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Lovejoy takes a look at life in the pros


by Ben Lovejoy || AHL On The Beat Archive


lovejoy_200.jpgI have been asked by The Weekender to write a short blog-type column during the next few months in which I will give my readers some insight into the world of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

As a rookie defenseman on the team, I have had to go through some fairly dramatic life changes, adapting to professional hockey after my brief five-year stint in college. I thought it would be an appropriate way, therefore, to start my column with a Tuesday in the life of Ben Lovejoy.

Tuesdays for the Penguins are so-called “work days.” I find that interesting, since I haven’t had a day on the Penguins that hasn’t been a “work day.” That said, Tuesdays are the worst.

5:06am – Wake up and look at my alarm clock. I’m terrified to miss or be late for practice. I have been here for two months and it’s still the same. I set three alarms before I go to bed. Being late is a $100 fine.

6:45am – Roll over and look at the clock again.

8:10am – 1st alarm goes off.

8:15am – 2nd and 3rd alarms go off.

8:23am – Quick breakfast of oatmeal and fruit smoothie. 20 minutes of breakfast in front of ESPN.com. Some people read the newspaper, I read ESPN.com. Religiously.

8:37amRyan Lannon, my roommate and landlord, walks downstairs. I am giving him a ride to McCarthy Tire to pick up his car. He had to get his winter tires put on his BMW. I wish I had a BMW.

8:42am – Arrive at the rink and quickly change into my workout gear. Work out for 25 minutes. Easy workout today. Just abs. I wish I had nice abs.

9:20am – Our trainer, Patrick Steidle, gives me some wrist exercises. Both my wrists were injured in the first game and I’ve had them both X-rayed and MRI’d. Nothing is broken, but they still really hurt.

10:27am – Practice. As I mentioned earlier, Tuesdays are tough. I need to be ready physically and mentally for these days. Coach [Todd] Richards loves his tough practices (and execution), but Tuesdays are especially grueling.

I am wearing new skates. My feet hurt, but I have a pretty good day. That said, I am notorious for messing up drills. I am a bit of a space man, and just forget to do some things. I only mess up one drill today, so I had a good day.

11:02am – A fight breaks out between two teammates. Tuesday practices are intense.

11:22am – The rookies have to pick up the pucks everyday, so we play a game and the loser has to do it by himself. So far, Alex Goligoski pretty much always loses. In today’s competition, we had to hit the crossbar from the slot. Sniper that I am, it took me a while, but I hit it. Goli never did. I skated off the ice pretty happy with my day.

12:04pm – Leave the rink and drive to The Café. They make a mean ham and cheese panini. I do this everyday, as I’m very much a creature of habit. I find what I like (Hershey bars, Orange Vitamin Water, TV) and get addicted to it. I’m addicted to these sandwiches from The Café.

1:00pm – Walk in and watch an episode of The Hills with Lannon. As a house, we watch a lot of MTV and VH1 reality TV.

1:30pm – Goligoski is cooking tonight. Once a week in our house a guy has to cook dinner for everyone else. Lanno does a good job, Tim Wallace does a good job, I do a great job, Goli’s first try was awful. He made plain, dry, well-done chicken with not quite cooked chopped up potatoes and a pre-made salad, straight from the bag. As a house, we are hoping for a better effort out of him tonight.

2:15-4:15pm – Watch three consecutive episodes of Rescue Me on DVD.

4:26pm – Watch two Tivo’d episodes of Two and a Half Men. It’s on twice every night on MyTV. Lanno’s mom says that he reminds her of Charlie Sheen’s character in the show. I agree…strongly.

4:28pm – Goli comes in with the biggest pork tenderloin I have ever seen. It may take 3 hours to cook.

5:30pm – PTI. Every night.

6:17pm – Dinner. Pork tenderloin. Mixed vegetables. Cheesy Rice-A-Roni. A much better meal tonight from Goli.

7:07pm – More Tivo’d Two and a Half Men.

10:00pmNip/Tuck. Pretty excited.

11:04pm – Set my three alarm clocks. Fifteen minutes of SportsCenter. Goodnight Wilkes-Barre fans.

Penguins defenseman Ben Lovejoy’s column appears every Wednesday in The Weekender