I’ve been feeling pretty good out there since returning to the lineup a few weeks ago. I thought our last road trip went pretty well for us despite that last game in Calgary. The team has been working well together and, for me, it’s just nice to finally be traveling and feel like part of the team again. It’s a lot more fun when you’re winning and playing, and I came back into a good environment. There have been a few tough losses, but we’re moving on.
It was tough being out of the lineup for so long while I was trying to get a handle on my migraines, but I stayed in touch with guys through a group chat to congratulate them after every victory. It was an amazing thing to watch. It showed us what our locker room could be made of, and guys are building their confidence off of that streak.
That said, we realize how good this league is and how other teams can go on streaks just like we did. We can’t really take for granted what we have. We have to keep rolling and it’s important that we don’t get too caught up in looking back at that streak. We just have to notice all the good things that we did well during that time and carry on from there.
As for the migraines, I haven’t really been doing anything differently because of them since returning to the lineup. I’ve been doing some different warmups for my vision, but other than that there hasn’t really been anything crazy for my head as far as my preparation. The brain is a tough one to crack as far as how to fix it. We never talked about a tinted visor or anything like that. I used to watch Alex Ovechkin play with one when I was in middle school and I don’t think I can pull it off. It’s been good, though. I’ve been fine playing and I’m trying to get back into it. It’s a lot easier when the team is winning and it’s fun.
Off the ice, I don’t think anybody wants to hear about what I did at home while I was out of the lineup since it was mostly just sitting on my couch, watching the games and wishing I were playing. This last road trip, though, we actually did some pretty fun stuff. Our first night in Buffalo a few of us went over to Niagara Falls, which was about a half hour cab ride from where we were staying. It was about five degrees and freezing, but Willie Mitchell wanted to see it. I actually wanted to see it last season, but everyone kind of gave me grief for it. I thought Willie was kidding at first when he said he wanted to go, but I jumped on it.
In the end, it was definitely worth the drive. It was dark out, but it was still pretty amazing to see. We got to eat dinner and look over the waterfall at one of the natural wonders of the world… I should have got my girlfriend a t-shirt or something.
MY FIRST FIGHT
That was actually my first legitimate fight. When you play high school hockey and college hockey like I did, there’s no fighting allowed. I guess I’ve been in what you could call “locker boxes,” but nothing like last week in Edmonton.
I felt like it was an opportunity to stick up for my teammate, Corban Knight. It’s a blur when you’re doing it because it happens so fast. I swear it looked a lot worse than it actually was. I got twelve stiches, but the guys were excited. It’s good to get that reaction and it’s about sticking up for each other.
The only downside is that Jagr is starting to call me “Harry” now because the cut on my forehead kind of looks like the scar from the “Harry Potter” franchise. He thinks he’s a funny guy, but I don’t think he’s even seen the movies. It’s actually pretty funny.
That’s a tough one. I guess you could come with something about how one guy is older than the other two put together, but I can’t really come up with anything off the top of my head. I’m sorry, but I’ve got nothing!
He’s very calm, win or lose. He’s even keeled, which helps keep the younger guys on this team under control. He’s a leader and a strong voice in the locker room. He makes you want to play hard in front of him because he’s so passionate about the game. He knows so much and can even give forwards teaching points when he sees things during a game because he’s got such a smart hockey mind.
I played one year in like first grade. The game was just too slow for me. I have self-prescribed ADD, that’s what I say. When I was little I just wanted to be going all the time. I like watching it now, though. I’m a big Minnesota Twins fan.
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Jameson Olive contributed to this post