Phoenix Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera kept sharp during the NHL lockout by joining his teammates for informal workouts at the team's practice facility.
He didn't go overseas to play, as some goalies did, but tracking pucks and turning away shots every day gave him an edge over players who stayed at home.
Of course, once the lockout ended, it was a scramble, leaving LaBarbera and everyone else less than a week and no preseason games to get ready for the regular season.
Even with all the work LaBarbera put in, it was like a fighter jet catapulting off the deck of an aircraft carrier once the real games started.
''It's a big difference going from shinny hockey where it's kind of half-paced, a lot of passing, without the scrambles around the net to playing in a real game,'' LaBarbera said. ''You have five games and, boom, you're right into playing games.''
LaBarbera isn't alone feeling that way between the pipes.
Of all the ...