Lightning forward Steve Downie, currently playing in his first IIHF World Championship, recently checked in with TampaBayLightning.com and filed this report from Germany to update fans on what's going on:
Hey everyone. Germany has been a lot of fun so far.The hockey atmosphere here in Europe is a lot different and being here has been a great learning experience. We have been playing A LOT of hockey. Each day we either have a game or a practice so remaining focused isn't hard to do.
Playing on the big ice surface over here has been a big adjustment. We really had to grind out some games along the way so far. I'm learning a lot and getting better as the games go on. It is a really big change but I'm having fun with it.
The competition has been really good. It is a really skilled tournament and there are some good teams here. We have a lot of work ahead of us if we are going to finish where we want to be. We had a tough time with Sweden and the Swiss. We're having trouble scoring goals five-on-five, but we're all learning and getting better every day.
It was fun playing against Heddy (Victor Hedman) yesterday. We had some good battles and there were a couple smiles. We battled hard and it was a tough loss, but we need to learn from it and hopefully we'll get another shot at them.
Like I said, there really hasn't been a lot of down time outside of hockey. Stammer and I were roommates here in Manheim until two days ago when all the families arrived. A bunch of their guys now have their wives and kids here too. Yesterday we took a tour of Hallenberg Castle.It was really cool. I've never been to an old castle like that. It was really interesting to see and take pictures of all the history there.
That's about all for now. Hope all is well in Tampa Bay!