This is two posts in a row for me where I bring up personal things – but at least it ties into what I want to talk about.
Tonight was Round 2 of the playoffs in roller hockey – yes, I made it there on time. However, I broke a toe and sprained another while walking down the hallway to bed last night – my dog got in my way as he tends to do sometimes. Not the first time I played with a broken toe or with an injury – no big deal.
This brings me into the bread and butter of this post – the importance of camp and player conditioning. It is up to the individual player to maintain his conditioning or work-out regiment during the off season, this way they come to camp ready to play. Camp also gets the players re-adjusted to the regiment of the daily stresses the long season brings, as well as the systems the team will use. If a player comes to camp out of shape, they risk several things; getting injured during camp or face losing their roster spot. Look at Bouchard last year, his torn hamstring was most likely a combination of conditioning, age and luck. He wound up missing the season.
Several players played through injuries last year – the true warriors always find a way to contribute, and when it gets bad enough they know they will help the team more by watching. See Smyth, Asham, DiPietro, Hilbert and….yes Yashin (Yashin…well the warrior moniker is debatable there).
My point is, in order to have a successful season the players need to do everything in their power to remain healthy. They need to eat right, stay in shape and get their rest. All things a majority of players have no problem with.
I am anxious to see what Nolan does at this year’s camp, having a full season behind him. He should definitely be back in the groove and come out making his players fight, and play complete games – which is something every Islanders fan hopes for.
For those wondering about my hockey game – well, we lost. Throw in a strong first period, and then a few stupid penalties and we paid the price. My foot felt ok, but I was definitely not 100% out there and cut my shifts down. There is always next season, which is only a week or two away. Hopefully by then my toe will be it's normal color.