Day 19: October 7, 2008Left Wing Brenden Morrow
I think we got a good indication about what training is about during these past few weeks. It’s a chance to evaluate your youth and see where your returning players are at before the season starts. Injuries are always a big part of it, and unfortunately they hit us with Zubov and Lehtinen and Boucher in camp. It was a bit tough to get a real good feel of our actual lineup, because there are young guys in and out and lines aren’t really set, the coaches are kind of shaking things up. Are we panicking over our record from preseason? No, but are we concerned with it? Yeah, there are some things we’re concerned about with our game. We actually had a really good game against Edmonton on Sunday. We created a lot of scoring chances, and we’d be more concerned if we didn’t work hard and create those opportunities. Thankfully, we did. We worked hard and got those scoring chances, it’s just a matter of bearing down and scoring on those, and that’s going to be a key factor for us winning hockey games as we move forward.
We had a lot of great talent in camp this year. The young guys all pushed each other. Those are going to be tough decisions, I’m not so sure of the number of players on our roster and how many more cuts are to be made. I think the young guys are making it a tough decision on management’s part as to who’s going to be able to stick with the club and who’s not going to make it. I think Neal and Crombeen, those are the guys that have the numbers, but there are other guys who have played well, like Conner, who’s played really well when he’s been in the lineup. They’re all pushing each other and not only making the team better, but they’re making the decisions harder on management.
We have a really important week ahead of us. I think it’s probably my job as captain, with the other leaders in the locker room, to make sure the morale is still high even though we were 1-5-1. You don’t want to beat that down too much, but at the same time, you want to make sure we improve and work harder in areas. Going into Game 1, you want to have a good attitude moving forward that first game and not letting that preseason record change our attitude and how we want to approach hockey games. I think that’s the leadership’s main focus is to make sure we don’t get too down on ourselves even though we’re going to put in a lot of work this week, we need to have a good attitude for that first game.
I think the attitude in the room is something we’ve got to watch all week and try and figure out how we are. Coming in to practice yesterday after that loss on Sunday, you’re not going to expect the attitude to be great, coming in for a work day after the game. But I think come Wednesday, Thursday, if it feels like we’re somber and not upbeat, then that’s something we’ll need to address. I think we’ll just kind of keep an eye on it and check the pulse of it as the week goes on.
We have a day off today and it comes at a good time when we don’t have anything until Friday, so we’re able to get a day off, and still have some good workdays after. It’s nice to get a break not only physically, but just mentally to be able to get away from the rink for a day and recharge before this long grind we’ve got coming up during the regular season. We’re still going to be able to get some work done before that first game and I don’t think having a day off will put us a step behind anything.
We’ve also got a photo shoot with season ticketholders tomorrow night down at the arena. It gives us a chance to meet more fans and talk to those of you who support us night in and night out. It’s always nice to be able to do something for the fans who support us so much.
I think this is going to be the last blog of the preseason, since camp’s basically over and we’re just going to take this week to get prepared for Opening Night and the start of the regular season. Thanks to those of you who kept up with us and read the blog. Also, thanks to everyone who came out to watch both the practices and the games, and we look forward to seeing you down at the AAC during the year! Here’s to a great season, and Go Stars!