|It is hard to believe that Christmas has come and gone. Here's hoping that Santa Claus was good to you and your families and that you enjoyed a wonderful holiday. A happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to all.|
Like everyone else, the team took a 2 1/2 day break before returning to practice on the 26th. This is a catch 22 time for the players. The mini-break comes at a good time and certainly well deserved, yet for many of the players who live too far away to get home, it is a difficult time as they are not able to be with their families. A few of the lucky ones, who live in Ontario, Quebec or New England were able to get home.
It was time to get back to work in preparation for cross-state rival Hartford. One practice and one morning skate was all we had so we made the most of it. An energetic crowd of over 4000 showed their support and stayed to the exciting finish. Karri Ramo steals the show and steals a victory for the Falcons. The power play jump starts the team early in the second period with two quick goals to take the lead and then the team rides the hot goaltending of our Fabulous Finn. With three games just ahead on the weekend, it was a great way to start off the busy week.
As we close in on the half way point in the season, I want to point out that upcoming games 40 through 60 are by far the most grinding of the year for the players. As you might imagine the first 20 games are all about the excitement of the new season, then games 20-40 are about the team settling in as a group and establishing an identity and trying to stay within striking distance of a playoff spot. Our upcoming games 40-60 are all about fighting through the many bumps and bruises and physical and mental fatigue. If a team can get through this period and still be in the playoff hunt, then the last 20 games are very much like playoff games, as you fight for a spot in the playoffs or for better seeding heading into the post season.
A busy January against divisional opponents (11 of 13) lies ahead. This could very easily separate the contenders from the pretenders in the division. Stay tuned
Hoping that you will come and cheer us on at the MassMutual Center and join in on the fun of seeing the next generation of NHL players.
Till next week! Coach Stirling