In front of a sparse Monday morning crowd, the Capitals’ rookies took to the ice for their second day of Rookie Camp. The prospects were put through a extended practice that consisted mostly of tedious timing drills. The usual suspects, guys like Cody Eakin and Marcus Johansson, impressed the coaches with their skill while RMNB worship idol, Stanislav Galiev, showed-off his blazing speed. Trevor Bruess also showed improvement throughout the session, darting easily through the timers that were set up to record their speed.
Bruce Boudreau noted that all of the players were in great condition for camp. And it’s true. The boys were moving faster and looking less winded after each and every drill. However, the session ended with the dreaded set of Herbies, which we can only describe as the worst suicides on earth. The sprints included skating back and forth repeatedly across varying widths of the ice, full throttle. By the end, all of the players were doubled over, struggling for air.
In part two of our Q/A with Andrew Gordon (part one can be read here), Gordo discusses his favorite NHL players and teams as a kid, if he reads blogs or newspaper articles about himself and what he did on his day with the Calder Cup this year. Mixed in is also a question submitted from a 9 year old reader, Cody, who asks Gordo what he thinks it would take for him to make it to the NHL someday.
In conclusion, all of us here at RMNB hope that you have enjoyed Andrew’s insightful responses to your questions over the past two days and his blogging throughout the Calder Cup Finals. Please join us in wishing him good luck for the upcoming season and a successful training camp. With that said, let’s get started with our first question.
Bill C. asks, “Andrew, who was your favorite player as a kid growing up and why?”
Thanks for the question, Bill. As a kid growing up I had all kinds of guys I really looked up to. When I became old enough to really follow hockey and understand the game, it was the 1992-93 season and I was 8 years old. This may have been the year that hockey took over my life, as my favorite team (brace yourself people…and I apologize in advance) the Montreal Canadians won the Stanley Cup and Teemu Selanne scored 76 goals on his way to a record-setting rookie season. Seeing as my father grew up in Winnipeg, the Jets were the other team I followed closely. So Teemu became my instant favorite. My father and I actually went to see a game in Winnipeg that season where the Jets faced Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings. Although I don’t remember all the details of the game (aside from Seleane getting two goals), I remember being amazed by the stadium and the fact that the guys on the ice were real live NHL players! In the same room as me! It was a day I hope I never forget.
A few weeks ago while the blog took a week hiatus, we asked if any of you had questions for player-turned-blogger Andrew Gordon. And boy did you! Tonight we present to you the first five answers out of the ten best questions we received. Also, make sure to check out the photos in this entry. They are from Game 6 of the 2010 Calder Cup Finals where the Hershey Bears celebrated the franchise’s 11th AHL Championship. The photos are from Gordo’s digital camera that he had on the ice. Take it away, Andrew!
Hi, everyone! Looks like this will be my last blog of the summer. Training camp is right around the corner, and once that hits my focus will be on hockey, not writing! I’m going to try to answer all these questions as best I can, but keep in mind some of them would take me forever to fully explain, so I’ll try to cover as much ground as I can without making this a complete yawner of a read. Thanks for reading!
tfirey asks, “Gordo: I have a lot of questions about how pro athletes train (as it’s a world that I’ll never know — alas!). Can you tell us what you do in your workouts? Are any exercises hockey-specific, as opposed to standard endurance and strength-building? How does your routine change throughout the year?”
Thanks for the question, tfirey. All players have different things they like to do to prepare for upcoming seasons. It’s kind of a trial-and-error thing. The majority of us have had trainers growing up, in junior, in college, and at various pro levels. They each have their own philosophies and training methods to get a player to the optimum level of fitness.
This week, RMNB’s gonna be on hiatus. But while we’re away, please submit us questions for an upcoming Fan Q/A post with Andrew Gordon on RMNB’s Facebook Fan Page here. We’ll be taking your best questions and shooting them over to Gordo to answer. One question he’s already agreed to respond to is this:
tfirey – Gordo: I have a lot of questions about how pro athletes train (as it’s a world that I’ll never know — alas!) Can you tell us what you do in your workouts? Are any exercises hockey-specific, as opposed to standard endurance and strength-building? How does your routine change throughout the year?
I was always wondering that too. Welp, you guys have a great week. We’ll be back in no time!
One look at the dismantling of the Chicago Blackhawks and it becomes apparent that the life blood of any hockey organization is its youth. If you can bring in young players that provide value at reasonable prices you have the ability to succeed in the long term. In the case of the Hershey Bears, it allows the Caps to fill their team with players who know how to win and execute Bruce Boudreau’s system.
The challenge then becomes not only which players to promote, but which players should be dangled in a trade and which you can simply cut bait with. The underlying question in all of this is simply: Does the front office feel a certain prospect can make it in the NHL?
For those of you who weren’t able to make it to #rmnbparty, we announced that Andrew Gordon will be blogging with us again this month. August is traditionally the slowest month when it comes to NHL Hockey news, so it’s a great change of pace to hear from Gordo about his mental and physical commitment to training through the summer. This is where players build the strength, speed and skill to compete in the upcoming season. Below Andrew talks about the mental toughness he’s developed to get him through. Photo by Kathryn Hedrick.
Hi Folks! Just when you thought you got rid of me, I’m back with a summer blog! The guys at RMNB and I thought it would be interesting to try and put into words a bit of what’s going on in my life (and in my head) since the season wrapped up a few short weeks ago.
I’ll start right up where my last entry left off: the post cup celebration. This season’s win was a much different feel than the first time. I remember a much deeper feeling of relief as opposed to the rush of excitement that I had as the buzzer rang in 2009. Don’t get me wrong, I was still on cloud 9, but as the heavy favorites going into the season, and again in the playoffs, the win was more of a weight off our shoulders than a celebration of our accomplishments. We were expected to win, and we did, so our job was done. No miracles or underdog stories. Just a job properly executed.
It was only one week ago that the Hershey Bears won the Calder Cup in a 4-0 rout. It was their second championship in as many years, their third in five years, and the eleventh in franchise history. Andrew Gordon writes to share his thoughts on the championship, the celebration, and what happens now.
Life has a million ways to make you feel good, and a million ways to make you feel miserable. In my 24 years, I have found only one way to feel like a champion (make that two ways now). It’s a feeling that all players at all levels try to put into words but can’t ever find the exact way to express it.
It’s a combination of happiness, excitement, relief, satisfaction, fulfillment and complete bliss all mixed together and topped with a touch of “thank God it’s over.”
A championship win is so much different than a regular-season win because there is nothing left to accomplish after it’s over. There is no refocusing for your next opponent. No pasta meal waiting for you before tomorrow’s game. No more playing through injury or sickness. It’s all over, and you have nothing else to think about. It’s as if half of your brain suddenly has nothing to do, so it just shuts down and lets the 8-year-old in you run wild.
In the championship moment, nothing matters except the guys around you. I know there was some intense crowd noise as the buzzer sounded in Hershey, especially compared winning on the road in Manitoba, but I don’t remember hearing a sound. It is like I blocked out everything else in the building except the pile of players huddled around the crease. As you fly over the bench, all you want is to be there with the boys, celebrating what you have just accomplished.
When my career is over, I might not remember the score of the game, but I’ll always remember the feeling of jumping that bench (and falling on my face, if you watch the tape) and sprinting towards the rest of the guys.
Last night was the Hershey Bears Calder Cup party at Giant Center. RMNB could not attend, but our spies are everywhere. From the aperture of Kyle Mace comes a parade of Bears images. Let’s take a second to appreciate Alexandre Giroux‘s aviator sunglasses, maniacal beard, and spraying bottles akimbo. The man is one bass solo away from joining Motorhead.
Here is Kyle’s video:
Glorious stills after the jump!
Tonight, we had the pleasure of having our own Hershey Correspondent Kyle M. down on the ice as the Hershey Bears celebrated their 11th Championship in Franchise History. And boy did he get some great photos.
Below the jump, check out Bryan Helmer hoisting the Calder Cup, the Bourque family celebrating Chris’s MVP Award, Doug Yingst getting a champagne shower from Michal Neuvirth and Francois Bouchard losing his dang mind. The overriding theme of these photos is “WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
Michal Neuvirth begins the celebration a few seconds before the final buzzer. (Sean Simmers, The Patriot-News)
The Bears’ 4-0 blowout of the Texas Stars is a fitting punctuation on the team’s 60-win season.
In this, the team’s eleventh Calder Cup championship-clinching game, the Bears’ did everything right. Michal Neuvirth was sterling in net; the team owned puck possession, second chances, and shots on goal (36); and the scoring came from depth– namely the blueliners. John Carlson‘s first-period sweeper was Captain America’s second GWG of the series, and his second championship goal of the year. Karl Alzner rounded out the first period with his own tally through Brent Krahn‘s 7-hole. Patrick McNeill had goals in both the second and third periods. And let’s not forget that Chris Bourque, who led the AHL in playoff goals, rightfully claimed the MVP trophy.
When Captain Bryan Helmer hoisted the Cup and passed it to his teammates, he ended one of the most dominating seasons in AHL history. The Bears ’09-’10 season contained 342 goals (no other team had 280) and a stunning 24-game winning streak at home. In this series the team overcame a two-game deficit, won three games on the road, and tonight delivered a decisive knockout blow. There is no shortage of acclaim for the Bears.
The bearded horde of Hershey has earned the right to shave, but even moreso the right to party. May the law officers of Dauphin County look the other way until dawn, because the Chocolate and White have finally won.
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