Last year, when I tore my ACL, was the first major injury I'd suffered. It was hard working on my rehab during the off-season and pre-season, but I wanted to come back. I thought I could be ready to go 100 percent the first game of the season so I pushed it, but obviously I wasn't. There was still a bit of pain in my knee, but I wanted to play. The adrenaline was there and I wanted to get on the field.
I didn't have the experience with an injury like this, and at the time I didn't know that my other knee was messed up as well. I talked with the coaching staff and we all decided that I should have waited. Going into the All-Star break, they told me, "Let's get your knee fixed right and let you come back slow."
I had the surgery to clean up the meniscus in my knee and I've been patient coming back this time. My knees both feel great now. It's a world of difference when there's no pain in your knees. Mentally, it really affects you. I feel a lot more confidence now that there's no pain, so I can play to my strengths better. I can see it, and I think the coaching staff sees it as well.
We're fortunate to have two really good goalkeepers. It's good when your team can have confidence no matter who's minding the nets. There's no bad feelings between Troy and me, as we both know that the starting job is a week-to-week thing. We push each other hard in practice and, no matter who is in there on Saturday, the other is behind him all the way.
Coach Simpson has stressed to us that we're all a team, and we're all in this together. It's been a bit hard for me, because this is the first time I've had to sit on the bench and watch from the outside in, but it's helped me out. I've been patient and kept working hard, and now I've got the chance to show the coaches my true form.
The playoffs are five games away and our team goal is to make it to the playoffs. The only way we can do that is to take care of our games. We're focused on Chicago and only on Chicago right now. We don't care who our playoff opponent is, we just have to make it back. Saturday is a six-point game for us, and we're looking for a win. We're looking at our games one game at a time and we've got a lot of confidence heading into this weekend. We want to get back to the playoffs, and we know what it will take.