Fraser: Kings take Manhattan on off day
By Colin Fraser - Special to NHL.com
Los Angeles Kings forward Colin Fraser is playing in his second Stanley Cup Final. Fraser, who won the Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010, is providing NHL.com with a player's perspective on the battle for hockey's Holy Grail.
Thursday was a day off and a pretty light day at the rink. We had an optional skate and I think most of the guys opted to stay off the ice to get some maintenance, play some soccer and just kind of hang out and recharge.
When we're on the road, practices are always later in the day, normally in the afternoon. Obviously, the home team gets the earlier ice time. Yesterday our practice was scheduled for 2 p.m., so we got to the rink at about 1 p.m. Normally, with practice, it would be a light practice -- a quick on and off.
When we got to the rink, we played some soccer outside the dressing room, did some stretching, some guys went and got ice -- whatever guys had to do get themselves ready.
We will watch video of Game 1 today. Yesterday was just more of a recharge day. Today will be a get back at it, get our feet under us, get our minds back into with going over video and a having a good practice to be ready for Game 2.
Last night in the evening, the whole team went into the city to Caroline's, a comedy club. We watched J.B. Smoove, the guy [Leon Black] from Curb Your Enthusiasm. He was the main act. It was nice to hang out and relax a little bit. After that we came back to the hotel.
Normally on an off day during the regular season, guys usually go and do their own thing. It is usually pretty low-key during the day, with maybe going for a nice dinner at night. Nothing too crazy.
If there is enough time off, like how we have two days off in between games now, so the team set up this trip to the comedy club. Every guy went. It was a good outing for everyone to relax a little bit.
Being in the West, we don't get to come out here very much. I have been up to the top of the Empire State Building before, but normally I really just like to walk around and check out the sites. I've been to some of the touristy spots like Times Square a few times.
You just show up there and start looking around at everything, because it is such a different city. It is crazy to see all the people running around and everyone is always in a hurry with no where to go.
I once attempted to go down in the subway, but I couldn't figure out how to use it so I quickly turned around and came up to ground level again and took a cab instead.
Tomorrow is Game 2, and I think Game 1 ended up being more of a feeling-out process. Both teams were excited -- and maybe a little nervous after not playing for a few days. I think both teams are expecting to be better.
I know we are. We think we can be a lot better. We're happy that we got the Game 1 win, but we can't be satisfied. We've tried to get better with each game, and that starts today with practice. We know New Jersey is going to be better after getting down one game, so we've got to be better ourselves.