Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Ekholm Diaries: Western Canada Road Trip

Mattias Ekholm and his Predator teammates departed Nashville on Sunday for a week long road trip to Western Canada. Here are his blog entries from Edmonton and from Vancouver.

Canada 10-17-2011

Hello again,

Now, we check in from a fairly cold Edmonton. Just arrived at the hotel, here, and thought to pull off a few lines. We can start by reviewing yesterday when we played New Jersey at home. The day began by going down to the arena at 9 o’clock for meetings. There was, in fact, no ice only a little “active rest” plus the meeting before the match. Then, lunch and home for relaxation and the customary nap before the match gathering.

Then at five, down at the rink again for warm up and build up, unsure at this point if I would play or not. Unfortunately, a little later I got the information that I was not part of the team this evening, so I hit the gym and worked through a session during the first period.

The match, itself, began very well with a 2-0 lead after the first period, but the Devils crept closer and when the final horn sounded it was tied. After a scoreless overtime, they took the extra point with a shootout win.

During the day, today, we have arrived in Canada and the city of Edmonton, who we meet here tomorrow evening! After a meager 4 hour and 30 minute plane ride we landed about 45 minutes by bus outside the city. We landed at 4 so we have just taken it easy this evening and ate a terribly good dinner at a nearby “steakhouse”. Always good with a steak!

So the match here tomorrow, today, I have no idea if I will get some playing time or if it will be in the stands this evening, also, remains to be seen! Can say that we have just begun a week long “road trip”. After the match, we will go on to play against Vancouver on Thursday evening and Calgary on Saturday! Fairly nice to get to see some other hotel rooms, other than the one you have become used to “at home” in Nashville!

The Olympic City 10-20-2011


Must begin (again) by apologizing for the lack of updates the last couple of days, primarily due to the fact that we do not have a lot of time when we are out on “the road”. But I will try to summarize a little bit the latest days that have passed. If we begin where we ended last, it was time for the match against Edmonton on Monday evening. We began the day as usual with a lighter morning skate for about a half hour. And today, already in the morning, I got word that I would not play the match, so had an extra half hour practice with the coaches and the others who would not play, so got a really good ice session there!

The day continued with a little lunch and rest at the hotel, just took it easy before the match. Here, also, if you do not play, we have a gym session/cycling session during the first period so you get in a little extra training! Then I followed the match in the press box during the last half of the match. No further achievement from the team, but was still close to getting a point, had a 1-0 lead before the last period. Unfortunately, Edmonton succeeded to turn the match into a 3-1 win.

On Tuesday, we had a morning practice to work the legs a little after the previous day’s match. Immediately after practice, onto the bus and out to the plane which stood and waited for departure to the last Olympic city, Vancouver! Damn what great scenery it is here, you see the big mountain peaks while at the same time you have water flowing through the city below. Striking is the word!

So, we’ve been here, now, since yesterday when we landed in the evening. Ate dinner together with the team, damn good for me, being new, to come in more and get to know teammates a little better! Appreciate it! Today, we just had practice in the middle of the day, then lunch in the city with several buddies on the team. After that I have just taken it easy in the hotel and went out and ate dinner! Charge the batteries for tomorrow’s match, must see if I get the chance to play or not! Just keep my fingers crossed and continue to work hard in practice!

So there, now I feel happy with this update on the team.

I guess if you have flown over from Sweden to the U.S. to play hockey, a 4 1/2 hour flight from Nashville to Edmonton is a "meager" flight.

I do like the way that he phrases the Edmonton game. The Predators had a 1-0 lead when he got to the pressbox after his training session, but there "was no further achievement". I think many Predators fans probably were not as kind in their description of the effort against Edmonton.

Again, many thanks to Patricia Blair, who has done a great job translating these blogs for me.

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