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BJUGY’S BLOG: Another wild shootout, Thanksgiving at Willie’s house

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

We have a little something special going on when it comes to shootouts.

After a record-setting 20-round shootout victory over the Washington Capitals last season, we found ourselves involved in another record-breaking night when nine straight shootout goals were scored in our victory over the New York Islanders on Friday.

It was crazy seeing everyone score and great to end up on the winning end again, obviously. I honestly couldn’t believe what was happening as I watched from the bench. It just kept going and going and going. I kind of had a flashback to last year and started to wonder if we were going to go another 20 rounds. It was pretty cool.

I feel like we get in a lot of shootouts and at this point the chances of us breaking a record when we get there are pretty good. The guys were hot in the shootout and it’s pretty fun to be a part of when something like that happens. At one point, I was joking with Monty about the 20-round shootout and saying that maybe we’ll beat it this time. He said, “No way, Barky’s up.” We had faith in Barky and he did an unbelievable Peter Forsberg move to win the game.

Barky grabs the puck really quick during shootouts and I think it almost intimidates the goalie when he grabs the puck the way he does at the dot. There’s no chance I’m doing that because the puck would just end up in the corner. Looking back, all of the guys had good moves. Pirri’s lethal shootout move is great. No one can stop that it seems.

We work on shootouts with our goaltending coach Robb Tallas. He pays a lot of attention to opposing goalies and our matchups. There’s a lot more research that goes into shootouts than people probably think. After you’ve competed in a few shootouts you pretty much know your move or have a few moves that you’re probably comfortable with. You just play it off and go into the move knowing what you’re going to do. That is, however, unless the goalie does something drastic.

On my shootout goal against the Islanders, I was going to do my standard fake-pump forehand, but Halak stuck his paddle out and I think he would have stopped me if I tried that. I ended up just shooting five-hole and it went in. I watched Kyle Okposo do a similar move against Luongo earlier in the shootout and thought, “Hmm, maybe I’ll try that.”

It was definitely a fun night to be a part of.

THANKSGIVING WITH THE BOYS

My mom was in town for Thanksgiving and we went over to Willie Mitchell’s house for a big dinner. A lot of other players came with their wives and girlfriends, and there ended up being about 25 of us. There were two big tables set up and everyone just kind of brought their own dishes. We brought a tater tot hotdish, which is kind of a Midwest specialty. I didn’t make it, but I ate a lot of it. It was a good time. We did the same thing last year and there was a lot of food and a lot of laughs. Willie and his wife, Megan, were nice enough to have everyone over.

QUICK HITS

My favorite Thanksgiving memory: I don’t really have one specific memory. To me, Thanksgiving is just a time when your family gathers and you just enjoy the food that you’re fortunate enough to eat. In the past, I’d usually spend the day with one side of my family and then spend the night with the other side. The most enjoyable part is just seeing everyone in your family and catching up with them. It’s just a lot of fun and a lot of eating.

My favorite Thanksgiving dish: My favorite thing to eat is green bean casserole and no one made that this year! I was a little disappointed. There was so much other food, but that’s probably my favorite.

My Christmas shopping plans: I usually start shopping a couple of days before Christmas. It’s terrible. I’m a procrastinator. I might have to hop on Amazon and do some shopping for my family and friends while we’re on the road. I’m really bad at it and usually wait until the last minute. That’s just how I roll when it comes to shopping. I usually come up with something for my girlfriend, but I’m kind of running out of ideas. I’ll have to do some research and see what’s hot this year.

TWITTER QUESTIONS

It would probably be Peter Forsberg. I liked the Colorado Avalanche growing up and have some family that lives in Colorado. I was big Avs fan because we didn’t have the Wild until I was in about third or fourth grade. Then Willie Mitchell came in and I became a fan of the Wild, obviously. I was also a big Matt Hendricks fan because he was from my hometown of Blaine, Minn., and won a high school state championship there. I couldn’t believe that someone from my hometown went on to play college hockey, and eventually, the NHL.

He’s been a big part of my career ever since I was a little kid. I chat with him quite a bit and my shot is probably the biggest thing he’s helped me with. That was kind of his niche when he played and he’s perfected that. I used to always go over to his house and we’d work on stuff together on a sheet of ice he had set up in his backyard. It was huge having him to help me with that and he’s a great uncle.

As for my curve, I use a big toe curve. It’s a pretty whippy stick – 95 flex, TRUE stick. It’s kind of gradually gotten bigger over the years. I’ve been using it since about middle school, back when it was called the Joe Sakic. I really like my stick and I’ve been using it for about a year and a half now.

Jameson Olive Contributed to This Article

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