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Mattias Ohlund's Inbox

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
You consistently rank number one in conditioning after training camp, even this season without playing a pre-season game! What do you incorporate into your off-season training to maintain such a high level of fitness? (Jay Reynolds, Port Coquitlam, B.C.)

After playing during the year you come to learn what your body needs. I think what it comes down to is hard work and dedication. I believe if you have those two components, you'll be in pretty good shape.

What has been the biggest adjustment from playing over in Sweden last year and playing in the new NHL this year? (Y. Richard)

The biggest difference is the way the referees are calling the games. It's tough for me as a defenseman in the NHL to know what I can and can't do while I'm defending. I think that the way in which games are now being called is definitely the biggest adjustment for everyone.

Who was your favorite team growing up and why?

As a kid I didn't really follow the NHL that much. I looked mostly to the Swedish League for inspiration. From the NHL I was most influenced by Borje Salming when he played for Toronto. So I would say that I looked to Toronto a little bit growing up.

What are your key skills for being a defenseman? (Hing Wong)

Obviously being a defenseman you like to be able to defend your zone really well. I think that the most important thing is to improve every day and every year. You always want to come back and have a better year then you did previously. Overall, as long as you have the drive I think you have a good chance at succeeding.

Why did you choose #2 as your jersey number? (Ethan H. Lim)

I didn't actually choose #2 as my jersey number. Pat O'Neil, our equipment manager gave me the number my first year. I've never been too concerned about my jersey numbers throughout my career but I'm quite happy with #2.

What are your personal views on the shoot-out? Some, like Pat Quinn, say it's too gimmicky. Others, including myself say that the excitement gets people out of their seats. Do you think they will keep the rule around for next year? (Paula, Vancouver)

I think if you're a fan, the shoot-out is pretty exciting and does add to the thrill of the game. You want your team to win, and if it's a tie after overtime it's a good way to end the game.

What is you favorite city to visit away from home? and with spending three nights and playing two games in one city, do you and the team like to travel around and check out the sights? (Michael Harrold)

I love New York although we don't go there very often. Also, anytime we go somewhere warm like Phoenix it's pretty easy to have a good time. This last road trip we had two days in L.A. where we just had practices in the morning. It was really nice because we had a chance to see a lot more then we usually do on the road, and had the opportunity to travel around and see the sights.

Is there any particular song or group you listen to before a game to get psyched or ready? (Kamal Manhas)

We do listen to music before games but it's hard because we're a group of 24 guys with very different tastes, so it's tough to please everybody. Before games I usually like to listen to hardcore Metallica. Anything loud is pretty fitting before a game I think.

What family activities do you enjoy doing with your wife and kids? (Jessica Verlinden)

I think the perfect day during the season is just getting the day off, with no plans. I enjoy going to the park, taking walks with my family, or doing anything else simple, that I wouldn't get the chance to do otherwise.

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