I skated in the first practice of the day where we focused on offensive zone faceoff forechecking, power play, and penalty kill. Having everyone on the same page for tomorrow’s scrimmage should tighten things up for us and allow us to convert on the man advantage. We split up into two groups at the end of practice to do a shootout competition. The team I was on lost, as Holtby did a good job of shutting the door on us. For losing we did five full-ice sprints as the other team watched from the bench while sipping water and Gatorade.
Today more so than the rest of the week was the day where the rest of the guys and I were introduced to the heat that has been torching DC for the past few weeks. I don’t know exactly how hot it was, but I was rudely awoken when we headed to the track at a nearby high school to do some sled pull sprints and agility drills on the track and turf. I knew it would be hot by just looking at the other group as they walked around red faced and soaked in sweat. If you thought your commute to work on Friday morning was sticky, know that you had good company with your local hockey players in training.
It was a good experience for all of us to listen to Jack and Nemo talk about the importance of specific off-ice training. They showed us some pictures of how the first few strides of sprinting both on and off ice are nearly identical. We all will be able to use this for the rest of our careers to train efficiently.
The next thing on the agenda was for every player to have an exit meeting. Mine was positive, and from the sounds of it the rest of the guys had very similar meetings. This is a great opportunity for players, whether signed, draft picks, or free agents, to talk to important NHL staff and get quality feedback.
After some lunch we all headed on a tour of the U.S. Capitol building. I had seen most of it before, but our tour guide did a nice job of explaining a lot of interesting new things that I hadn’t heard before. We were led into a room that they called the “whisper room.” In this room the tour guide stepped all the way across the room and talked in a normal tone while all of us stood on the other side. With hundreds of people in the room we all were able to hear the guide talk from a far distance away. He later explained that the acoustics of the room were designed as a secret weapon to listen in on conversations from across the room. This secret wasn’t really a secret because within the first year most every knew about the secret . . .
I got back to the hotel about 6:00 and went for dinner with Bruiser, Hausworld, and Big Willie (John Williams), the current equipment manager for the South Carolina Stingrays. We did a number on PF Chang’s to say the least.
On a full stomach Bruiser and I headed back to our hotel room, where we watched Adam Sandler’s “Funny People,” and now it’s time for bed. The last two days have brought a lot of exposure to Washington in July heat, so we’ll sleep well.
Saturday is not only our final scrimmage and workout of camp but a chance afterward to interact with many of the fans who’ve come out to support us at Kettler this week. I’m really looking forward to that, as are a lot of the guys. My last post tomorrow will be sent from back home in Edina, Minnesota, since I fly out immediately following the scrimmage. Until tomorrow, good night.