The below first appeared on www.nhl.com/fi as part of a year-long exclusive correspondence with Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine.
Throughout the 2018-19 season, NHL.com/fi will be your home for an exclusive look inside the life of Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine. In his own words, the Tampere, Finland native will dish on all things on and off the ice. In this second instalment, Laine talks about life after Global Series and holiday plans.
The week in Finland was an amazing experience. So many great things happened, but the best moments were both the games we played against the Florida Panthers. Sure, the week was a lot of fun, but it was also exhausting with all the things happening and the time difference. Luckily I was able to catch my sleep the first night after our return to Winnipeg, and I adjusted pretty quickly and easily. There was a six-day break between our last game in Finland and the first one at home, and we used that time to practice and just to enjoy being at home. No need to say it was a great feeling to play again after the break.
I didn't start the season the way I had hoped for. I wouldn't say it was a disappointment, but I wasn't producing as much as I wanted to. It was a huge relief for me when I scored those points (4G, 1A) in Finland. I feel that got my game going. But make no mistake, I still have a lot of work to do. I need to improve my game a lot when playing five on five. Let's say my overall game is semi-decent at the moment, and I'm hoping it will improve with time and more games played. I just need to work hard.
My power play has been working in the past, and it hasn't failed me this season either. There's no secret to it. I'm very fortunate to have great team mates on power play, and that's about it. They create excellent chances for me, and thanks to them, it's very easy for me to put the puck in the net. I really enjoy power play. It's not just the goals, but there are so many interesting turns of events and things going on the ice.
We spend this week and home, bag our bags Friday night after the Buffalo game and hit the road again for more than a week. It's kind of sad to leave, because it was great to return home from Finland and play before our amazing fans. They get us going, and if it were up to me, we'd play home all the time. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy those road trips with my team, but still, home is home.
There's still about six weeks left of 2018. When I think about those weeks, I hope we play well, get some wins, and I'll be able to help my team. What we need to do is execute better five on five. It's been better of late, and I hope we can build on that and keep going. Our goaltending is good, power play and penalty kill work. It's the five on five we need to focus now.
Winter has hit Winnipeg. There's snow on the ground, and temperature has dropped to -10 C. Some days have been even colder. Canada celebrated Thanksgiving already in October, and the US families will gather together for Thanksgiving Thursday next week. I'm still not very familiar with Thanksgiving, coming from Finland, but I understand it's an important day. There will be no NHL games next Thursday.
As for holidays, I celebrate the ones we have in Finland. I haven't put up the Christmas lights yet, but some decorations have appeared around the house. No, it's not me. My Mom takes care of the decorating, and I do some other Christmas-related things. But I really appreciate everything Mom does.