Sean Farrell’s right eye had a slight blister, something we noticed as soon as he left the locker room to meet the press on Wednesday at Place Bell. He explains that it was the result of the stupid collision with the pole. The bad news for Farrell is that his body will soon be taking a bigger hit than it has been.
The Montreal Canadiens outfielder is preparing for the toughest series of games of his young career. The Harvard graduate is accustomed to the 34-game NCAA schedule, and is preparing to test his limits.
The Laval Rocket don’t have any games scheduled this week, but then they’ll start a crazy five-game series in…seven nights.
“For me, this sequence is absolutely a full month,” explains the Montreal Canadiens hope, referring to the NCAA. This is one of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make since being in the MLB. I will do my best to be the best I can be, but obviously I won’t feel good every game.
Farrell is not a defeatist. It’s just realistic. An athlete’s body needs consistency and routine. Unfortunately, Farrell’s body doesn’t have the strength to face what’s coming.
He even predicted that “there will be injuries here and there.” You have to find a way to deliver the goods every night.
“When I met him this week, he said to me: ‘Tabernoche, that’s too much, there’s…’,” said Rockets coach Jean-François Holly. We looked at the calendar together. For him, it’s about taking care of his body and managing his energy to make sure he’s ready for every match. It won’t happen overnight. You have to go through it to know what it really is.”
Image source: Thierry Laforce / QMI Agency
Win famous battles
After destroying the USHL and taking control of the NCAA, Farrell was very popular and many predicted his future on Montreal’s top two lines. After 11 MLS games, the small forward has been very quiet with five points, including just one goal.
“It was fine,” said the main person involved. I believe there is great opportunity for improvement and growth. Offensively, I wasn’t at my best this year. It will come with time.
“I’m mainly focused on two things: getting in the right spots offensively and winning battles downhill. It’s a big priority for me right now and I think the production will follow.
Farrell is a smart guy and his mentality is: If he can get out of the corners of the ice with the puck more often, he will spend more time in the offensive zone and be able to express his individual skills.
Who wants to study at Harvard: Farrell has always had a cerebral approach. He watches, and slowly but surely, he ends up understanding certain playing styles specific to the league he plays in.
“The American League is very strong,” Farrell noted. It is difficult to win battles and be good in attack, because in the corners, players work hard to stop you. We have to win these battles to get the ball more often and produce offense.
“Every league comes with its adjustments. I also had to adapt to the USHL. I only broke into this circuit after two years. I am a very smart player. I just need time to fully understand the USHL.
Hall also believes that the American just needs time.
“You can see he has skills. He’s able to make good little passes. For him, I think progress means continuing to strengthen his upper body to win battles along the slopes.
The good news for Farrell is that unlike many emerging players, he has no trouble keeping up with the pace of the AHL. He never misses that famous split second.
“He’s not the speedster,” Hall explained. I think his speed is right. He is able to walk on ice. A split second, he has it. He can get from point A to point B very quickly. It’s just the ability to hold the disc. There are big guys in the league who are 6-foot-4 and have good sticks.
The hotel is finished
By his own admission, Farrell found himself living for a long period last year alone in a hotel room while staying with the Canadiens at the end of the season.
“When more than two weeks go by, it gets more boring,” admitted Farrell, who lived with six college buddies.
Now that he’s in the MLS full-time with the Rocket, Farrell is able to settle down.
“It’s nice to have a place you can call home. I can finally make myself something to eat. I live with Jared Davidson now. Emil Heinemann and Matthias Norlender are in the same building as us. It’s fun to be able to watch the matches together in the evening.
“We watch Star Wars almost every day!” Davidson said.
Is Farrell viewed in the Rocket locker room as the brightest player since his studies at Harvard?
“I don’t know… he’s nice to talk to, but I wouldn’t say he’s the smartest,” Davidson said with a broad smile, not missing a golden opportunity to tease his dear friend.
“Hipster-friendly tv trailblazer. Problem solver. Infuriatingly humble introvert. Reader. Student. Subtly charming bacon maven.”