Hello, Ducks fans, just checking in with you again from Norfolk, where we open our season tomorrow night.
Last Saturday night was our first exhibition game against the Charlotte Checkers and it was at The Scope, our home arena, our first chance to show the fans what this team is all about. It wasn’t our exact opening night lineup, but I thought we played a good game. Obviously with the preseason, you’re not expecting things to be perfect, but I thought overall the team’s effort was there. We went out there and did what we had to do, and came away with the win. (I had a goal and an assist, which was nice.)
I had the day off Sunday when we played Charlotte again, and the team put themselves in a hole early. They battled really hard to get themselves out, but fell short in the end. Dan Ellis, who used to play for the Ducks, was in net and beat us. I played with Dan a little bit when he was with the Ducks, and coincidentally, I had my first NHL goal against him in my first-ever game -- in 2010 when he was with Tampa Bay.
Overall, I think it was a pretty good showing for us last weekend and definitely a step forward. We open our season tomorrow night at home against the Worcester Sharks, and everyone is pretty excited. Personally, it will be fun to get out there and play in front of a crowd you’ve never played in front of before. I’m obviously a little nervous, but it’s my third pro season, so it’s not like it’s a first for me. I’ll have some nervous energy, but it’s just basically being excited to get the season started and hopefully get started on the right foot. Last year, Norfolk won a record 28 regular season games in a row, so we definitely want to keep that streak alive as long as we can. That team set some pretty high standards, so going out there and performing well tomorrow night will go a long way with these fans.
In the meantime, we had our team golf tournament on Tuesday, and it was raining that day, but it was fun to get out and get to know some of the guys, some of the corporate sponsors and fans. It was a fun event and it’s for a good cause, Operation Smile. I’m a pretty average golfer, but I played pretty well and my group finished in first place. We all had a lot of fun.
I just moved into a new apartment in Virginia Beach with my teammate Chris Wagner, and finding a place and moving in definitely had its ups and downs. We’re about three or four blocks from the beach, and close to most of the guys on the team. Chris and I know each other from rookie camp with the Ducks and we played on the same summer league team in Boston this year.
We’ve battled with the curtains in this place a bit. It’s a weird setup and there are a lot of windows, and it gets light pretty early, so there’s a lot of sun coming into the place. Being able to shut out that darkness so you can get your rest is pretty tough, but hopefully we can get it figured out by tonight.
Speaking of roommates, I was living with my teammate John Kurtz in the hotel, and I took this picture of his closet and tweeted it. Kurtzy takes pride in his exercise and keeping fit, and he had a little cheat day with some McDonald’s. I was lucky enough to expose him on it by putting the bag next to all his vitamins and tweeting a nice little photo.
One of the fans on Twitter asked where I like to eat in Norfolk. We’ve been mixing it up a bit so far, since we’ve been eating either in the hotel or eating out almost every single night. A couple of the best local spots have been an Italian place called Sirena Cucina and an American place called Hell’s Kitchen. I’m sure we’ll find some more good places the longer we’re here.
Again, looking forward to getting things started tomorrow night and I’ll check back in on here next week!
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