George Parros: Ducks surviving beast of a trip
Hello all. Greetings from Boston, Mass.! We are right in the middle of our first of two East Coast swings this year. If you have been following along, you might know that we are on a two-game skid after winning a tight game in Washington to start this beast of a trip. I say beast of a trip because it always seems that way when you travel cross-country. Apparently there is a lag in our "jet lag" though. We came out ready to play in D.C., but have fallen flat in Long Island and North Carolina.
But here we are in Beantown, and life goes on. The team practiced Sunday in Agganis Arena, home of college hockey's Boston University Terriers and former home of our very own Nick Bonino. They just built this new arena for the team, and it is incredible. Their weight room dwarfs any hockey-specific weight room that I have seen before. Their locker room was NHL-quality, and their lounge was ahead of the game, complete with its own ping-pong arena. I was quite jealous of their ping-pong table and was surprised to see that Mr. Bonino is apparently a Hall of Fame ping-pong player (his name was still on the dry erase board -- third on the all-time list). Looks like we will have to have a showdown somewhere along the way this year. I'm taking bets now.
We play the Bruins on Monday night, which will be no easy task. Our old red-bearded friend Shawn Thornton has found a home here since leaving the hallowed halls of the Honda Center (how's that for alliteration?). A win in this game is the only thing on our minds at the moment. We definitely need the points, and bringing a 2-2 road record into Buffalo the following night would be nice. The Buffalo game will round out our five-game, seven-night trip, at which point we will get some time off for Christmas break.
We actually have a few days in between games this year surrounding Christmas, which is a nice change of pace. In the past, we have had games right before and after the holiday. Fortunately for me, my family has all moved out to the West Coast, so I will not have to travel to be with them this year. Every family has its Christmas or holiday traditions, and ours is no exception. My siblings and I hold a cheesy gift contest every year. The winner of said contest is afforded the right to choose where we must buy each other's real gifts the following year. Last year, for example, my gift to my sister Jen was a "decorative mini plunger" (truly incredible), so I was able to dictate that this year's gifts had to be bought on the world's greatest marketplace ... EBay.
Because I am defending champ, I have a lot of pressure to repeat. Fortunately, I already have some solid gifts locked down, but I don't dare say it is in the bag. Anyway, I won't bore you with anymore of my memories from Christmas past, but will hopefully be able to bore you with news of an incredibly mundane 10-game winning streak by our next correspondence. Happy Holidays!
-- George Parros
The Times again this season has Ducks enforcer George Parros blogging on the ups and downs of life in the NHL.
Photo: George Parros, right, mixes it up with Matt Martin Thursday's Ducks-Islanders game. Credit: Kathy Kmonicek / Associated Press