During the Flyers' six-game, 13-day road trip, Flyers goaltender Steve Mason will be keeping an exclusive blog of his travels with the team. Check out what he has to say below!
DAY 5-6: A big win... and some big turbulence
Hey everybody… well back to blogging for me after a great game last night!
I actually wanted to start out by talking about the game, but man did we have a little bit of a bumpy ride in Dallas!
Our flight started out ok, but by the landing we hit a good amount of turbulence that shook the plane pretty good. We were expecting a winter storm here in Dallas and the boys were holding onto the seats a little tighter than normal coming in... but we landed and everyone had smiles on their faces afterwards.
It's actually not the worst I've experienced though. A couple years ago in Columbus we were flying into Colorado and I remember even the flight attendants were seated and looking around as if it wasn't normal, so that's something I won't forget.
Not with the turbulence we had today, but sometimes Grossmann and I drift off to sleep during the flights. We're just joking around here after we took the photo posted on the Flyers Instagram today
I guess as much as we fly, you're bound to go through some bad weather and the occasion turbulence, but that was some pretty bad stuff today.
Thankfully my movie helped get me though it. I watched the Jobs, the Steve Jobs movie on the plane. It was a pretty interesting story.
Back to the game last night - well, it didn't start out too well for us. We got into some penalty trouble there, but our PK unit did a really good job getting us through it. They kept the game within reach.
Reader (Matt Read) scored that goal at the end of the period and there was a real sense of confidence in the locker room at intermission.
A big goal from G (Claude Giroux) helped us turn the energy towards us. When I'm in net I'm not on the bench or into the play (unless it's down our end) as much, but from my point of view you can really see the boys fighting hard, shift-by-shift. So that's a real motivator for me.
We stayed in Detroit last night after the game. An 8 p.m. start, we didn't get done until after 11 and when all was said and done with media and everything I didn't get back to the hotel until around 12:30.
I had my parents drive down for the game too, so I got to see them and spend some time before they drove back. It's a 3-hour drive for them, so they got in a lot later than I did.
Back at the hotel we had a team meal in one of the conference rooms, after that we took it easy and I just fell asleep.
Today's wasn't necessarily a complete day off, although we didn't get on the ice for practice we went to the game rink and did a short workout with our training staff.
We're having a team dinner tonight in Dallas, don't know where we're going yet, but it doesn't matter - team dinners are one of my favorites. When you get all the boys together in one room at a few different tables and there's a lot of joking around that goes on, so it's a really fun atmosphere to go along with a good meal!
Well that's it for me. Practice tomorrow. I'll catch up with everyone later. Thanks for reading!
DAY 4: The Game, My Routine & Arriving in Detroit
Hey Flyers fans… backtracking a little bit now I'll take you back to yesterday. When I'm not starting my morning skate routine is a little different.
Head equipment manager Derek Settlemyre and I having a chat during warm-ups last night
Normally on a game day when I'm playing I'll take some shots from the defense at the end of practice just to make sure I'm tracking the puck properly and things like that, but when you're not playing you take more power-play time and work with those units.
After the main practice is over, usually I'll stay on for an extra 20-25 minutes with Reeser (Jeff Reese) and work on things that I want to improve on in my game.
From there though it becomes pretty much the same routine as if I were starting. I'll go back and have a pre-game meal (which is always the same on the road). I'll have salad with chicken, then move onto a little bit of pasta with another piece of chicken breast. Then it's off the bed.
I typically take a quick pre-game nap because I head over the rink three hours before the game.
This is where it becomes a little different if I'm playing or not. If I'm not playing then I'll do about a 40 minute bike ride before the game just to make sure that I'm putting some work in. If I'm not playing then I don't just want to sit around and do nothing.
During the actual game I pay attention a lot.
I focus in on the key guys of the opponent, so for last night I was looking at Parise and Koivu's tendencies and things that the opposition would do on their power-play.
Beyond that I'm on the bench trying to keep guys loose and positive during the action.
It was a tough loss last night, but the flight was a pretty quick one. We lost an hour flying back East - it's only a one-hour time change, but it makes a big difference.
I can't really go to sleep right away, so Rosey (Jay Rosehill) came over and we hung out and watched TV for about a half-hour. Jay and I are both into cars, so we were talking about some of the new stuff that is out there.
One of the benefits of being on the same floor as the guys when you're going from hotel to hotel - it's a quick walk down the hall to visit.
Thanks again for reading and I'll keep the updates coming..
DAY 3: Gameday in Minnesota
Hey fans… Wow! I got a great response from this blog yesterday - glad everyone enjoyed it and I'll do my best to keep it up.
Yesterday's day off was great… after waking up a little later than usual, I ordered some room service - I typically always have breakfast in my room.
Then the entire team headed off to see a special viewing of Anchorman 2 in a local movie theatre. That's where I had lunch - which was just some movie theatre popcorn!
It was great to get all the guys and staff in one theater together and have a few laughs - I loved the first Anchorman and this one didn't disappoint! It was full of some great one-liners that I'm sure I'll be repeating over the next few weeks on this trip.
Today, it's back to hockey. I'll head over to the morning skate and get some shots in, but I'm not starting tonight. My partner on the team, Razor Ray will be between the pipes against Minnesota and I have no doubt that he'll be great for us as he has been all year.
That's it for now, I'll fill everyone in on how this day went and have another post tomorrow… Thanks for reading!
DAYS 1 & 2
Hi Flyers fans… trying this blog out for the first time and what a better time than a long 13-day road trip.
First off, let me say I absolutely love the people, and fans that pack in the Wells Fargo Center. There's also a real sense of enjoyment being on the road though, so I'm really looking forward to this trip, and not just a few days or even a week to be around my teammates. Close to two weeks should be fun.
When I was in Columbus we had a ton of travel going out west all the time, so I'm pretty much used to it.
I should say that before anybody asks, I don't have a roommate when we are on the road. Being a part of that special group of goaltenders, its allowed that we get are own room while traveling... but I will say that while I was in Columbus I actually chose to have a roommate my whole time there.
Of course, it was never always that way though… I remember many many road trips growing up and even though the travel was shall we say... different than it is now - I've always enjoyed it.
Whether it was a tournament around Christmas time or playoffs, I remember staying in the hotels with my teammates. When I was 6, 7, 8 years old we would be playing hockey in the hallway of our hotels and always getting complaints from the rest of the people staying there. It's obviously a little different now playing in the NHL - we're spoiled!
Now to the action. It felt great to get on the road after a big win in Philly. We had to hustle up to the plane right afterwards, but well worth it. We got into Nashville around 6 pm… Eastern Time, actually it was around 5 pm here in the Central Time Zone.
We have a lot of country music fans here on the team so Nashville is one of the cooler cities in the League for that.
Last night's game, in my opinion, was one of the toughest games of the year. They came hard for the entire 60 minutes and being able to win in the shootout was a great feeling.
The boys on the plane last night knew we hadn't played the best we can, but when you can get a win, everytime there's going to be smiles, so the plane ride was a good one.
In case you're wondering I sit next to Grossy (Nick Grossmann) on the plane and typically we talk about how the game went, but soon after we take off I plug in my earphones and watch movies.
Since this is a long one, I downloaded a couple movies. I watched Red 2 with Bruce Willis last night. One of the negatives in that regard is that being out here for so long I go through a lot of movies and run out of things to download... but I'll always find something on iTunes.
Today we have a day off in Minnesota. After playing back-to-back games it's good to get some rest, especially since we landed and got to the hotel around 1 am CT.
I'll have another update tomorrow, but thanks for following me along during this trip!
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