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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Players hate the second off day

Friday, 06.03.2011 / 6:15 PM

By Marty Turco - NHL Network / Turco Talk

Veteran NHL goalie Marty Turco is lending his expert opinion to NHL.com in the form of his own blog. Turco Talk will be updated daily with Marty's thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final between the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins. Marty can also be seen daily on the NHL Network giving analysis on NHL On the Fly at the Stanley Cup Final.

Today Marty talks about what it's like for players on the second off day between games and the benefits of the home team staying in a hotel:


VANCOUVER --
The second off day is always tougher at this time of the year, but I like to do a little road shopping if I get the chance. Certainly if I'm at home I'm with the family and kids and I look forward to having some nice downtime. You really can utilize the extra day to take a step back, spend some time with the kids and let some things go.

But we all know at this time of the year 80 percent of the guys, if not all of them, need a little extra maintenance, a little extra time in the gym or on the massage table to get ready. I always try to take advantage of the extra day, and it's that much more escalated in the playoffs because you're going through the grind.

To be honest, though, I can say all of that and try to believe it all, but at the end of the day it just stinks because you want to play. That first game was so much fun and you just want to get back out there. The Canucks, they want to keep that momentum. The Bruins, they want to score a goal to get some floodgates open.

The extra day is off it's a necessary evil and you just have to go with the flow, but players generally hate it. We just want to play.

Of course, sometimes we have to do something a little different in the playoffs before we get to play. I'm talking about the home team here because today I heard the Canucks are staying in a hotel tonight. I've had plenty of experience with that.

Sometimes you find it a little weird because you live a mile away. It ends up being just one extended road trip almost, and the worst is you have to pack. You're at home but you're packing. It's just strange. You have your toiletry bag, you've got your suit bag with you and you've got a car so you've got to valet it.

It's different, but time of the year is all about knowing what you're going to do and mentally planning out your days so when it's time to get focused for battle nothing ruins you. I have learned to get better over the years at preparation and anticipation, to let things roll off my back easier so you're not so schizo and psycho about someone screwing up your day.

Still, we all do find it weird to go into the hotel. That being said, I've always looked forward to the peace of mind, a good sleep and a little alone time because having three kids and some crazy teammates, that is hard to find.

It's hard to walk into that locker room and look those guys in the eye when they've played -- clearly, that was our best game we've played in the series -- and I thought we deserved a better fate tonight.

— Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper on his team's 3-2 loss to the Canadiens in Game 3 on Sunday