| Danny Irmen gets his pregame skate in on Tuesday morning. |
In their final training camp blogs, Wild prospect Danny Irmen and veteran defenseman Nick Schultz discuss their game day rituals and their experiences in last night’s 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
I came to the rink yesterday around 9:00 AM to get ready for a light skate and after that, I jumped in the cold tub for about 20 minutes. In high school, we didn’t have morning skates, but in juniors and college we always had these morning skates to get the legs moving so you’re not sleeping all day. It picks you up and I really love them now.
After the skate, I went to get something to eat, which is usually spaghetti, and then I laid down and put my feet up with the TV on.
I came to the rink at about 4:45 and taped my sticks up and put the ice packs and the heat packs on where I needed them. After the team meeting, it was time to hit the ice for game time.
I’m happy with how my first NHL game went. My first shift, I took a bad penalty, but after that I felt I played all right. I played with great linemates (Wyatt Smith and Stephane Veilleux) and for the most part, when we were out there, we had the puck in the Detroit zone. We played well defensively too.
There were a lot of power plays and penalty kills, which limited my ice time. But that’s part of the game and I just had to be ready when my number was called. If you’re not into the game physically, you’ve got to be there mentally so you’re ready to go.
The whole experience was great for me and definitely gives me something to strive for, having gotten a taste of it. I know what it’s all about now so I can set it as my goal, and one day be doing it every day.
After a game, I can’t go to bed until about 1 or 2 AM so I just went and got a nice dinner and watched Sportscenter until I dozed off.
Tuesday was the first game day of the year, so I went through my usual game day ritual. The first order of business to call into the 93X morning show to chat it up with Weasel, Josh and Nick, but I don’t think I can say what the name of their show is.
I had a quick bite to eat in the morning and then came down to the rink for our 10:30 morning skate. On a game day, I usually try to get down here at least 90 minutes before the morning skate starts.
After lunch, I usually go out for lunch with Burnzie and some of the boys to get some pasta, and then I headed home to grab a nap for a couple hours. After I woke up, I had a couple pieces of toast and fruit and then headed to the rink.
When I got to the rink, I made sure I had my sticks ready and taped up, and make sure I have three good sticks ready to go. I usually do that at night before the game, getting the knobs set to go. I always make sure my skates and equipment are good to go in the morning.
Everything on a game day is pretty much a ritual. We have the team meeting at the same time every night and we work around that.
As far as the game went against Detroit, I thought it went all right. Things were a little rusty since it’s been awhile since we’ve played a game. Detroit didn’t have a lot of players there, but the atmosphere was still great. We came out hot and cooled off a little and sat back a bit. We just have to feel each other out a bit and get used to one another. I think these five games left will help us get toward that. I’m getting excited for the regular season.