New York Rangers forward Derek Dorsett will be blogging for NHL.com throughout the Stanley Cup Final, offering his insight on what is happening inside the walls of his team's locker room and within the confines of the rink.
LOS ANGELES -- The two days off between games gave us a chance to unwind yesterday away from the rink and everything.
Earlier this season we stayed down at a great little hotel in Santa Monica, and after the game the other night we went down there again. It's a beautiful hotel, right on the beach, on the water. There's a lot of stuff you can do during a day off. It was good for us.
Some guys enjoyed some time on the beach. Some guys went for a bike ride. There are some good restaurants down there too.
I've been watching "Magic City," the show on the casino era back in Miami back in the day. I got it on iTunes not that long ago. So in the morning I went for a bike ride, then I had lunch and went and chilled out in my hotel room to watch some shows.
It was relaxing. It's nice to soak in the sun and just disconnect from the game for a little while.
After watching some of my shows I went to dinner with Rick Nash, J.T. Miller and Cam Talbot at Del Frisco's. We then went back, relaxed and played some Xbox. We play the Tiger Woods game. There's a bunch of guys who play. Then there's usually a poker game or another type of card game going on in our hospitality suite as well.
But yesterday it was me, Nasher, Millsy and Talbs, and we played alternate shot. It was me and Millsy versus Nash and Talbot. I'm not the best player. I don't play many video games. Millsy got stuck with me because he's the best, and we still ended up losing.
Today I felt energized when I woke up. I was ready to get back to work, to have a good practice, to try to build that excitement up.
We didn't talk about the loss in Game 1 or what we have to do in Game 2 too much yesterday. We watched the highlights and what not, but you can't get too into it. That's the kind of day that allows us to get away, to disconnect, forget about what happened so we can regroup and get ready for Game 2 (7 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS).
So today we had a video session that showed us some areas where we can get better and some areas where we did some good things.
For example, we have to get a better forecheck going. For the first two periods it was pretty good, but obviously we're playing a team with size, skill and speed, so we have to do the things we've done in our system all year to break them down and get more opportunities.
We didn't do that in the third period. We got caught on our heels. L.A. is a big team; they clog the middle of the ice, and we had trouble getting through the neutral zone. We have to keep getting pucks deep and using our speed to get around them.
After the video we had an intense practice. It was great.
With that day off guys have some energy and we're still obviously disappointed to lose Game 1. We want to make sure we're sharp and ready and need it to be an intense practice to make sure we're pushing each other to get better to make sure we're coming out with a sharp effort.
Tonight we'll have a team dinner and there will be more Xbox. I can't wait to play Game 2.