Three countries in a span of about 12 hours. Holy smokes.
That's what today is all about, three in one, with a game in the middle.
We have arrived in Bratislava and the Rangers are in the process of getting ready for their game against HC Slovan at Slovnaft Arena in a little over three hours.
We woke up this morning in Gothenburg, had breakfast and headed to the airport for our roughly two hour flight to Bratislava. We touched down here around 1:10 p.m. local time.
We bussed to a hotel, which is attached to Slovnaft Arena, so the Rangers could have a pregame meal. More on that in a bit.
There were plenty of autograph and photograph hounds waiting at the hotel for the Rangers to arrive. There were also several photographers and TV cameras waiting for Gaborik, who happily did interviews with them all and signed as many autographs as he could.
In fact, as Gaborik was walking up a flight of stairs to a scheduled pregame meal, a kid in a wheelchair came into the lobby and screamed out his name. Gaborik turned around and quickly made a beeline down the steps to sign the kids cards and take a picture with him.
Speaking of the pregame meal, after eating breakfast and then getting the chance to eat again on the plane, I'm not sure how many Rangers at again at the hotel. I'm not exactly sure who ate and how much they did, because it would have been their third meal in about four hours, which seems a bit crazy to me.
Anyway, even with the arena only a two-minute walk from the hotel, it was still a chore to find the right way to go. For some reason myself, Rangers website writer Jim Cerny and MSG photographer Scott Levy decided to follow a crew that included Mike Rupp
, Martin Biron
and Scott Stajcer
We should have just waited for Gaborik considering he has played here before and probably would have been a better guide.
But, we digress. We found our way into the press center and I must say, it is really nice and the wireless internet access is first class.
The game begins at 5 p.m. local time and when it's over, we'll be back on the bus, heading back to the airport to fly to Zurich tonight. The Rangers play in nearby Zug on Monday night, their final tuneup before the regular season begins Friday in Stockholm.
Three countries in one day with a game in the middle. Just your average day.
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl