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Teams dealing with long travel

Sunday, 06.05.2011 / 8:19 PM / 2011 Stanley Cup Final - Canucks v Bruins

By Emily Kaplan - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Teams dealing with long travel
It's 3,200 miles from Vancouver to Boston, a distance that will surely take it's toll on the players traveling between the two cities.
BOSTON -- After a tough game Saturday night, Vancouver forward Chris Higgins said Sunday that his "legs don't feel terrific."
A five hour cross-continental flight Sunday morning probably didn't help his cause.
However that's just one of the factors Higgins -- and every other participant in the 2011 Stanley Cup Final -- must deal with in this cross-continent Final featuring cities separated by nearly 3,200 miles.
"It's just more of a mental battle, making sure you're ready to play a new game," Higgins said Sunday afternoon at TD Garden, not long after the Canucks' plane landed in Boston. "You have to be ready from the start, especially this late in the postseason."
Monday night's Game 3 (8 p.m. ET, VERSUS, CBC, RDS) at TD Garden marks a shift in the series, which the Canucks lead 2-0. The first two games were in Vancouver, and Sunday marked what could be one of four cross-continental journeys for two teams that have been playing postseason hockey since mid-April.
Some players, such as Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, say they don't mind the travel too much. The German native said that he usually watches a movie then falls asleep on long flights, "and time goes by pretty quick."
On Sunday afternoon, after the five-hour plane ride, Ehrhoff said he felt about the same as he would if he didn't travel that day.
"I don't think it's a big factor because both teams go through the same thing," Ehrhoff said. "The only thing is that we go through it the whole year, we've gone through it a bunch of times even in the playoffs, so we know what to expect."
Vancouver has already advanced through three long-distances series in the playoffs: Chicago in the first round (nearly 2,200 miles), Nashville in the second round (a little more than 2,500 miles) and San Jose in the Western Conference Finals (about 1,000 miles).
In comparison, the Bruins have had only one series this postseason -- the Eastern Conference Finals against Tampa Bay -- where the journey was more than 1,000 miles.
In fact, Julien said most of his players "seem to feel pretty good right now. They said they really didn't feel it."
A lot of that is due to the Bruins' calculated travel plan. The team departed Vancouver early Sunday morning because they wanted to get back on Eastern Standard Time as quickly as possible.
"Well, we're not going to hide the fact that we don't travel as much as they do," Julien said. "They're probably used to this more than we are.  So I think it was important for us to really look at it in a way where we had to make it the best possible way for us."


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