Monday, October 19, 2009

Davy Phillips Update, A Giant Still Walks Among Us...

Last July a contact in Northern Ireland wrote me with the news that “a Giant was going to walk among ye.” Davy Phillips was going to have a try out at the Black Hawks prospect camp. To say the least there was excitement in Belfast among Giants fans. A few days later I found myself watching David Phillips, as the roster listed him show of his skills at camp. He impressed me as a solid stay at home defense man who, bless him could be counted on to stick with a goalie. Phillips looked like the product of good coaching, ready for the AHL and a good fit for Rockford.

After his last scrimmage with the Blackhawks Patrick Kissane and I did a brief interview with him where he was noncommittal but confident considering his future in hockey. The major difference between the European game and what he had experienced in Chicago was size of ice and difference in training of the players. He seemed a young man living on the cusp of his dreams.

Since those moments in the United Center “Phily “ as he is called by his fellow IceHogs has signed an American Hockey League contract, moved into his flat and is adjusting to life in the US. He seems well matched with Rockford, an arena where they dance for every goal and sing chants to the opposing goalie. Much like Davy's previous home with the Belfast Giants. Last Saturday I had a chance to meet with him again after a game. When asked what is the major adjustment he has had to make, again it is the size of the ice. The small ice we play on in North America compared with the larger European ice makes for a faster game. It also demands a quicker mental and physical response time from players. Philips stated he now has to “think faster” on the ice specifically due to this.

There have also been alterations in his conditioning, a core muscle regimen has been added as part of post game cool downs and individual electrolyte drinks. A chance from the single flavor and brand he had in Belfast.

Apparently it hasn't all been training and nutrition. When asked what is his favorite American food he thought a minute and answered “ I don't know if you can call them food, but Reeses Peanut Butter Cups” Good choice Davy!

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