Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, the likely starting goalie for the Minnesota Wild in the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (3:30 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports), is keeping a diary of his experiences this weekend. This his second installment, which focuses on the practice day at the stadium and the close call he sustained.
It was a real good session out there today. We were able to get a feel for the vision and the markings on the ice. The lighting, if the conditions are similar tomorrow to how they were today, I think it will be absolutely perfect. The temperatures were great. The little bit of cloud cover was great for the natural lighting.
It was just fun. You get out there on your way to the ice and you start feeling the wind on your face. I would have thought it was a bit cheesy to say, but it does bring you back to being a kid and playing outside. It's one practice that I would have liked to last a little bit longer.
It didn't even matter that I took a high shot there that didn't feel so good. Like I've said before, it's not the first time or the last time that I am going to take one up high. It's part of the job and you just learn to deal with it. I'm not going to start fining guys that do it or anything like that in that situation. I'm not going to say who did it today, but me and him get along pretty well, so I'm sure he'll buy me a beer down the road.
But, like I said, practice was so much fun. I just took shots at the one end because I didn't think it was important to take shots at both ends. I got down to the other end and I talked to Darcy Kuemper about it a little bit, but the visuals and what not were very similar. Darcy said the shots at his end with the scoreboard were rising a little bit, but we'll see. I don't know if that's because they were rising or because he didn't have enough sleep last night. I don't know, we'll see when I get out there for the game, I guess.
I had no problems with glare or shadows. I think if the sun was high in the sky, we'd be having a different conversation. But, if the conditions are like this tomorrow with the cloud cover like that, it's going to be just perfect. The ice was great too, I thought. Obviously, you are not expecting a perfect sheet of ice out there, but it was really good. As the practice went on, it got a little bit sticky, but we are never going to be out there that long between scrapes anyway, so it was good.
Now, I think we are ready for the game tomorrow against the Chicago Blackhawks. That's why it was important to have the family skate yesterday and get down here early and get situated and take everything in. You get all the new gear and all these things and you want to get that all out of the way today so that tomorrow you can come and you're ready to think about the game. I think we all did a good job of preparing that way today.
I wish I could stay for the alumni game but I have to get home and help out with the kids. It will be on the TV though and I'll be watching a little. I'll be watching the goalies especially. I don't envy those guys trying to strap the pads on. I mean, I'm 29 and sometimes I can barely pull myself out of bed after a game, so I can't imagine trying to do it for the guys that are getting up there in age. But, it's always fun to watch those guys. Obviously, the teachings and the techniques of goaltending have changed, but those guys were all super tough competitors and they battled to stop the puck when there wasn't as much coaching and it was really about angles and just puck stopping. That's when the guys that played were the guys that worked the hardest and they battled and competed to stop the puck and that's admirable for sure. It's always fun to watch those guys.