Alex Killorn will be keeping his own diary throughout the week and through the 2019 NHL Global Series in Stockholm. The first of two games against the Buffalo Sabres at Ericsson Globe is Friday (2 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN1, NHL.TV). The second is Saturday (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, SUN, MSG-B, NHL.TV). He will check in regularly with behind-the-scenes access.
In his third entry, Killorn discusses the off day the Lightning enjoyed Wednesday, the open practice Thursday and the building excitement for the first of the two Global Series games Friday.
Wednesday was our day off after having practices here each of the first three days in Stockholm. So we were able to get away from the rink and recharge a little bit. It was a really nice day.
First, we went to the spa, got a sauna, a cold tub and then a Swedish massage. It was relaxing and a lot of fun.
After that, we went to Old Town to walk around a bit and explore that part of the city. Plus, we wanted to get some Swedish meatballs. We settled on this place called Osterlanggatan 17 Bar & Kvarterskrog right in the middle of Old Town. The Swedish meatballs were fantastic. They came with pureed potatoes and brown gravy. They definitely lived up to the hype. Probably the best meatballs, at least that style, I have ever had in my life. It was a great experience.
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After that we walked around a bit more before going back to the hotel and then heading out for dinner. We had Italian this time and it was also very good. That was about it. We called it a night because we had a big day today. We're trying to save our energy for the back-to-back games.
Today has been the day where we are putting away being here in Stockholm and concentrating on the task before us. Once you see the other team practicing, like we did this afternoon when the Sabres went before us at the open practices, it kind of snaps you back into the present that you have a back-to-back, starting tomorrow.
Today's practice was pretty intense, especially after the day off yesterday. It is kind of a weird circumstance where you are practicing at like 5 p.m., because that doesn't happen too often the day before a game. We want to make sure we are ready physically for the game tomorrow, but also mentally.
With that said, the open practice today was a really cool experience. It was a good crowd and there were so many kids because it was a bit later in the day. They were so excited. When we came off, they were yelling encouragement and they wanted our sticks and everything. You could tell they were really excited, especially during the skills competition between the practices. They were all out there for that, especially with a lot of the Swedish players from both teams taking part in it. The hype was amazing.
With the games almost here, it is all about hockey now, but I can't say enough about my experience in Stockholm. It has been so great. I've met so many people, out at restaurants and stuff like that. They are so nice and approachable. It has been amazing to be immersed in this culture. It's a little different. You know, it gets dark so early that you lose track of time. It's such a nice town; we've been walking everywhere. You don't have to take cabs. You can, but it is nice to get a nice little walk through town. It's starting to get a little cold, but it's all good.
Now I'm looking forward tomorrow and getting back into the game routine after this break.