Heading out to our last road trip of the year.
The first two games of the finals were pretty exhausting. Lots of physical play, speed up and down the ice, and back and forth hockey. Fortunate to get two wins at home that I think everyone felt were must win games, due to the new series schedule, playing our next three games on the road in Wilkes-Barre.
We had done a lot of video analysis with our coaching staff after game one, the whole team feeling we didn't play our best. Taking a positive in the fact that despite our less than stellar game, we were able to come out with a win in game one. We worked at fixing a lot of defensive systems, our forecheck, and our neutral zone play. Going into game two, you could tell the difference immediately, everyone being very conscious of the defensive assignments, only allowing 23 shots in three periods.
After two games, we are definitely getting a better sense of what Wilkes-Barre can do, how they play, and what types of players they are. Apparently they are getting to know us a little better too, and I think personalities are starting to rub against each other on the ice. Game two was much more physical, a lot more jawing at one another, and altercations after the whistle.
I was completely exhausted after the game, my partner Boris and I logged a lot of ice time, a few minutes more than usual, and I know I felt it after the game. We had been out on the ice a little longer than usual due to some long penalty kills, and playing with only four defensmen at the start of the second period due to Oystrick's fight and Kulda having to get his skated sharpened. After one particularly long shift I went off the ice feeling pretty worn out and took a seat on the bench, waiting for the play to start up, only to find out Boris was still on the ice, waiting for me to come out for the faceoff. So out again I went, glad I at least had a few seconds to rest my legs.
Tonight I am packing up for the road trip to Wilkes-Barre, and plan on watching the Stanley Cup Game 5. Most of the time I don't really care who wins as long as it's a good game, and so far all the games have been pretty exciting to watch, so I hope tonight's it the same. Cheering for Pittsburgh just so that I can watch a Game 6, I know it's a little selfish, but I can't help it, it is the best time of year to watch hockey. Its also the best time to still be playing. During the last time out with a couple of minutes to go in the game, I thought to myself, 'this is awesome'. We were protecting a lead with minutes to go, exhausted, the stadium totally out of control. It is this kind of hockey you always dream of playing.