(Forward Colin Greening, a native of St. John's, Newfoundland, who saw 24 games worth of duty with the Ottawa Senators this season, is back in the American Hockey League with the Binghamton Senators for the Calder Cup playoffs. He'll provide some insights in a series of blog posts for OttawaSenators.com).
We were very, very happy to come home from Houston with a split of the first two games in the Calder Cup Finals. But to be honest, we’re just happy to be back here. We’ve done a lot of travelling in the last six or seven weeks and we realize now that we’ve got one series left. Now we really want to take advantage of home ice. We’ve really been lucky, especially the last two rounds, that we’ve had good crowds and it’s nice to have that. You want to feed off it. During the regular season, it was a lot different, so this has been a nice surprise for us.
The humidity was brutal when we were down in Houston. You think about Binghamton ... we’re not getting a lot of sun here, so we’re not used to that. I remember walking outside there and it was 96 degrees Fahrenheit. I guess you just acclimatized to it as quickly as you can. But skating in that rink for the first time ... I took one step and I was already sweating. Those are little mental things you’ve got to try to keep in the back of your mind. We’ve played in hot arenas before, so you try to remember those experiences and hopefully, it’ll help you out.
My dad is coming in from Newfoundland for the games this week. He’s flying to Toronto first to visit my brother, then he’s going to drive down here. It was kind of a last-minute thing for him. If we had played Hamilton in the final, he would have gone there first and watched the entire series. He’s really excited about coming here. He’ll get to see three games now, which he’s really happy about. It’ll be nice for him to take in this whole experience.
To be honest, I’m not getting a lot of press back home about this series. We had three Newfoundlanders — Michael Ryder, Teddy Purcell and Ryane Clowe — still in the Stanley Cup run up until the last round. And Ryder is still in there with the Bruins, so he’s kind of getting all the press now. Seriously, though, I do still get some e-mails congratulating me and asking me how things are going, and that's nice. But Ryder, Purcell and Clowe were definitely getting all the attention back home, to see who’s going to win the Stanley Cup.