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Demers' Diary: A Wild Comeback; Cancer Center Visit

by Jason Demers jasondemers5 / FloridaPanthers.com

NYI @ FLA

Condensed Game: Islanders @ Panthers

Extended highlights of the New York Islanders at the Florida Panthers

  • 06:55 •

It's nice when one of those games comes together. 

The bounces haven't gone our way, but it really came together against the New York Islanders on Saturday. It was fun to see all of it come together and get a huge two points before this road trip. I think we've been outplaying teams 95 percent of the time this season, so it was nice to finally get rewarded. 

I thought we had them on the ropes all game. We couldn't finish, but we stayed confident and we stayed positive. Everyone on the bench was really positive and knew that we were coming back and I think everybody in the rink knew it. It was one of the more emotional games you'll see, especially with the great buzz in the building. It was also one of the most fun games I've played in the NHL. 

Now, we've just got to take that into the next game and onto the trip. It's something that we've got to bottle up and keep it locked away. We need to use it every game and play that way. There are not many teams that can play with us if we play that way all year.

It was also nice to see Denis Malgin -- the cutest guy on the team - score the game-winning goal. He took a few shots in the huddle and few punches. It was great that he got that. It was kind of a culmination of the whole game for him to finish it. He's been big for us this year, so it was fun to see him get that goal and to see him smile a little bit.

Looking ahead, we definitely need to start this road trip off the right way in Montreal. You can't win all of them until you win the first game. We've got to get after their goalie. Carey Price is one of the best goalies in the league and they're one of the teams for a reason, so we've got to get after them, get a lead and keep it. 

Video: Panthers visit Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Off the ice, Alex Petrovic, Mark Pysyk and myself recently visited the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center in Miami. It was awesome. We had a great time. Petro and Pysser did a great job with everybody and the whole staff was great. 

It's humbling to do things like that and I've always tried to do as many of those visits as I can throughout my career. It kind of brings things into perspective and reminds us how lucky we are to play a sport for a living and do what we do. It's amazing just how much people appreciate having their spirits lifted by us coming in and talking hockey with them or just talking about their life. To be able to lift someone's day like that is so rewarding. It was no brainer for me to go.

On the flipside, seeing everybody that works in that center and does the job they do everyday fighting for cures and being the real heroes, it's great to meet those people and talk to them and to see how much work they put into their daily lives to helping other people. It's really a thankless job. All the praise goes to them.

At one point they let us put on some lab coats - I kept mine, of course - and showed us how they do the process of testing certain drugs on cancer cells and how their whole day-to-day operations go. It was awesome. 

It was kind of a dream come true to see the lab and pretend that I'm a science nerd for an hour or so. The guys working there were awesome. I thought they were super welcoming and super excited to show us what they do. They're in the top of their field, so it was an honor to have them take time out of their day for us.

When I was real young, going through school, I always had an interest in things like that. It's one of the things that I would have thought about pursuing, even on the physiotherapy side of it, if I wasn't playing hockey. I always liked learning how the body works and what things affect the body and just the whole chemistry of people and how our bodies work internally.  

LAST GOAL

That's what happens when a defenseman just gets lost. 

It doesn't work out 90 percent of the time, but thank God Jags just threw it to the net. I think I just kind of got lost. I was so mesmerized watching Jags that I just kept skating and watching him until the puck bounced on my stick for my second goal that night.

Video: SJS@FLA: Demers scores his second goal in two minutes

It's always fun to get a game like that, but winning is more important to me than that. I'd rather not have any goals and us win than have two and us lose. It was good to get them against my old team, but at the end of the day the results not what I wanted.

I think my last hat trick was by myself on an outdoor hockey rink. No one has ever seen me get one. If I ever got one it'd be great, but it's not something that I'm going looking for. 

FAVORITE ROAD ARENA

I've always had a lot of success in Chicago. I think they have a great atmosphere there. Other than that, I like going on the road to Dallas. When I played there as the home team it was nice, but it's a really fun road city.

Honestly, I would have loved to play at the old forum in Montreal. That would have been a dream come true. 

Jameson Olive contributed to this article

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