and off the pitch.The Socceroos, who sit sec from love520's blog

The equipment managers at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa might have a look of confusion at training camp next week when they unload Braden Holtbys World Cup of Hockey goaltending gear and come across a bag with a fold-up acoustic guitar. China NFL Jerseys Authentic .Expected to challenge Carey Price for the No. 1 job for Team Canada, the Washington Capitals reigning Vezina Trophy winner has overcome disappointment and bouts of self-doubt to become one of the worlds top stoppers.More than anything, Holtby credits his mental preparation, which includes a game-day jam session on a portable guitar, for his meteoric rise to hockey stardom.I knew fairly early in junior that guys were going to be better than I was, Holtby said. I had to find a different area where I could push myself to the next level, and that was the mental game.Not everyone wants to put in that kind of work and not everyone wants to buy into it because its one of those things where youre kind of the weird guy when youre doing mental exercises. Youve got to get over that hump, and thats 90 percent of the reason Im here today.Holtby acknowledged that one of his greatest disappointments in hockey came as an 18-year-old when, despite being taken by the Capitals in the fourth round of the 2008 NHL draft, he was not one of the eight goalies invited to Team Canadas camp for the 2009 World Junior championships.Growing up, that was a huge goal of mine, to play on the World Junior team, Holtby said. It took me quite a while to get over that. Obviously, there was a little bitterness. It was one of those negatives I was able to turn into a positive. It was one of those points in your career where you can either use it as negative energy or put it toward proving people wrong.Holtby spent parts of four seasons with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League, trapped behind Capitals goalies Semyon Varlamov, Michal Neuvirth and Tomas Vokoun, before bursting onto the NHL scene during the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs when he helped the Capitals upset the defending Stanley Cup-champion Boston Bruins in the first round.Holtby has been Washingtons No. 1 ever since and last season he tied Martin Brodeurs NHL single-season record with 48 victories, making him an overwhelming choice for the Vezina Trophy and giving him a leg up on Price when the World Cup begins on Sept. 17, one day after Holtbys 27th birthday.Im sure the coaches have a plan in place, said Holtby, a native of Lloydminster, Saskatchewan. For me, its a huge honor just to be named. You look at the roster and youre pretty amazed youll be able to play alongside those guys. It will be a lot of fun and it will be amazing to see the atmosphere in Toronto, being on home soil. It will be pretty cool.Whether hes strumming along to the folksy rock of Bob Dylan, the island sounds of Jack Johnson or the indie rock of The Black Keys -- He can play awesome, and hes actually got a really good voice too, said Capitals backup goaltender?Philipp Grubauer?-- Holtby reintroduced music to his busy game-day routine last season.When youre a young guy coming in, you dont really do those things, he said, noting he taught himself guitar as a teenager. You try to blend in as opposed to stand out.Holtby said his affection for music was passed down from his grandparents, who were musicians, and his mother, Tami, who was the lead singer of Canadian country band Tami Hunter and Walkin After Midnight in the late 1980s and early 1990s.It kind of calms me down and calms everyone else around me, Holtby said. Game days can be pretty stressful and if you liven things up a bit and make it fresh, its better than sitting there by yourself waiting for the game.For a typical 7 p.m. game, Holtby will begin his preparations at 5:30 with a quiet 10-minute meditation, followed by hand-eye exercises in which he tosses a rubber ball against a wall. When the clock strikes 6, Holtby finds a place in the arena, often behind the players bench or in the stands behind the net, rests his chin on his goalie stick, and begins darting his eyes throughout the arena.Hes looking for things to focus on, said Capitals goaltending guru Mitch Korn, who coached six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek when he played for the Buffalo Sabres. Pekka Rinne would do the same thing in Nashville, but hed sit in his locker stall and find the O in a nameplate, then find an A. Like another player warms up his body, Braden warms up his eyes.Holtbys unorthodox eye exercises take place just before the arena doors open to the public, but he said the arena crew at Madison Square Garden seems to have caught on.At MSG they play some weird music, Holtby said. I dont know if its from the Muppets or what, but I think they wait to test their stereo system until Im out there.Moments before the puck is dropped, Holtby will rock to the rhythm of the national anthem, spray water on his thick mane, kiss the names of his children on his mask, then buckle up for a 60-minute ride.When he allows a goal, Holtby will break into another routine. Leaning against his crossbar, hell squirt water into the air and follow each droplet as it descends in front of his face.It started as an eye trick, Holtby said of the post-goal routine he began in junior hockey under the direction of sports psychologist John Stevenson. Sometimes when youre feeling a little lost, your vision starts to shake a bit when youre trying to focus for too long on the puck.One of our tricks is to zone in on something really small and focus on that, and it kind of brings your eyesight back into focus. It reminds me to focus on the next shot.Korn, who has seen Holtby win more games in consecutive seasons (89) than any NHL goalie since Brodeur (92 wins in 2007 and 2008), said he was so concerned with Holtbys idiosyncrasies that it was one of the first discussions they had when Korn joined Barry Trotzs staff in Washington two summers ago.I asked him about the routine and whether it was too much and whether it wore him out, Korn said. His response was, I control my routine. My routine does not control me. It was the right answer and I never brought it up again.Holtby said that while he would like to lead Canada to a gold medal in the World Cup, his primary focus is preparing himself for the 2016-17 season, where the Capitals will try to build on last years 120-point season and finally reach the Eastern Conference finals.My main goal through all of his is to make sure Im prepared for the season, he said. Thats No. 1 and itll never change from No. 1. I get to spent a month practicing and playing with the best players in the world and if I can use that to my advantage to be a little sharper for the start of the season, that would be a good thing. Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping .C. -- Manny Malhotra had two goals and an assist, leading the Carolina Hurricanes to a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Wholesale NFL Jerseys . The quest begins with what is supposed to be an easy one, although Germany has traditionally been a stubborn opponent to Canadian teams at international tournaments. . The 43-year-old closer, in his 19th and final big league season, has said hed like to play the outfield. Yankees manager Joe Girardi says hes thinking about allowing Rivera to do it this weekend, when the Yankees finish their season with a three-game series at the Houston Astros. Australia will host the United Arab Emirates at Sydneys Allianz Stadium in March in a crucial World Cup qualification match.The March 28 match follows a tough away trip to play Iraq a week before, with three Russia 2018 qualifiers after that fixture.The match is a possible sweetener after Football Federation Australias decision to gift Melbourne City hosting rights in their FFA Cup final against Sydney FC.The Socceroos defeated Jordan in front of 25,000 fans at Allianz Stadium in March this year and Im sure the people of Sydney will get behind the team, FFA CEO David Gallop said in a statement.The road to Russia is heating up and this will be a ccritical match in the campaign. Cheap Jerseys. .When we play at home in Australia, we need to make the most of the opportunity on and off the pitch.The Socceroos, who sit second behind Asian qualification Group B leaders Saudi Arabia, head to Bangkok next month for a clash against last-placed Thailand.Following the March home tie against the UAE, Australia will host the Saudis in June before an away match with Japan the following month.The Socceroos qualification wraps with a home game against Thailand in early September. Cheap MLB Jerseys cheap jerseys Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping cheap nfl jerseys Cheap Jerseys USA China Jerseys Cheap NFL Authentic Jerseys Cheap Jerseys For Sale Cheap NFL Jerseys China Wholesale Jerseys Cheap NBA Jerseys ' ' '

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