On the Rampage’s first extended road trip of the season, the Silver and Black will face Rockford twice (Thursday and Sunday) and make their return to Chicago (Saturday) to face the Wolves for the first time since eliminating them in last year’s Calder Cup Playoffs.
As a seven year veteran of the AHL, center Greg Rallo knows how a good road trip can help bring a team together, especially early in the year. And in a season that features a lot of new faces, the team’s trip to Illinois for a three-game set is coming at just the right time.
Rallo took some time after Tuesday’s practice to talk about what he looks forward to come the weekend.
Does getting on the road for the first real road trip help bring the team together a little?
Yeah for sure, everyone knows there is nowhere to hide on the road. You’re with each other all day, every day. You go to dinner together, and live with each other for the extent of the trip. But the bus trips are fun. The guys get together and play cards or watch movies and hang out. It’s a great form of team building.
Is it helpful given that, with a shorter preseason, there was less time to bond and form some chemistry?
Anything right now that helps bring the team together is a plus. We have a lot of new guys here as well as more veteran guys who are new to the organization who are still find their way around. But as a team, we’re coming together and we’re playing on the same page. It’s been looking good. I like the chemistry around the locker room on this team.
How about the Rookies? Drew Shore and Quinton Howden have both looked strong so far. How have you helped them along any?
All I can do is just give them advice when I see little things. They’re both extremely skilled players but you can tell that they can use a little guidance here and there. You can see they’re very serious about making the NHL and they’re both very talented players.
You’re returning to Chicago on Saturday for the first time since eliminating the Wolves from the Calder Cup playoffs last season. Does that allow you guys to walk in with some confidence, and from the other perspective, do they come in looking for revenge?
Yeah, I’ve always seen Chicago as a team that’s always there near the top of the standings at the end of the season. They’re a team you always want to do well against. Having success in the playoffs against them last year adds to that. Even though it was last season, it’s still more than likely in the back of their minds. I know it was in our minds when we played Oklahoma City last weekend, so it’s going to be fun. I’m looking forward to a good road trip.