NEW YORK -- Perspective often comes into play when a team is on an extended road trip. Take the Nashville Predators, who haven't seen their home ice since a 6-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 26. With the Country Music Association Awards held at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 6, the Predators headed out of town.
The Predators had to keep themselves mentally tough and physically focused for a road trip that included a franchise-record seven games and 17 days through four time zones before they return home to face the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. Long road trips can be grueling; just ask a New York Rangers team that started the season 3-6-0 while playing nine games and spending 25 days away from Madison Square Garden. On the other hand, extended journeys offer the chance for a team to bond and to focus on the business at hand without the distractions that can come during a homestand.
"You get to eat, sleep and breathe hockey 24/7," Predators forward Matt Hendricks told NHL.com. "You can turn your mind off when you want to, but for the most part you get to play hockey and that's it. I just worry about myself, worry about hockey. That's the good part of being on the road."