The 55th in our 118-part series.
Pictures of White Boards with Bus Times on Them
All this hullabaloo about how much of a wake-up call North American players are in for when they show up for their new jobs in the Russian league has reminded us about something that is a little hidden treasure for hockey fans — evidence of what goes on behind the scenes in the dressing room. We watch every second of every game. We listen to every word of every coach’s press conference. We then read those same quotes while poring over every word in every newspaper report about every game. But we will never, ever know the full picture because we don’t get to see what goes on with the team in practice, in team meetings, in video review sessions, or even at the training table after their pre-game naps. However, occasionally, ever so rarely, we see a glimpse that hints about the seldom-seen life behind the scenes. Sometimes it’s a door to the weight room open in the background of a post-game interview. Sometimes it’s a throw-away flavoring shot of guys playing soccer in the bowels of the arena. And sometimes it’s our favorite. A white board. In a dressing room. That has titillating messages on it like, “Bus at 5. Dinner on 3rd floor.” Sure we know the team takes a bus to games. Heck, we’ve even seen such buses on numerous occasions in our travels to see our boys on the road. We know they eat pre-game meals. Heck, we’ve even been on elevators with the players on their way to such meals. But to know the bus is at 5? And that dinner is on the 3rd floor? Those are the kinds of details that remind us that hockey doesn’t end when the buzzer sounds.