Forgive the horrible title, please. It’s Sunday morning/afternoon.
Well, this series just got a whole lot more interesting. For so many reasons (including ones that Bourne thinks I need therapy for, like what I outlined yesterday) I am glad that this series is continuing. But, while watching the game last night, a friend of mine said something I found interesting. He pointed out that while the Devils are making this a real series, they also have to fly cross country to Los Angeles for game 6. He claimed it was a detriment to the Devils, I wasn’t so sure, he called me an idiot, I agreed but still didn’t think it was a detriment to the Devils. So let’s take a look at this, shall we? There’s a chance this turns into 350 words of me basically stating my side of an argument with my friend, but, you know…narrative and stuff.
Here’s the thing, these are professional athletes and I’m pretty sure they’re conditioned enough to not let the flights bother them. Yes, the prospect of flying Jersey to LA and back again in three days is a bit of a time on a plane for anybody, but athletes have the ability to do things that we could only dream of (fine, that I could only dream of) and I’m pretty sure that they can handle this. And, let’s not forget, athletes don’t exactly travel in coach like us normals. I’m guessing they have a pretty comfortable flight.
Looking at past Stanley Cup champions (forced to do the game 5-6-7-trip), it’s the teams from the East that come out on top. The Bruins beat the Canucks last year, though they had five days between games 5 and 7 unlike the four in this series, having to travel to the coast and back. In 2003, these New Jersey Devils were forced to do the trip against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and came out victorious, and in 1994 the Rangers pulled the same trick on the Canucks (poor Canucks).
This is not to say that this trip favors the Eastern Conference. Some would say that it favors the team on the road. I don’t believe either team gains a real advantage no matter where they’re playing. When it comes to the coasts, it’s an unfortunate scheduling issue that’s a minor inconvenience at worst, I would say. If the players even notice at all. Most players say that they don’t even know what day it is, let alone where they are, at this point in the playoffs. It’s a grueling two months of hockey, there’s no time to worry about jet lag. Although, yes, there is a somewhat valid argument to be made in favor of adopting the AHL’s 2-3-2 format, but I don’t think it’s necessary. I’d wager that the thrill of playing in the Finals is enough to get the players ready to go, no matter what time zone they’re in.
Links To The Past
- Has Martin Brodeur’s performance in the Finals been Conn Smythe worthy? Can he pull a Giguere (we’re going to need a better term for this) (Puck Daddy)
- Everything was going great for the Kings until it wasn’t. This was probably the wrong time for things to stop going great. (ESPN)
- AHL stuff! The Norfolk Admirals destroyed the Marlies yesterday for their first Calder Cup. This series was over as soon as the stanchion decided to get involved. (Toronto Star)
- Who is the last guy you expected to be coming up big for the Devils? Is it Bryce Salvador? I bet it’s Bryce Salvador. (The Hockey News)
- Yeah, LA Kings. Sometimes there’s a lot of pressure in the playoffs. But you guys wouldn’t know anything about that with your ridiculous record on the road. Time to deal. (LA Times)
- Legendary Habs reporter Red Fisher retired this weekend after 58 years of covering the team. As someone who lived in Montreal for four years, I can say I had the pleasure of reading his writing and getting angry at how good he was. (National Post)
- Not surprisingly, the narrative is a little less panicky over in New Jersey. (The Star-Ledger)
- This is why we should always have microphones on or near the ice. Cause swearing is funny.