PLAYER JOURNAL: MATTIAS NORSTROM
Mattias Norstrom Journal Entry Four | Read Entry Three | Read Entry Two | Read Entry One
Oct. 25, 2005
Sunday night's game against the Calgary Flames was the first of four straight games in seven days at STAPLES Center.
Yes, the schedule is busy but my routine will not change this week. I'll still prepare for every game the same way I normally do. I'll focus on the opponent that night and try to stay on an even keel, knowing that our season will have its share of thrilling wins and disappointing losses.
Physically, I know I can handle the schedule because I've done so several times before. Knowing how to move on from a bad result like Sunday night's loss to the Flames is every bit as important as staying in top physical condition.
Hopefully we learned from our mistakes on Sunday, so we can be an even better team the next time we take the ice. If you're a member of the Kings, you've experienced bad losses before. It happens. It's part of the game.
I was on the ice when the winning goal was scored. That's something I can't change. Worrying about it will do me no good. Preparing for the next game is the best way for me to help this team win.
I will admit to getting excited about some of the opponents on our schedule. Anytime we meet the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, it's a special game. I also look forward to playing teams like the Detroit Red Wings, the Vancouver Canucks and the Colorado Avalanche because year in and year out, those are the teams you need to beat to be a playoff contender. Playing those games gives our team a chance to see how we measure up against some of the better teams in the league.
I recently learned that I have a chance to set a team record this year for career games played by a defenseman. I look at that as a great honor. It also, looking back, means that I've been fortunate and I've had some good people around me.
Twelve years in this league and I still love to play this game because I'm driven by the challenge to win. When I first started out as a rookie, I just wanted to make the team. After that, my goal was to establish myself as an NHL hockey player. Now, years into my career, winning is the most important challenge. That's what drives me to compete every night.