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Musing on My First Two Weeks: Johannes Vilhjalmsson


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Musing on My First Two Weeks

 

Johannes Vilhjalmsson / Center / Ottawa Lynx

 

My first two weeks in Ottawa have been a whirlwind. The players are bigger (not bigger than me), the pace is higher (ok, that's something I need to work on) and the coaches are nicer. Yes, nicer. I don't mean that in a way meant to upset people back home in Iceland. But back there it's much more rigid. Warm-ups together. Coach says what to do. Skating drills. Coach says what to do. Passing drills. You get the idea. Here it's more loose. We do some structured drills, but there are a lot of scrimmages. Plenty of room for being creative. Coaches here don't get mad when you miss a pass. They get mad when you don't try to make plays. Even then, when I say "get mad", I mean that they clap at you and tell you to play with confidence. That's new. Back home, it's about not making mistakes. Clean, safe passes, get back and check. Don't leave the zone early. I think it's doing a lot for me to be able to play creatively. I know that most people look at my brothers and I and say "big, slow, dumb." We want to play fast hockey. Make intelligent plays. Get on highlight reels. Hockey over here really is more expressive. I think that you lose something when you restrict yourself to always making the safe play. We're at the bottom of the standings now. But no matter how this season goes, I think I made the right call coming over. I'm growing as a player in a way I'm not sure I could back home.

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