Busy schedule awaits MooseBy: Mitch Peacock | Published: January 4th 2016
We’ve all been through it.
You get that break you’ve been looking forward to for a while, but you know it’s going to be followed by going back to the grind…maybe even a heavier-than-usual workload.
The Moose were fortunate to have an extended holiday breather; their last game before it was December 21st in Chicago and their first practice after it was December 30th in Winnipeg.
That’s a long break in the go-go-go world of pro hockey.
But, that break was really only the calm before the storm.
After playing 27 games from October 9th through December 21st, the Moose play 29 games from New Year’s Eve through February 28th.
Or put another way, they’re in the midst of 29 games in 60 days!
So, how will they manage that workload?
Head Coach Keith Mc Cambridge has been around the pro game for 20 years and has a feel for what he needs to have the team ready, and what the players need to feel rested and prepared.
But, it’s not just a ‘feel thing”. Mc Cambridge is a planner, and he does his homework too.
For example, when the American League schedule is released in August he’s all over it; he’s considering game days, practice days, optional practice days, travel days, rest days and more.
People like Strength and Conditioning Trainer Jake Wolff and Director of Hockey Operations Brad Andrews play important roles too serving as resources so McCambridge can make informed choices.
Then, it’s all put to a calendar.
At the start of each month a calendar goes out to the players/staff allowing them to see what the demands of the coming weeks are and allowing them to make plans for time to recover and/or get time away from the game with family.
One quirk of this season’s schedule is the current eight-game home stand.
McCambridge says six-gamers are more common when it comes to lengthy spells at home, but points out this long stay in town is more manageable because of a week-plus of time based at MTS Centre.
That’s a change from practicing and taking game day skates at MTS Iceplex then shifting downtown for games. The coach says familiarity with the dressing room, the ice, and everything offered by the big rink helps players feel comfortable.
In addition, settling in downtown for a stretch is convenient for everyone associated with the team – no packing up and moving for a week has its pluses during a hectic part of the schedule.
So, there you have it…it’s all about planning.
Well, sort of, even with experience and a good plan in place 29 games in 60 days is far from easy but it can become manageable and that’s the goal when you’re looking to develop players and succeed on-ice when things get crazy and that break seems like such a long time ago.
The Moose continue this busy time Tuesday, January 5th at 7pm at MTS Centre against the Grand Rapids Griffins visit moosehockey.com/tickets or any Ticketmaster location to get in on the action.
You can also listen to the game LIVE at moosehockey.com starting with the pre-game show at 6:45pm.