Well, the regular season has started and it has been quite the experience so far. The first game was great because we got to start at home at Jobing.com Arena. Thank you all for coming out! Seeing a packed house made us all extremely excited. Columbus is a good team, but we were determined to start the season on a winning note and with the extra boost of energy the fans gave us, we won.
Right after the game, we flew to Anahiem for a game the next night against the Ducks. When it came time to play, we were still so revved up about the season starting and our win the previous night, that we came out flying and took it to Anahiem. We used our speed and they ended up taking quite a few penalties, allowing us to capitalize on the power play. We beat them as well, and flew back to Phoenix that same night.
The next day we practiced and everyone prepared themselves for the week-long road trip we had the following day. Our first stop was Chicago to take on the Hawks.
Going out for warm-up was really neat. The place was nearly packed already and when they sang the national anthem the crowd got so loud it was deafening. I had never heard anything like it.
We started that game playing great. It was scoreless until we scored the first goal just a few minutes into the second period. Everyone was excited, but for some reason we just stopped skating, they scored a couple on us and we lost 4-1.
After the game, everyone got dressed and ready to board the bus. I got changed quick and hurried to the spot where friends and family wait for the players after games. My girlfriend and a couple of buddies had made the trip from Wisconsin to see the game. I was so excited to see them, and I couldn't thank them enough for coming. I missed my girlfriend a ton and they all thought it was pretty cool seeing me on the ice again. After 20 minutes of catching up with them, it was onto the bus.
That night we flew into Ottawa and had a tough game the next night. Then it was off to Montreal.
It was really cool to be back in Canada and see how hockey crazy the members of the media were. There was probably 20 or so reporters in the dressing room after pre-game skate at the Bell Centre talking to Doaner, my neighbour in the dressing room that day. And a couple of reporters were asking me about my roommate from last year and great friend Ryan McDonagh, since he is a high draft pick there.
When we got to the rink that night the atmosphere was wild. The Bell Centre holds the most fans in the league, I think around 22,000, and it's sold out every night. Although the game didn't end up in our favor, it was a great learning experience and something I'll remember for a long time.
It was a long flight home that night, but we had the next day off and recovered for the upcoming week of practices. So thanks to everyone for all the support in our home opener, and Hopefully all of you guys are back for Thursday night's game against Washington.