(Left-winger Matt Puempel of the Peterborough Petes was one of three first-round picks by the Senators in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. He’ll be sharing some thoughts about participating in his first Sens development camp in a series of blog posts for ottawasenators.com).
We spent Canada Day afternoon playing outdoor paintball as a team-building exercise. That was a lot of fun, although it was extremely hot in the fields. We had a bunch of coats on and pants on and mosquito bites all over, but it was fun getting outside like that. It was different than the usual stuff we’re been doing and I think all the guys had a good time. I walked away from it all pretty clean. I got a little bit of paint on me, but nothing too severe. I’m going to live, I think.
I think it was good for us to try something different like that. This camp is pretty hockey oriented and I think if you drive the guys all day every day with hockey, the camp intensity won’t be as high as it could be. But getting away and doing something like that means a lot to the guys, and I think the coaches like organizing it when the guys appreciate it and have so much fun with it.
The competitive level out there was no different than we show on the ice. Every guy here is competitive in everything in life. It’s just your nature. When you come this far in hockey, it’s something that kind of grows inside of you. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, every guy is pretty competitive.
This morning, we tried something else different, working out indoors at the fieldhouse at the Bell Sensplex. Everything I’ve done here and learned here has been different than the everyday stuff I’ve been used to in the past. This is the important stuff as far as working out and we got a good sweat on. When you’re training efficiently like this, you’re making greater strides on the ice as opposed to just lifting the heavy weights and not doing it properly. That’s just how you kind of get set back when you think you’re growing so much.
One of the things we worked on today was our fighting skills. That hasn’t been in my game too much growing up, but it’s good stuff to know. You never know when you’re going to need it. I was kind of surprised about how much technique goes into it and also surprised how quickly you can pick it up. It’s something small that’s good to have. I don’t think I’d want to fight every game or anything like that, but some guys do that for a living and for them, it’s definitely a tough living and you’ve got to give them a lot of credit.