Monday, October 17, 2011

The Ekholm Diaries: The Season Starts

We have followed rookie Mattias Ekholm from his departure from his home in Sweden and arrival in the United States, through rookie camp and training camp with the veterans. With a solid camp, Ekholm made the final roster, and now we are going to follow the young rookie through the season. here are his entries to his blog from the start of the regular season:

Entry 27 10-6-2011

Hello again!

New day and new possibilities, with that introduction nothing can go wrong . . . Yes, today, Wednesday, has, in fact, almost been a little hectic. Although, I can still say, the day started as usual with breakfast about 9 o’clock. Then down to the rink with a fine breakfast in my stomach. We began the day’s training with a half hour in the gym, mostly for maintenance. Followed by a meeting (no comments) and after that out on the ice and work for about an hour.

Notice, now that the premiere is near, practices are not so long anymore and there is a lot of rest in them. But when we work, we work! We began with some warm up drills, followed by some game drills, and a lot of power play. A lot of different details that we want to polish the last days before the season starts!

After practice a friend (Jon Blum) and I went and ate lunch, little pasta to refill the stores. After that I took a swing by the bank that I use over here and fixed some things. Must say that it is really nice to have such small tasks to do so you avoid sitting and rotting in the hotel all day!

Now, this evening I was invited to an excellent dinner with the Hörnqvist couple! Really nice, it was a little Swedish dinner, he invited the other two Swedes here (Lindbäck and Bergfors) with their respective. A lot of good food and good conversation. But above all, it was terribly good to get home cooked food again, appreciate it just now. Don’t really know why, because there is good food in the restaurants here, too, but it is something special when it is “Swedish” home cooked. (I cannot think how good mom’s home cooking would be just now!) So, for that, much thanks!

So, in broad strokes, that is how my day went. Tomorrow, we fly to Columbus in the afternoon. Must see how the opportunities look for an update. It will be really awesome with the premiere on Friday, even if it is from the stands, since it is the first NHL match that I get to view in person! I hope, of course, that I will get to play, but we must simply see how it goes!

The Premiere 10-8-2011
I have time to get in a quick entry before bedtime in St. Louis where we just landed, or have, actually, just reached the hotel room! Today was the season premiere for the team! Really fun to get it going, now. Even though I didn’t play, it feels good! I spent the match in the stands with a number of other players who didn’t get to play or are injured!

The match went really well for the team, opening the NHL season with a 3-2 road win against Columbus was really strong. Must say without the goalie (Pekka Rinne), in all likelihood, it would not have been a win. Terribly good. He saved them on several occasions! But, otherwise, it was a team effort that led to the 2 points.

So, now, we are in St. Louis where the team plays tomorrow evening. We flew here immediately after the match and have a little warm up in the morning and then lunch and rest before the battle begins at 7 o’clock. (I believe) Little unsure, there.

Nightmare Night 10-10-2011

Happy hello to all!

Peek in a few minutes before bedtime, here, in Tennessee. As you can see from the heading, everything has not gone according to plan the last few days. Almost exactly 2 hours after I posted the last entry from the hotel room in St. Louis, I succeeded in getting some type of upset stomach! Really difficult, could have been one of the worst nights of my life. You all know how it is to have an upset stomach, so any further explanation of what happened, I think we can skip . . .

Consequently, it was not a fun visit for me, but I felt better the next day and went to the match and could follow the team home in the evening. The match ended with another win! After the goalie, again, played very well the team was able to win 4-2. Pekka Rinne (The goalie) is a great security for the whole team, terribly good start to the season on his part.

Today, Sunday, we have had a free day, no match again before Thursday or Friday (little unsure there). So, mostly, I have just taken it easy and tried to take in food after the stomach trouble. A little American football and a little Swedish TV spruced up the day. Bloody nice to get to just be and take it easy for a day!

But tomorrow the serious work begins again; practice is on the schedule and I will try to fight for and show that I am worthy of a chance. If it is to go that way, I need to sleep now

Debut! 10-15-2011

Hello again blog!

Peek in a bit before bedtime on a Friday evening here in Nashville; intend to talk a little about the big event that happened yesterday. For you who don’t know, I got to make my NHL debut! It was a terribly intense feeling to step on the ice during the introduction before about 17,000 home fans! It was jaw dropping.

As you know, there had been a little uncertain/unclear status about who would start yesterday’s game. About an hour before face-off I got the word that I would play! My pulse rose fairly substantially I can report. But I thought I could keep the nerves under control during the game, anyway. The game, itself, was not a happy story really; we ended up behind 0-3 after the first period and then fought back with 2 goals to 2-4 but that was it and Phoenix, who was the opponent, took home the win, unfortunately!

For my own part, it was an intense experience to get to step into the world’s best league and, at last, get to experience what it is like to play. Must say that the fans here in Nashville are really good! Was probably the loudest I have played in front of. Always fun to play in front of so many people also, obviously.

That is probably enough about the match now, today we had some meetings and about an hour on ice. Everything directed towards coming back with a win tomorrow when the New Jersey Devils come to visit. I don’t know, yet, if I will get to play or not, just cross my fingers during warm up tomorrow. Now, my eyelids begin to fall, I will try to get some sleep, here. Bye!

Ekholm points out what all Predator fans know all too well: this team would be in serious trouble without Pekka Rinne.

Sounds like a bit of a bug was running through some of the team members, as we know Rinne battled a stomach problem before the Columbus game, and Ekholm got something before the St. Louis game

For a young man that stepped on to the ice for his NHL debut, his entry on 10/15 is surprisingly understated. I like the props he gives the Predator fans and their vocal support of the team.

As Ekholm continues to post, we will follow his exploits and his perspectives throughout the season.

Once again, a major stick tap to Patricia Blair, who has done excellent work translating these entries from Mattias.

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