We asked Byron Ritchie to share some details with us from the road - and he didn't disappoint. Byron gives us the insider's perspective on the Canucks road trip.
Well what a busy 2 weeks this has been! We’re on the plane coming home from what seemed like the longest road trip of all time. We’ve just wrapped up playing 8 games, in 8 different cities in 14 days and I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to a good nights sleep in my own bed and especially seeing my wife and son.
Sandwiched in the middle of being on the road, we came home to face the “Next One”. Who can forget the energy and excitement in the building when Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins were here. I know that all of us players agree, for a regular season game, it had everything fans could have asked for. I mean, seeing Louie shut down Crosby in overtime on a penalty shot, then again in the shoot out, just amazing. It would have been nice to walk away with the 2 points though.
Life on the road is always great for building strong relationships with your teammates. Brad Isbister and I have been rooming together on the road this season and so far it’s been great. I wish I could share with you a few crazy stories, or some of his bad habits, but until now he has been clean, always in bed early and a great roommate. Maybe later in the season I’ll have a different answer.
This road trip had us down in sunny California, and out of the 3 cities, my favourite is still LA. The glitz and glamour of Hollywood is always a good time. Much to my wife’s liking, I was able to get some Christmas shopping done on Rodeo Drive. Between having rapper Snoop Dogg check out our morning skate and all the other crazy stuff going on in that city, LA always has some good stories to share when we get home.
It’s hard to believe that we’re almost half way through the season already. Having grown up in Delta, this year has been a dream come true. The opportunity to come home and play in front of family and friends has been amazing.
In the summer, when I signed with the team I was really excited and look forward to hopefully winning the Stanley Cup here. Luongo and I played together in Florida, and I can’t even describe the differences between the two cities. Vancouver is such a great hockey city, the fans here are so passionate and knowledgeable, it really makes coming to the arena every day fun and I know Roberto agrees.
Another difference this year for me is the Swedish Connection we have in the dressing room. My wife’s from Sweden, so it has been great so far trying to pick up more of the language from some of the guys. I think what I really need to do is get the inside scoop from them in Swedish cuisine, and really impress my wife with a Swedish inspired home cooked meal, up to this point my knowledge would go as far as the meatballs from IKEA.
My wife and I have decided to focus all of our attention on making this Christmas great for our son Ryder, who at 16 months old now, is starting to really get in to the holiday spirit. By this I mean pulling ornaments down off the tree and trying rip open every gift under the tree. He is an absolute hockey nut, and every morning I get in a little practice time myself when he comes into my room with his stick and ball and wants to play a little shinny.
I remember as a kid I was the same way though and still, to this day I think my favourite gift of all time was when I got my first Easton aluminum hockey stick.
As for the next few days, I am really looking forward to putting up the last of our decorations, and watching some of my favourite Christmas movies, however, I don’t think my son (or wife) is quite ready for Bad Santa, so I think I will stick with Home Alone, The Grinch or Christmas Vacation.
Happy Holidays to everyone!