Should the NHL overtime rules change
A day in the life of the German NHL professional: Get up, "sweat", decide the game
For number 16 it was the "crowning achievement" of a long working day, during which our editor Dirk Sing accompanied him:
At eight precisely this November 1st - just like any other day - the alarm clock in the Sturm family's bedroom rings. Get up, play a little with the two children and get dressed. More is not possible this morning, because an hour later the German international striker is sitting behind the wheel of his car to make the way to the "TD Northbank Garden", the venue of his Boston Bruins.
"Fortunately, it's only about five minutes from my apartment to the garden. That saves me a lot of time," reports Sturm. When you arrive at the parking lot, you head straight for the Bruins' team cabin, where the first teammates are already sitting and enjoying their first or second breakfast. Born in Dingolfing, he also opts for a small morning snack in the form of muesli and some fruit. "Even if we only skate and shoot a little in the morning before a match, I couldn't go on the ice on an empty stomach," explains Sturm and begins to prepare his equipment for the 30-minute "gallop". Simple moves that the star of the Boston Bruins has already done thousands of times in his career and can practically master in his sleep. Shortly after eleven o'clock, the "sweating", as the storm calls it, is over again. Get out of your clothes and take a shower. After all, lunch is already ready in the team area of the garden. A large buffet with chicken, lots of pasta and salad is waiting to be devoured by the hungry Bruins pack. The pasta dishes in particular are in great demand, "because they replenish the carbohydrate store, which is particularly important during physical activity" (Sturm).
Around 12.30 p.m. it goes back to the apartment, where the striker is almost completely isolated for the next two hours: "I lie on my ear again and sleep a little to recharge my batteries for the evening." During this time, his wife Astrid takes care of the two children so that Marco actually has his peace and quiet.
At 4 p.m. sharp, the car rolls again towards "TD Banknorth Garden" with Marco Sturm at the wheel. This time, too, the short journey does not take much longer than five minutes, despite the "rush hour". True to the motto "Strength lies in calm", the tension in the Bruins' cabin can slowly but surely be felt.
While one part of the troop is now getting up to "operating temperature" on the home trainer, warming up by jumping rope or even playing football, another part is busy with its equipment. In the meantime, head coach Claude Julien has also arrived and occasionally has a "small talk" with his protégés. Exactly one hour before the opening bully, however, the serenity is finally over. In his last team meeting, Julien again briefly, but precisely, points out the strengths and weaknesses of today's opponent from Buffalo. There are no big surprises. "We play against each other eight times during the point round. There are no more secrets," said Sturm.
The monologue of the new Bruins coach, who enjoys a "very high reputation" (Sturm) with his troops, lasts almost ten minutes. At 6:30 p.m. sharp, the door to the ice rink of the "TD Banknorth Garden" opens to the cheers of the fans who are still sparsely present for the Bruins actors who are already scratching their feet, or rather ice-skates, for a warm-up. The procedure takes around 20 minutes before returning to the locker room for the last ice preparation before the match against the Sabers. Sturm, who today together with Chuck Kobasew and Phil Kessel not only forms a series of storms, but is also one of the "Starting Six", is now completely withdrawn. The last steps as if in a trance.
At 7:07 p.m. the time has come: After the obligatory national anthem and the tribute to the Boston Red Sox (who won the "World Series" in baseball a few days ago), the opening bully takes place. Both teams limit themselves to keeping their box clean in the first 20 minutes, goal chances are absolutely in short supply. Marco Sturm also struggles to find a gap in the dense Buffalo bulwark. The German spends a total of six minutes and nine seconds on the ice in the first third, but it's not (yet) enough to score. "You have to wait patiently for your options and you mustn't force anything. Have confidence, we'll still score," said Bruins coach Claude Julien, encouraging his team after the goalless start in the break.
Lo and behold, it only takes 127 seconds for the puck to wriggle in the net behind Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller for the first time - the goal scorer was Glen Metropolit in the majority. Around five turns of the pointer later, Marco Sturm made his first big appearance that evening: With a great pass, he put Phil Kessen in position, who increased to 2-0 (28th).
Everything seems to be going well for the home side - until Maxim Afinogenov shortened to 1: 2 (38th). "Boys", Julien cheered his protégés in the second third break, "we are still playing to win. We don't give the Sabers any chance to put us under pressure! Don't think about a defeat at all, but do exactly what made us strong in the first two thirds and brought us the lead ". A project that is only halfway successful. After Marc Savard (44th) for the Bruins as well as Brian Campbell (43rd) and Paul Gaustad (49th) hit the mark in the final third, the exhausted players still have to work "overtime". Extension, and that with "four against four".
Fast and strong players who make the difference as much as possible are in demand during these five minutes - just like Marco Sturm. And it is also the ex-panther who, with an "Ingolstadt combination" (Aaron Ward had hit the target and deflected Sturm accordingly), brings the second point for Boston under the roof.
"Of course, luck is always involved in such an action," dictates Marco to the reporters, who have set up in front of his locker in the team cabin, into the blocks. Here is a short radio interview, there a TV interview, before we first take a (deserved) shower and then go to the team buffet in the next room.
In front of the "Locker Room", wife Astrid and son Mason are already waiting for their father, who finally welcomes them - in a shirt and tie - with a big grin. At 10:35 p.m., the Boston Bruins star leaves the parking lot with his family and drives back towards the apartment with the car - with two points, the winning goal, heavy legs and (once again) a strenuous 14-hour day in the luggage.
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