Brian answers your questions

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Feel free to ask questions and Brian will do his best to answer them when he gets a chance. Here are answers to the current questions.

1. Do the coaches try to give guys a rest for the 3 games in 3 days stretch? I believe they give the goalies a rest, but wouldn't some of the other players also need one?

Most of the time, when we have a 'three in three' weekend, the goalies will usually split the games, either alternating or one will play the first to games, and resting on Sunday. Although, it all depends on the schedule and who we play and which goaltender the coaches feel match up the best to who we are playing.
I think it is tough for goaltenders to stay that focused for sixty minutes three days in a row. I don't know for sure since I have never played goal, but they seem pretty tired of being on their skates all night after a game.
As for the rest of us, the lineup may or may not change depending on a few factors. One is injuries, if someone is hurt or need a night off to rest a nagging injury, the coaches will try and give that player the game off that they feel would give him the best chance to recover, most of the time that is an early afternoon game on Sunday.
Our opponent will determine if there is a lineup change, if a checking forward in needed, or they feel an extra centerman might help against another team. The coaching staff will almost always keep the same core lineup with just a few changes here and there to keep fresh legs and the intensity level high in the third game.

2. What is the strangest pregame routine a player has?

I don't think anyone has that strange of a routine, just because everyone has quirks they do before each game. Oystrick always drinks a ton of coffee, Doell always reads the media packet in the training room, and I always retape all the knobs on my sticks before every game. But Robert Gherson our goaltender is by far the most focused, when he is playing. On those nights, he doesn't talk or joke around, he just listens to his music and focuses on the game. Now when he isn't playing that night, he is always laughing and in on all the jokes before the game. Goaltenders, in my experience, are all like this, extemely focused and intense when they need to be, otherwise, they seem to
enjoy hanging out in the locker room.

3. Why do parent clubs call players up and send them back down so quickly especially when they are not called up due to injured players?

From past experience with teams I have been on, whether guys are being pulled up to the NHL or called up to the AHL team like Chicago, a lot of times they are insurance. If one of our guys might not be able to play in an upcoming game, they will have a call up
just in case they need to fill that particular spot.
In other cases, especially with NHL, they will pull up younger players at points during the season just to see what kid of impact the can have on the NHL game, and to gauge their development. Players in the AHL get called up all the time if they are playing well and maybe happen to have a hot hand at the time, the parent club might call them up to see if they can create a spark for their team. And lastly, players will get called up depending on trade rumors, if a certain team is planning on making a move, they might pull a player up so that they will not be short a player in case a trade occurs. This is why you see a lot of movement around the NHL trade deadline. This is what seemed to happen this year with Atlanta and the Hossa trade, a few Wolves got called up and played in Montreal before coming back the next day.

4. Does fighting with a certain player lead to more fights, or do you sort of call a truce?

Fighting is usually not a premeditated event, and I think the only time it does lead to more fights is when maybe a top player or scorer is attacked. This is usually the only case that might precipitate another fight, one of the tougher guys will try to police the game a little, making sure that the skilled forwards aren't being taken advantage of.

5.Are you a rookie?

This is my fifth year pro, and my second season in Chicago with the Wolves. Before the Wolves I played with the Iowa Stars, Hershey Bears, and the old Worcester IceCats. I also played in the ECHL my first two seasons in Atlatic City, NJ.

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Goalie Jim Craig used to remove all his gear between periods before methodically putting it all back on again, just to keep focused. A goalie's concentration has to be so intense- especially when 10 guys and a puck are coming at you at top speed. Very tough job.

Please explain how to figure the +/- statistic. Also explain what it means. Thanks

Aside from injuries how do the coaches decide or determine who gets scratched for any given game?

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About the blogger

Chicago Wolves defenseman Grant Lewis is playing in his second professional season. The 23-year-old blueliner is a native of Pittsburgh and was a member of Chicago's 2008 Calder Cup Championship team. Prior to going pro, the Atlanta Thrashers' second choice, 20th overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft spent four years playing for Dartmouth College (ECAC).

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jamie Rivers published on March 17, 2008 11:34 AM.

Dealing with an injury — and sarcasm was the previous entry in this blog.

Back with a focus is the next entry in this blog.

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