Superstitions or routine?

I get a lot of questions from either reporters or from fans asking what kind of superstitions I have. I mean being a goalie I should have lots of superstitions, I should be talking to my posts, not stepping on the blue-lines, not talking to anyone before games, don’t all goalies do that stuff? Well I can’t say I do and in this post I’ll go through my game-day routine and give you a look at what some other guys do to get ready for a game.

I don’t really believe anything I do is a superstition, but more of a routine. There are different things you find that work for you when getting ready for a game and some that don’t. When you find something that works for it’s natural to go back to that. So for me it’s kind of like a mental check list of things that I do before a game, and every time I complete one of those things I am that much closer to being ready for the game. I don’t like to sleep in on game days so I’m usually up by around 8:30. I will get up and shower and maybe watch a little sportscenter before going to grab some breakfast at the cafeteria. I like to eat a bigger breakfast and it will most likely consist of an omelette and bagel or something along those lines. After that I head to the rink. If it’s a friday night game I go on the ice for about 20-30 minutes to do some skating drills and get a few shots just to get a little sweat in. If it’s a saturday game I’ll just ride the bike instead. After I’m done on the ice I do a lot of stretching to loosen up the legs. On friday’s I have just the one class at 11:45 which is something I schedule on purpose. I don’t like to sit around on game days. I find that the more I sit around the more you are thinking about the game and kind of anxiously waiting and wasting energy on that. So I like to keep myself busy and my mind occupied. After class it’s back to the rink for a 1:30 meeting and meal. We have an option for the pre-game meal it’s either steak tips and rice or chicken and rice, I tend to lean on the side of the chicken. Following the meal I head back to my room for a nap of no more than a little over an hour, just to get an energy boost for the evening. I get up at 4, shower and head to the rink. I like to be at the rink about 2 hours and 15 minutes before game time, everyone has to be at the rink 2 hours before the game. When we play at home we wear suits to the game and if we win the game before at home I will stick with the same shirt until we lose, no matter how long the win streak goes. Once I get to the rink I will get into our warm-up gear of shorts and t-shirt, grab my sticks and head to the stands to sit down and tape my sticks. We have another set of meetings with coach to go over the game plan before our trainer Dan takes us through a series of stretching and warm-up exercises to get the blood flowing. After this I get a personal stretch from Dan to loosen up again, sounds like a lot of stretching but for a goalie I am not flexible at all and need all the help I can get to get my legs ready. From the time I get to the rink to the time I start putting my gear on I always carry around with me a puck. I started doing this in juniors and I just play around with it in my hands, throw it up and catch it or toss it against the wall. This gets my hands and eyes used to seeing the puck and focusing on the little rubber disk that will be flying at me during the game. Some of the other guys like to get ready for the game in other ways. One of the things that is common to see around our team is 5 or 6 guys circled around trying to keep the soccer ball going, while others will be stickhandling pucks, riding a bike, or stretching. The music in the locker room is also a bone of contention at times as everyone has their preferences. David Strathman usually puts together a play mix for before the game and I’ve been known to sing along, not very well I might add. I like to stay loose before the game, I’m not a goalie that is extremely uptight and will glare at anyone who tries to come close to me. So there you have it, my pre-game routine, nothing crazy like I said just a check-list of things that I go through to help me prepare for a game on any given night.

Below is part of a assignment we had to take some of our own pictures and add them to the blog so I took the camera to the rink today and snapped a few shots around the room before practice.

pair of gloves drying on the glove dryer outside the dressing room

pair of gloves drying on the glove dryer outside the dressing room

Louis Liotti and Ryan Ginand enjoy a hot tub before practice

Louis Liotti and Ryan Ginand enjoy a hot tub before practice

Greg Costa works on his stick in the dressing room

Greg Costa works on his stick in the dressing room


8 Responses to “Superstitions or routine?”

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  2. Thiessen,

    What is your opinion on netminders who scrape up the crease with their blades at the beginning of each period? Do you believe this can sometimes help slowdown the puck, or is there another reason why they do it? Also, why do you not parttake in this ritual? Thanks.

    • inthecreasewiththiess Says:

      Hey Andrew great question. I do actually do this before the start of each period and the point of scraping the crease is not to slow the puck down, but to slow myself down really. If you have a clean sheet of ice and go to slide on your pads it’s likely you over-slide, whereas if the crease is a little marked up it helps to slow you down keeping you in control of the slide.

  3. caplan-viking Says:

    big games this weekend bud, u-lowell is on the rise, ill try to get the kids fired up in the doghouse friday, btw its too bad you guys missed the hot dog eating competition against BU last saturday, we took it to em, it was awesome…


  4. Frank from Abby Says:

    Enjoyed the read Brad! Found out about the blog and needed to check it out. Even in the usually wet Valley (it’s snowing like crazy right now), you have friends that have become Huskies’ fans (not just Washington Huskies!!).
    Good luck as the season comes to an end and the playoffs start – pulling for you guys!

  5. I miss seeing you in the stands taping your stick before games! Good luck this weekend.

  6. Great blog, Brad; it’s very interesting to see how you guys operate during the season. Good luck again Lowell this weekend.

    Also: I guess I”ll be the first one to say that that is far more of Liotti and Ginand than I expected to see today…

  7. Hey man!
    I love the blog sweet to get the insight of your life as a goalie! It was nice to read about the “Thiessen Wiggle” but I was quite disappointed that there was no mention about the “Thiessen Tickle” or maybe that’s only for Roller hockey! Keep up the great work!

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