Leopold switches modes

By RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:16 PM ET


 The first cub of Leo's pride was safe and sound.

 Which meant Jordan Leopold made the transition from doting dad back to hockey player yesterday.

 Leopold celebrated the arrival of daughter Jordyn Sunday afternoon and returned to Calgary Monday night for last night's playoff battle against the Detroit Red Wings.

 It's been something of a whirlwind tour -- after playing in Detroit Saturday, he headed to Minneapolis for his first child's birth Sunday and spent most of Monday there before returning to Calgary in the evening -- but Leopold vowed to regroup in time.

 "You have to. This is a big game and I'm excited to get back on the ice," he said. "I didn't have my best game and when you're not at your best, you get excited about getting back out there and back at it. You don't want to dwell on your past, you want to set something up for the future."

 A future that's even brighter for the 23-year-old defenceman. Wife Jamie and daughter are doing fine with all their friends and family in Minnesota, so he was able to skate last night with a clear mind and heart.

 "It's sure an exciting time," Leopold said. "It's pretty neat. It's my first experience with that and special, something I'll treasure the rest of my life.

 "Being in playoffs, too, has been great. It's been awesome, the city, the fans, all of Calgary has been absolutely great."

 With Calgary's shortage of experienced defenceman, it's been a wild playoffs for Leopold. He went into last night's game with four points, all assists, and a team-high plus-seven rating while averaging more than 26 minutes of ice time per game.

 However, Leopold was still not happy with what he called a sub-par outing in Game 2 and admitted he let his outside life be something of a distraction.

 "Yeah, I didn't have my best game and a lot of things were on my mind," he said. "That was important to me and now mom's doing all right and baby's doing all right, so it's time to move on.

 "It was an exciting day and I spent a little bit of time with them and now it's back to business."

 Still, he couldn't help but re-live the moment.

 "She looks a little like me, with reddish-brown hair," he said. "I did fine. It was a neat experience. I've seen some things in my school days that set me up for that. I wouldn't want to have missed it.

 "She doesn't have a jersey yet but I think one's on order."


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