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Beyond the Blueline: Aaron Ward's Blog

Musings from Montreal

Wednesday, 10.15.2008 / 8:59 AM / Beyond the Blueline: Aaron Ward's Blog
By Aaron Ward  - Defenseman
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Musings from Montreal
Bonjour!

We’re 1-1 for the season so far, and that’s not bad, but that game against Minnesota on Saturday was, well, “wild.”

They’re notoriously a defensive-style team; they play a strong defensive system, so it was hard trying to figure out which of their forwards was back there and Zee and I spent a lot of time looking behind us.

Then they threw another wrinkle in there when two of them would be standing behind us, so we’re both standing in the neutral zone, and there’s a giant gap between our forwards and us, and we’re caught flat-footed, so it was a difficult game to play.

Overall, I think we played a better game than we did against Colorado, but again, we understand there’s room for improvement no matter what.

It’s going to be different without Andrew Alberts in the locker room. It’s a tough situation; I think you can compare it to Jeremy Reich and Peter Schaefer moving down the minors.

You have to understand that it’s a business, and, from his perspective, it might be the best thing for him. It’s an opportunity with a team, to go into a situation where they really want him, from what I understand. It’s hard to understand sometimes as an athlete because when you get here, you feel like you have a pretty solid ego, a pretty sound base of your self-worth.

But it’s big to feel like you’re really wanted, and that’s one of the key perks to going to a new team, the sense that, “Wow, I’m wanted here. They made a trade for me, I have an automatic place in this team,” and it gives you an instant injection of confidence and from what I hear, they wanted him to be in the lineup for Monday night if he could make it.

That said, everyone here wishes Albe the best.

It’s good to be playing on the East Coast again against a familiar team. I feel like I can close my eyes and replay every shift, every moment of every game we played against Montreal last year, so I think it’s comforting to know that there’s shouldn’t be a whole lot of surprises coming at you.

You’re back in the Eastern Conference playing an Eastern Conference team and we’re really looking forward to playing against the Habs in Montreal tonight.

I think that knowing that this is a big game -- a rivalry game -- we should have learned a lot from last year, from our mistakes, considering we put ourselves behind the eight ball many times with penalties.

It’s the score at the end of the game that matters. That’s the one that will be remembered, not if you took a guy’s head off or evened a score from a previous game.

Nothing else relevant – it’s the two points in the standings and the team’s outcome that matters. So I think it’s key that we draw upon our most recent experiences: patience, composure, discipline, because we’ve got to know if you give them an inch, they’re going to take a mile.

I’ll write later this week.
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