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World's Okayest Blog- The Game of Being Goalie

by Aaron Dell @ADell32 / Sharks Goaltender

My pregame routine when I'm playing versus when I'm not playing is pretty similar. I try to keep it as close as I can so if I do have to go in I am prepared to play. Coaches usually give me a day's or two notice when I'm going to make a start so I can mentally prepare myself in practices leading up the game. I focus on my tendencies with the opposing team and try to solidify those adjustments in morning skate the day of the game.

The only main difference is that I have to eat a little differently. When I'm not playing I don't burn as many calories so I watch more of what I eat. I have to eat a little lighter on the games I'm not playing but, that's the only difference in my routine.

When I'm playing I mentally just try to play between the whistles, shift-by-shift. That way I don't have any distractions of think too far ahead. It helps me stay in the moment and keep my focus each shift. In the Arizona game I guess I was close to getting a shutout but I don't even think about that. No distractions- just focus on the current shift.

Sometimes as goalies you get put in tough spots. When we played in Boston I went in after the first period. We were down 3-1 going into the second. When you get called in mid-game your team usually isn't in the best spot so it's important to be solid and make the saves I'm supposed to save. At that point they try to shake things up and the boys get momentum so I build off that. When you sit there for the first you tend to get a little cold so that's where my strict routine comes into play. You have to be ready to go in a moments notice for the team.

Being the backup goalie you might think I have a weird relationship with the starter but Jones and I are good buddies actually. We get along pretty well. I'd say we have very similar demeanors on and off the ice so I think we match up well. I think it's pretty important to be friends. We have to sit together all the time and we see a lot of each other. Martin Jones and I aren't fighting for a spot right now- he's our starter. That definitely helps our relationship compared to others I've had on different teams and leagues. Being around for the playoffs last year and getting to watch Jones, I realized how similar our personalities are. I'd say he's the partner that I've had that I get along best with. It's really important to have that especially this time of year.

I think as a team it's important to mesh well and we do here. And I think if you don't, you won't be here for too long. It's a big part of being part of the team- you have to be PART of the team. You don't get to choose your teammates in hockey- there's a lot of give-and-take but that's one thing we have here specifically- everyone gets along really well. We're a big family.

Well now it's the bye week! I'm so excited to just relax. I have no plans. I didn't need any more travel after that last road trip back east. My wife won't be coming out- she has plans with friends in Houston so it'll just be me, which is fine.

Also, for all you wondering yes, my beard is gone. Wanted to change it up. I was actually trimming my beard and took a little too much off so I had to trim it to the lowest level. At that point I decided I might as well take it all off. We'll see what's next though, might grow it out again. 

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