We’ve got a lot of road games left before we reach the playoffs.
I think the team really came together after that tough loss to the Islanders in Brooklyn. We were all pretty disappointed after losing that one, but we found a way to win the next two games against Montreal and Toronto. Those types of losses are always tough to bounce back from, especially when we felt like we played really well for two periods before collapsing in the third. That being said, it was definitely a good learning experience for us, finding out that even when you’re up a couple of goals, any team can really take it to you if you sit back on your heels.
Looking ahead, we realize that every victory is another two points in the bank for us down the home stretch. It’s more security for us as we keep going on and getting closer to that playoff bid. Nothing is guaranteed. I know we’re close, but we’re not to the finish line yet. We’ve got to make sure we keep going.
As we get closer to the playoffs, we’re also definitely paying attention to the standings. We like to see who is creeping up on us, as well as which teams can jump ahead of us on any given night. It’s something that you try not to dwell on too much, but you definitely pay attention to. We want to win the division, but we’re not focusing on what could be, but rather what we need to do night in and night out and how we can improve period by period. Literally, anything can change in one period, depending on injuries or whatever else comes up. We’ve got to make sure that everyone’s ready and everyone’s in it together. I think we’re all playing pretty well as a team and trusting each other a lot right now.
Our goal is to win the division.
AN EARLY PLAYOFF BEARD
I’ve been trying to grow some facial hair, but it’s tough for me. It’s actually kind of embarrassing because I’ve been working on this thing for almost two and a half weeks. It started off with me just being lazy, but then I realized what time of year it was and decided to leave it. At this point, everyone is making fun of me. I might have to get some Just for Men and dye it or something because it’s not coming in very nice.
I remember seeing Sidney Crosby with similar facial hair during the playoffs when he was about 19 or 20 years old, but I have no excuse since I’m 23. My dad claims he didn’t start getting good facial hair till he was 35, so I guess I’ve got a ways to go. I’m just going to keep trying to grow it out and see how it comes in.
A NIGHT OUT IN NYC
We’re all pretty thankful that we’re on the road a lot this time of the year. It’s Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale, so the traffic is terrible and the beaches are crowded in the area where most of us live.
This team really enjoys being together and it’s always really fun to visit different cities. I like to mix it up and hang out with different guys on each trip. I mean, everyone just kind of hangs out with everyone. There aren’t really specific crews that hang out with each other, which says a lot about our team and how much we all get along.
On our last road trip, we went to a comedy show in New York City to see Josh Wolf, who some of you might know from the TV show “Chelsea Lately”. It was me, Shawn Thornton, Reilly Smith, Garrett Wilson and one of our equipment managers, Moody. I think Thorty knows Wolf through something and gave us the idea.
I like comedy a lot and love going to shows. I think I’ve said it here before, but my favorite comedian is Nick Swardson. He’s from Minnesota and I’ve had the chance to see him live before as well.
That was probably the only night we got to go out and do something on that trip, so it was fun and the show was awesome. When you have the chance to do stuff like that on the road, you take it, because you don’t want to sit in the hotel every night.
SPACEY IN SPACE
It’s pretty crazy that Kevin Spacey could be at our game tonight against Detroit.
He’s a good actor and I’ve seen quite a few of his movies. I guess my favorite would probably be “Horrible Bosses.” A lot of people have told me about “House of Cards,” but I haven’t seen it yet. I’m usually late to TV series, so I’ll probably end up watching that a year from now.
It’s been fun to see him interact with fans and the team. Obviously, we see a lot of “Spacey in Spacey” sweatshirts in the stands that make us laugh, and I’m sure they’ll be a lot more tonight!
Now that I think about it, it’d really be great to win that sweatshirt tonight, especially if Spacey is in town.
Maybe we can get it signed by him, who knows?
When I was younger, my uncle Scott played in the NHL and for the Minnesota Gophers. He was No. 27 at the University of Minnesota, so I decided to start wearing it. I liked the number and I kept it all the way through high school.
My uncle was someone that I looked up to in terms of being a pro hockey player. He’s a super good guy and taught me a lot. He’s actually in town for the game tonight with a few of my cousins and my aunt. He’s a good guy to learn from and he’s a great family member.
Luckily, no one was using the number when I got to the Panthers. Alexei Kovalev had it, but he ended up leaving the year before I arrived.
That’s a no brainer. I think everyone can tell that it’s Barky. He’s quiet, but when he says something it’s usually meaningful or funny. Maybe that’s the way to go. Maybe I talk too much. I think he probably thinks I talk too much. So yeah, he’s the quietest, but he can also be the funniest. It’s a good trait of his.
Jameson Olive Contributed to This Article