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.
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.
Alexandre Giroux’s overtime goal has put the Hershey Bears ahead (3-2) of the Stars for the first time in the Calder Cup Finals series. From his seat on the Bears charter jet, right wing Andrew Gordon sets the stage for the series’ completion in Hershey. He discusses the vibe in the dressing room, disparities in travel between the NHL and AHL, and predicts some excellent hockey to come.
We finally arrive to the point in the season that we have been waiting for all along. After taking tonight’s game in Texas, we return home with a 3-2 series lead, and more importantly, a chance at the championship. They say the fourth win in a series is always the hardest one to get, but considering the battles we have just fought in games four and five, I don’t see how it could get much tougher. Both teams seem evenly matched through five games. One favorable bounce here or a tough call there has made all the difference, but a win is a win, and we have found a way to win three games in their building. Our confidence is high.
John Carlson’s third period goal lifted the Bears to a pivotal win over the Texas Stars. The series is now tied at 2-2 with only one game remaining in Texas. Andrew Gordon reflects on the meaning of last night’s win, a few differences between the NHL and the AHL, and the tribulations of team sports.
Tonight is a new night, and we can all breath a little easier. Going down 3-1 is pretty much the same as going down 3-0 in my opinion, so tonight was as much of a must win as Monday.
When we left Hershey, our focus was winning our way home. We wanted to take a minimum of two games in Texas to assure there would be at least one more game back in Hershey. After learning from our experience in the first two games, we felt we would me be a much different team if we could return home for game six. We have achieved that little goal through these two games in Austin, and with a third game still to play we may be able to return home on the verge of a Championship! That’s a drastic shift from the attitude last week.
Andrew Gordon continues his RMNB residency by providing a glance at the Hershey Bears’ trip to Texas. In anticipation of tonight’s game (8:30 on Comcast SportsNet), Andrew shares some photos of himself posing with Mathieu Perreault in the locker room, the Bears boarding their jet, and Captain America John Carlson mugging for the camera on ice.
A view of the arena in Austin from the top row.
Andrew Gordon scored two of the Bears’ six goals in last night’s game with the Texas Stars, including the game winner. In today’s piece, Andrew discusses the win, getting over the bad breaks of the first period, and digging deep in the post season.
I don’t need to explain how badly we needed to win this game. Going down 3-0 with two more games in their building just wasn’t an option. We needed to make a statement about who we are, and we did just that. It didn’t look good early though. After letting up a goal on the first shot of the game (a ricochet off of Boyd Kane’s skate), and a shorthanded tap in after a miscue between Neuvy and our defenseman, I felt like nothing could go right. We were a team stuck in Murphy’s Law: Whatever could go wrong, seemed to.
After the first period, all the talk in the dressing room was about us. We knew we couldn’t take back the bad bounces that happened. We couldn’t play that period over again. But we knew if we used the last 40 minutes to play the way we know how, and stick to the game plan we could give ourselves a chance. From that point forward our attitude was completely different. We started shooting the puck, driving the net, limiting the odd man rushes against and only made high risk plays when it absolutely had to be done. By not giving them anything for free, we slowly started to take over. Every shift was like shooting a little more energy into our veins. We started to believe in ourselves and our abilities again. By the time the third period started, we had our swagger back. We were the Bears again, and when that buzzer sounded to end tonight’s game my thoughts shot back to the feeling I had so often this season. I got a taste of winning again, and as a team I can safely say we liked it.
Despite Andrew Gordon’s ace tying goal in third period, the Hershey Bears fell to the Texas Stars in a 4-3 stunner last night. The Bears now trail in the series 2-0 and must play the next three games in Stars country. Andrew shares his thoughts about the loss and provides an ice-level perspective on frustration, the team’s identity, and the key to victory.
The words ringing through my head tonight are the same ones Chris Bourque joked about with a wry smile right before we stepped on the ice tonight for warm-up: “How about you write a happy blog for tomorrow?”
Sorry, Chris; that’s not happening. When I signed up to write these entries after each game, I thought it would be fun to let everybody in on the dressing room celebrations and talk about the players who were playing great. Instead, I feel like I’m venting my own frustrations. This isn’t the way I intended my blog to be, but this isn’t the way I intended the series to be either.
Andrew Gordon is the right winger on the Hershey Bears’ top line. His 71-point output this season (37 G, 34 A) has been crucial to the Bears’ epic offense and generated some serious NHL buzz. Along with Keith Aucoin and Alexandre Giroux, Gordon participated in the most prolific line in the AHL this year. His hard-nosed, straight-to-the-net style reminds us of a player 13 years his senior: Mike Knuble. The 24-year-old, Halifax native recently missed four games to a lower body injury but has returned for the Calder Cup Finals. Andrew joins Russian Machine Never Breaks to reflect on last night’s game-one loss to the Texas Stars and beyond. Let’s hand it over to Gordo:
Hi, everybody! Before I get going, I would first like to take a quick second to thank all of you who are reading this. The fact that you are interested in what I have to say is flattering, and for that I thank you. This being my first blogging experience, I’ll ask that you to bear with me (no pun intended). I try not to read much of what’s written in the media, so I’m as surprised as anyone to see me joining forces with them! Anyway…here goes nothing! Thanks again!
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