We’re excited for what’s to come.
We had a few days off for the All-Star break, got some good rest, but I think we’re all excited to be back with each other. We’ve just got to continue with the same mentality we’ve had in the past and keep rolling with it. We can’t look back. We’ve just got to focus on what’s in the future as we work towards the playoffs.
This is my first time being in this position as a professional hockey player. As we sit in first place in our division, I’m just trying to learn from the older guys how to stay even keeled and take it day by day. You can’t focus on the possibilities of the future because you have to just focus on each game. It’s nice having a lot of veterans to look up to and listen to because they’ve been through a lot of playoff pushes throughout their careers. It’s something us young guys are learning a lot about from guys like Jagr, Luongo, Mitchell and Thornton. I made the playoffs a few times in college, but that was nothing like this. It’s a long season and anything can happen.
Speaking of the older guys on our team, I really think they are a big part of why we are where we are today. They don’t really talk about whether or not this could be their last year or what’s going to happen in the future, but you can tell when they’re talking about the playoffs how much they went through to get there. Even a guy like Willie Mitchell, who’s fresh off a few rings with the Kings, always talks about what a grind it is, but also what an awesome feeling it is when you get to the end of it.
We all understand that it’s a long process. You can’t really take for granted what we’ve got going here. You never really know who’s going to be around in the later years, but this team has really come together and put on a push. Like I said, you never know what can happen.
MY ALL-STAR BREAK
I hung around for a few days, just relaxing and not doing much, before heading to Key West for the weekend with my girlfriend, Jackie. I had never been down there because it’s kind of a hike of a drive, but we both had a really good time. We got to fish a little bit and ate a lot of really good food. I ate blackened grouper for like every meal.
I was also able to catch a lot of the highlights from the All-Star Game. I thought they did a really good job this year. It was a lot of fun seeing Ekblad, Luongo and Jagr out there representing the Panthers. It really seemed like the commentators couldn’t get enough of those guys, which as a teammate was awesome to see. I was hoping they’d win it all, but I wasn’t feeling too bad for them because that John Scott story was just awesome.
I skate with John at my agency camp during the summer, and he’s just a really good guy. It was really fun to watch because a lot of people didn’t want him there initially, but by the end of the weekend I think everyone wanted him there. It was definitely a good All-Star Game.
MY PRE-GAME MEAL
I usually do a couple plates of food on the day of a game. I start with some salmon, veggies and rice before I get the carbs going with some chicken and spaghetti. We always get some good meals, so that’s how I kind of how I go about it. I try and stay away from ice cream and sweets.
As for my new rotisserie chicken nickname, I just think Troch and Ekblad thought it would be fun to throw me under the bus during their ESPN interview. I don’t know if they rehearsed that, but it has definitely taken on a life of its own with the fans. I’ve decided I’m just going to go with it. I mean, I do like rotisserie chicken a lot. In college I’d get it all the time and eat the whole thing by myself. It’s an easy, quick meal that can fill you up for a good price.
I am hoping that maybe I’ll get some free rotisserie chicken from Publix if the tweets keep going.
On the ice, I’d have to say it was our franchise-record winning streak. It felt like it was never going to stop. When you get on a streak like that, it’s pretty incredible to be around the guys and playing is pretty effortless. That was definitely the high so far, but hopefully we can on a streak like that again. It put us on the map and saved our season since we didn’t really have a hot start. It was a fun thing to be a part of.
I do like his music. When he’s on the radio I always make sure that everyone in the room knows that he’s from Minnesota. I also love Dave Chappelle’s old skit about Price, which was super funny to me. I also respect Prince because he’s the biggest artist to ever come out of Minnesota and we definitely take pride in that. I’m not a die-hard fan and he’s not on my iPod, but I do enjoy listening to him every once in a while.
My mom actually saw Prince this one time in Minneapolis during his prime. He was walking around this lake with a giant boom box over his shoulder. She loves telling that story.
Jameson Olive contributed to this article