Dear Panthers fans,
It's always great starting off a road trip with a win.
It was also awesome to see Marchy get his first NHL goal the other night. When we were going in on that 2-on-1 break, I wanted him to take the shot. There's nothing better than your first NHL goal and I'm really happy for him. He's been buzzing, so it was good to see him get rewarded.
Honestly, it didn't really register until after the celebration what had happened. Marchy was just so excited, and we were all just as excited for him because he'd been playing really well lately. But then the moment kind of dawned on me and I thought I better go grab the puck for this guy.
As a team, it's definitely felt really good to get off to the start that we've had this season, but we're just taking things one game at a time. We're not looking back at all right now. We're just going with it. We've got a lot of new guys in the locker room, but winning makes us all closer.
On road trips like this, especially since it's a bit of a longer one, all of us can really spend a lot of time together at practices and on the plane as well. We're bonding a lot. Overall, life in the hotel has been good. We have a team lounge where we can spend a lot of time. Can't really go anywhere, so we just chat.
Guys have also been showing off some magic tricks.
Train, our equipment guy, he's got the sleight of hand going. He's been tricking all of us. We're all trying to learn how he's doing it. It's fun watching him surprise a lot of guys. He's doing cards. It's nice to hang out and have some fun together.
I also spend a lot of time on FaceTime checking in on my son, Greyson. He's growing every day. He actually started to crawl the first day I left, so I missed that, but I've been able to see it in a video since then. We work all the calls around his schedule, not mine. He's the boss now.
Looking ahead on this trip, I'm so excited to see Yands play in his 1,000th NHL game. It's an amazing accomplishment to get that many games. To be a part of it is an awesome feeling. It couldn't happen to a better guy. He brings energy when there needs to be energy, but can also be comical when he needs to be comical. He's just always in a good mood and having fun with all the guys. It's good to have those guys in the locker room to remind you that hockey is fun.
As for tonight, we just got done with practice so I'm probably just going to hang out for a bit and then maybe go for a walk. After that, I'm just going to relax then have dinner - that's it. We've got an early game tomorrow against the Predators at 2 p.m. ET, so it's time to focus on that.
See you all when we get back to South Florida,
*As told to FloridaPanthers.com's Jameson Olive