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Juggling pucks, naps, and soccer
Going through a game-day routine with Moritz Seider
DETROIT — When the Detroit Red Wings hosted the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders last week, warmups were held on the practice sheet inside Little Caesars Arena to accommodate the ongoing anniversary celebration for the 1997 and 1998 Stanley Cup Championship teams.
It was an odd setting for warmups, it felt like a preseason rookie game, and there weren’t any fans in attendance. One member of the Washington Capitals remarked to me that it reminded them of warmups for a non-Red Wings game at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.
As a media member with a credential, it did allow me to watch warmups from a closer vantage point, and actually focus on some individual player habits. Which brings us to Moritz Seider, who I’ve noticed near the end of warmups takes time to stickhandle a pair of pucks near center ice from his knees, then proceeds to juggle them with his stick before getting in one last stretch.
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Here’s a short video of what I’m talking about.
I asked Seider about it on Thursday morning before Detroit played the New York Rangers.
“It’s just a lot of time out there, some I’m trying to kill some time by (juggling pucks),” Seider said.
He added that it’s something that naturally became part of his warm-up routine. He was looking for a way to keep warming up his hands and feel the puck without taking more laps, so he started juggling pucks and mixing in stretches.
“Just trying to get the feeling for the puck, and get a quick sweat in,” Seider added. “I’m typically doing that right before we come back in here (the locker room) and hopefully have a good game as part of the routine.”
That word, routine, came up quite frequently during our conversation. Seider isn’t superstitious, but said having some of the main facets on his schedule for each game are important to him.
“Just think about how you get dressed in the morning, you do the same thing each day,” Seider said. “That’s how you do it here and get ready for a hockey game, that’s basically it.”
I asked Seider about the rest of his routine and what preparation typically looks like for the defenseman before a game.
“Other than a nap there really isn’t anything for me at home that I do on each game,” Seider said. “However I feel, I adjust, I make some food and then I hit the sheets (for a nap) before going to the rink.”
The game-day meal varies, but typically it’s a chicken and pasta, “pretty classic, with a simple salad.”
At the rink, Seider said he’ll mix up variations of his off-ice warmup, but enjoys playing soccer with a roster that’s heavy on Europeans.
“I don’t want to miss anything, so I try not to have tunnel vision early,” Seider said. “Try to keep it loose and really simple and just try to enjoy things like that (and) then you can enjoy every part of the game.”
But the most important part of warmups for Seider?
“I just don’t want to be late getting on the ice, really,” Seider said. “As long as I’m in line with the team in time, I’ll be ok.”
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