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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Each Tuesday during the month of October, Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom will post his journal of thoughts on the weeks upcoming and past events. Be sure to check out each entry.

Mattias Norstrom Journal Entry Two | Read Entry One
Oct. 11, 2005

I can't remember the last time I had a 102-degree fever. I was really down and out for the count. But that's the way it goes when you get a virus like the one I had last week. Fortunately, my recovery time has been quick and I was able to get back into the lineup for Sunday's game against the Minnesota Wild.

Missing our season opener was disappointing for a lot of selfish reasons. In 10 years, I had never missed an opening night and a game like that is always special because it's the start of a new year. But that's the way it goes sometimes. There wasn't much I could do about it. I'm very happy to be back because, after what I went through, I wasn't sure when I would be ready to play again.

I actually felt pretty good on the ice against the Wild on Sunday night. I was surprised that I was able to recover as quickly as I did, but I guess when you're able to put some fluids and food back into the system, it doesn't take long. Hopefully a couple of years of experience helped as well. From experience, I know how to play when I'm a little tired and banged up.

I had the unique perspective of watching our first two games away from the ice and based on what I saw, I'm even more impressed with our forwards and what they can do offensively. I think we have the kind of players who can dictate how the game is played. That's how we should play. I thought we played poorly in Dallas but bounced back nicely against the Phoenix Coyotes by being more physical. We have so much talent up front so that's the way we should play.

Our five-game homestand to start the season is only an advantage if we take care of business. If you're going to be successful as a hockey team, you have to make your own building a tough place to play for the visitors. That doesn't happen by luck or chance. We need to let other teams know that when they come into the STAPLES Center, they're in for a long, long night and a physical battle. We want them to feel like they need to play really tight defensively to even have a chance. So again, the home games to start the season are only an advantage if we take care of business like I know we can.
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