommate, Brad Marchand, the most. He’s a completely different guy off the ice. When I first got roomed up with him, I thought I was in for a long three weeks here, but it’s been great getting to know him.
We’re pretty much doing everything together, going to dinner or exploring the city or hitting the spa at the hotel, we’re always hanging out. Good guy, he’s not a pest off the ice. He’s a solid ping-pong player too, so you know.
Oh shush, don’t worry, I’ll still be hard on him when we face Boston!
If you have any questions for me, comment below and I’ll try to answer them next blog. You can look forward to some better photos too, my dad is coming to visit so he’s in charge of that from now on!