-- In the Stanley Cup Final, it's become clear that Vancouver will look for advantages wherever they may come -- even when it comes to accommodations in their home city.
Just don't expect them to share their secrets with the general public.
This postseason, the Canucks have started the practice of staying at downtown hotels the night before certain games. It is believed they will do so Friday night as they prepare for Saturday night's Game 2 (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, RDS) against the Boston Bruins
at Rogers Arena.
Asked about the thought process behind the hotel decisions, coach Alain Vigneault
refused to comment.
However, forward Jeff Tambellini
spilled the beans on the Canucks' strategy after Friday morning's practice at the University of British Columbia.
"We did it Game 7 (of the Chicago series), Game 5 (of the San Jose Sharks
series) and for all the Finals games," he said. "There's so many people in town, everyone's trying to limit as many distractions as we can. Everyone gets a good meal the night before and it keeps it really simple for everybody."
Added back-up goaltender Cory Schneider
in his blog for NHL.com: "It simulates what life is like on the road where there's nothing to focus on but hockey. Some guys want to be around their families, but I think there's some peace and solitude in staying in the hotel that helps get them ready. We've had a lot of success doing, it so we're sticking with it now."
Tambellini and Schneider's explanation is a far cry from when Vigneault told the media prior to the Stanley Cup Final, when he said the team would not be using a hotel while at home.
The decision to sleep away from home while the series is in Vancouver, we're told, came from the Canucks' leadership group.
"The day before a game, it's not a big deal, we just get together and focus for the game," said captain Henrik Sedin
, who to no one's surprise is rooming with twin brother Daniel. "We've done it for some games and other games we haven't, so it's more on a game-to-game basis.
"So far we've done it for series-deciding games and in the final we're doing it for every home game."
However, it didn't sound like one of Henrik's alternate captains, Kevin Bieksa
, got that memo.
"I can't talk about that, you're not even supposed to know that," Bieksa deadpanned. "That was the coaches' decision. To me, it's a personal team issue. We've done everything we can all year to get an advantage."