Monthly Archives: Dec 2018

#7daysofwildchristmas 5

Today I caught the train to the Arena station and walked home along the canal. Two firsts – I got to see bits of the city from the train that I’ve not been on in daylight before, and I’ve not walked that part of the canal south before either.

I really hope that as part of the City of Culture the Art Trail along the canal is refreshed and updated, while the large amounts of rubbish are also dealt with. There are some bins, but these are overflowing, and people clearly don’t take rubbish home with them.

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#7daysofwildchristmas 4

A day out at Croome Court today. Saw lots of swans, enjoyed walking through a ‘Capability’ Brown landscape, marvelling at the vision of a man who would never see his gardens in their maturity.

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#7daysofwildchristmas 3

Today I took a walk along the River Sowe.

Even saw a heron!

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#7daysofwildchristmas 2

National memorial arboretum today. A lovely two hours walking around, watching the trees and the river.

Even got a toot from a train!

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#7daysofwildchristmas 1

Better late than never…

Today a chance to enjoy some of the green open spaces in my city

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#OnFire – D men

It’s been a busy season so far at the back of the ice, with three different goalies filling the net I spoke to David Clements, Kevin Noble, Chris Joyaux, Nicolai Bryhnisveen and Trey Lewis to find out how they felt about the situation.

 

Is it challenging adjusting to playing with different goalies?

DC: Obviously it’s been difficult for us this year having to play in front three different goalies as they each have their own style in the way they play. In saying that I thought the boys did a great job adjusting to that and did what we could to protect them all and play hard in front of them.

KN: No. Throughout a hockey season you play with many different players, whether in different line combinations or situational moments throughout the game, being able to adjust to this is part of the game.

CJ: For the most part it’s quite easy, some goalies have their tendencies and things they like, but they’ll always make them aware from the getgo.

NB: No not really. Most goalies these days play a similar style and as long as the communication between D’s and goalies is good, it doesn’t really matter who is in there.

TL: I don’t think it’s too challenging, it’s mostly just about communication and whether they are vocal with you or vice versa.

 

Does the goalie you are playing in front of affect your style of play? How?

DC: Every goalie is different. Miro didn’t speak a lot of English which didn’t really help, but he was a great goalie and gave us a chance to win each night. Whenever Hedley was in net he was unreal! Obviously, he doesn’t have as much experience as the other two but again he stood on his head for us and as he’s young it gave us a little more determination to play that little bit harder in front of him. Miika has had a tough start with injury but during that time had worked incredibly hard off the ice to keep his conditioning up. Miika has some certain things he goes over with us D men before games and during practice that he’d rather us do, which is different and we try adapt to in order to make life easy for him between the pipes.

KN: No. Regardless of who is in net you have to do your job, giving the team the best chance to be successful. We have confidence in any teammate we play with.

CJ: I wouldn’t say so. At the end of the day our job is to get the puck out of the zone and his is to stop it. So you have trust in one another, no matter who, to do their job.

NB: Again no, I try to focus on my game and doing my job. Some goalies are good with their stick and like to play the puck, in which case there will be more opportunities to get a pass rather than come back and pick pucks up.

TL: I would say it mostly just affects your game in the sense of positioning, whether they want you in one position opposed to another. I just listen to whatever they tell me to do!

 

Who is the most memorable goalie you have played with? Why – what did they do that makes them stand out for you?

DC: For me so far the most memorable goalie has to be Brian Stewart! My first year here the saves that he could make I’ve never seen anything like it. Guys told me he was a huge reason of why they won the playoffs the year before I came, and then he was a huge factor in us making the final my first year. Not only a great goalie but a great personality to have around the room which is really important.

KN: I’ve played with many great goalies. Anytime you play with, and win with someone who you have great team success makes them memorable. My Junior and college experiences were highlighted with great team success and many great players.

CJ: Both of my goalies from Miami. They were so different in many aspects but both competed like animals. You shoot one towards their head and they’re coming at you. You put one in their chest and they chirped you. I was roommates with both of them so being so close to them and seeing their rituals to me was amazing and hilarious

NB: I have played with a lot of good ones, but the guy that stands out have to be Jordan Parise. He had an intense workout regime and would always use electrodes all over his body that gave these small electric pulses to warm up his muscles before practice and games. He looked hilarious.

TL: I’d have to say Hedley because he lets me score on him in the Friday practice shootouts.

 

 

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#OnFire – Hache

New D man Justin Hache stands at 6’2” in his socks. The 24 year old Canadian joins us from a successful season playing for SønderjyskE in the Metal Ligaen in Denmark, where he scored five goals and registered 28 assists over the regular season and play-off games.

 

Justin played six seasons of junior hockey in Canada before moving into the AHL, where he played a season each for Portland Pirates and Springfield Falcons. In 2016 he moved to Tucson Roadrunners and his career took a slightly different path. He explained, “I was on an entry level contract with Phoenix Coyotes in Arizona. For the first two years I was steady in the American League, there’s a lot of stability and that was awesome. In my third year they sent me down to Rapid City Rush in the East Coast after a little while, so I asked for a trade. I ended up going to Dallas Stars, so I played in the American League again for Texas Stars and then they sent me to Idaho Steelheads in the East Coast for play-offs. it was a difficult year, moving around a lot. I knew that the next year my contract was probably going to be something where I didn’t get that stability again and it was not something I was interested in. When you get down to the East Coast, it’s very hard as your contract is on a two week basis so it’s hard mentally and I was ready to move on and try something different.”

 

I wondered why he chose to play in Europe “I felt like Europe was a more attractive place to play and I could get more stability,” he explained. “I had my fiancé with me, and the year before in North America I played on four different teams and I was sick of moving around.” Of living and working in Denmark he said, “There was a little bit of a culture shock. most people can speak English so the language is not an issue. everyone was really nice to me and the organisation was awesome and everything went smoothly.” I wondered in that case why he didn’t stay in Denmark, what was behind the decision to move on again? “I was just looking to see what the best opportunity would be for me and I felt that this team would be a great fit for me and so far it feels like that was the right decision. I like it a lot here in Coventry. The first few days with no car or wifi were tough, but now that I’ve been here for a while I’m finding my way around. I like the city, there’s a lot to do and I feel like there’s a lot to see so I think it’s going to be a great year.”

 

When he signed to play for the Blaze, Head Coach Danny Stewart said, “Justin gives us top pairing defenceman. He’s good in all areas, on and off the puck. He will play crucial minutes for us and in all situations. He is a big body who adds grit and size to our back-end. He has played at very high levels and comes to us still at a young age with room to develop further. I’m excited about him and how he completes and compliments our defence.”

 

Justin comes from the New Brunswick area of Canada, where few professional hockey players come from, so it is unsurprising that his hockey hero growing up was from the same part of the world as him. “When I was younger there was a guy from where I’m from. He was called Luc Bourdon, and he passed away in a motorcycle accident. He was a very good prospect for the Vancouver Canucks and he’s a guy I always looked up to when I was younger. I was sad when he passed away. He was a D man as well. He wasn’t that much older than me, but I liked his game. We were from the same area – there’s not that many players move on to pro hockey from my part of Canada so it’s kind of a big deal.”

 

I asked how he ended up playing as a D man. Was it a conscious decision or did he really have aspirations to be a sharp shooter when he was younger? “I don’t know. I feel like I’ve been a d man forever. I was bigger than everyone when I was younger, so it became a normal position for me and I’ve just kept doing it. Now, I’m a solid, stay at home defensemen who is consistent in my zone and also has the ability/flexibility to contribute in all situations. I’m a calm & poised player but also have that passion & grit needed to bring home a win!”

 

Most of our North American players like to take the opportunity to travel while they are here, and it seems that Justin is no different. “I’d love to go to London, and lots of different places in England. I’d like to see Scotland as well. Last year when I was in Denmark I went to Amsterdam and Copenhagen, but now I get to see a different part of the world, which is nice.”

 

As we know, all hockey players find a job to keep them busy over the summer months, but Justin has one of the most unusual that I have come across. “In the summer I fish lobster back home. It’s a little bit different. It’s physical work and there’s a two month fishing season which is during the off season for hockey and it works perfectly. When I played junior hockey I started at university, but put it aside when I started to play professional hockey. In the future it’s something I’d like to do, to go back to school and get my degree. I’m not putting school away forever!”

 

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