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Training Camp Blog: Day Eleven

by Dallas Stars Staff / Dallas Stars

Throughout training camp, different members of the Dallas Stars will sit down and share their thoughts on the day’s events leading up until Opening Night.

Day 11: September 29, 2008
Defenseman Matt Niskanen

We had a pretty tough game last night, and came up short, 4-3. It was a pretty physical game, back and forth, but I thought we played pretty well for the most part, although we ran into some penalty trouble. I got an accidental stick in the cheek, just under my left eye last night and got six stitches right after the game. It’s a pretty decent cut. It doesn’t feel too bad today, but it looks kind of rough.

We left Chicago after the game and got into Colorado Springs late last night, and it was a 6 a.m. wake-up this morning for the guys who wanted to go fishing, there’s about a dozen of us. So we got some coffee and took about an hour bus ride out here to this big wildlife area. The rest of the guys went golfing at the Broadmoor, the hotel we’re staying at. It’s a pretty nice course. I chose the fishing trip because I’m rather poor at golfing and I’m definitely more into fishing. Some of the other guys who came fishing were Grossman, Loui, Ivan Vishnevskiy, Lehts, James Neal and Chris Conner.

This trip out to Colorado is kind of our first real road trip. It’s a chance to do some different team bonding, stuff like the fishing and the golfing, to get guys together off the ice.  We’re going to a ranch up in the mountains tonight, which should be fun. We’re going to shoot some old Western guns, do a little bit of horseback riding, stuff like that. We did this same thing last year, and it was a blast. Hopefully none of the new guys are nervous about getting on a horse! The weather’s awesome here – a little cooler at night, perfect weather for stuff like this. Last year we had a fire and a barbecue afterward, and it was a great way to spend the evening as a team.

Tomorrow we’ll spend a couple hours on the ice for practice, then hopefully we’ll start turning things up here in the last few preseason games. Everybody’s getting geared up for the regular season.

Personally, I feel pretty good. My energy level’s pretty high and I’m feeling more and more confident with the puck. I’m getting back into real hockey mode rather than summer hockey. It’s all a process and I think I’m heading in the right direction.

The wins haven’t come yet, but I think we’re gradually starting to play a little bit better hockey. We’re getting our numbers down a bit, there are fewer guys around, so the intensity is really starting to pick up. Every game and every day things are getting more and more serious as the regular season approaches.

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