These are things that were not happening a month ago.
Practice ended today, and I'd guess 95 percent of the guys stayed on the ice an extra 30 minutes to play a game of Juice Boy, which is really a chance for Max Strang to get more shots. They were whooping and hollaring and laughing the whole time.
Then they go into the locker room and they're all sitting in their stalls continuing the ``discussion,'' teasing Schrocky about his black eye and getting on Embach about something. They must have been in there for 45 minutes before everybody got to the showers.
They were just having fun spending time together, laughing and relaxing.
As I said, those things weren't happening a month ago. Guys were quick to get off the ice, and even quicker to get out of the dressing room. You could sense that the atmosphere was not good. Now, it's like they don't want to leave the rink because they are having such a good time together. It's a startling change, something that doesn't always happen with teams.
It never happened last year, and the year before not until the very end of the season. Sometimes I think we in Fort Wayne just assume there's going to be a close-knit locker room, but it's usually only a 50-50 thing. Chemistry is an odd thing that every team would kill for but it doesn't always happen.