[OFB note: Brendan Woods, son of Capitals assistant coach Bob, is skating with the Muskegon Lumberjacks of the United States Hockey League this season. The Lumberjacks are an expansion franchise in the USHL for 2010-11, and we profiled their arrival in their new community a bit back in the summer. We thought it might be fun to have Brendan keep a bit of a diary for us and bring an insider’s perspective on life in America’s upstart junior development league. Brendan enthusiastically agreed with our vision. So you’ll be hearing from him from time to time throughout the course of the Lumberjacks’ season.
We may also hear something in the way of a response from Papa Woods along the way.]
I separated my shoulder against Lincoln in the last game of the USHL Fall Classic – in the same game, same period as when I broke my leg last year.
This is small compared to last year. This is just a little bump in the road. I have to stay positive. That’s what Coach Patrick liked about me when he recruited me. Even when I didn’t get drafted back in June, he told me to stay positive and that I’ll be a pro player if I keep working.
Muskegon is a lot different than Chicago. Coming from there to here, it’s a small town, but it’s a hockey town! You feel wanted when you’re the talk of the town.
The first week of the off-ice training made us come together as a team pretty quick. You need an extra push from your teammates.
Riding the bus is a big thing, when you’re on there with each other for long stretches of time. It makes you learn about each other more. Lots more. Maybe as the season progresses I’ll be able to share some interesting tales from the bus.
Playing at The Joe in Detroit on September 10, in an exhibition against the Chicago Steel, was unreal. I’ve watched games there and knowing the players who have played on that ice . . . it’s pretty cool. Not everybody gets to do that. And we hung on to win 4-3.
After last season, scoring on the first shift at the Joe, on my first shot, it took a lot off my shoulders. As for the season-opener, which is tomorrow night at home against Indiana, at least I’ve got Kevin Albers to sit next to. I feel like I could play, but I’ve got to be smart — it’s one game I’ll miss and not worth the risk. If it was a playoff game, it would be different. No need to hurt it worse and be out a few weeks. I know the team will come through. It’s been a great week of practice. One of the best weeks so far. I know the guys will come through.
I bet you’re ready for hockey to start in D.C., too.