Skip to main content


Stanley Cup Final

Zatkoff, Penguins settle in after flight to San Jose

Goalie talks cross-country travel, time zones and off day in blog for

by Jeff Zatkoff / Special to

Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Jeff Zatkoff will be writing a blog for throughout the course of the Stanley Cup Final. Zatkoff will check in after games and on some of the days between games.

Here is Zatkoff's entry ahead of Game 3 on Saturday:

SAN JOSE -- Miracles do happen, Phil Kessel won a card game. He actually won. I still can't believe I'm typing this, but I guess it's true what they say, every dog does have its day. Pretty remarkable. 

I'm guessing my last blog poked the right buttons. Unfortunately for him, he still remains the fourth ranked card player at the table.

All kidding aside, Phil is one of the best teammates I have ever played with. There isn't a thing he wouldn't do for anyone of us and I'm lucky to have him as a friend. 

The flight here was long. I guess that's expected when you're flying across the country. By the time we touched down I think most of the boys were ready for a short night.

It's tough to sleep after games. Often times you lay around in bed, replaying different plays in your mind and thinking of things you maybe could have done differently. Add that with a cross-country flight and a three hour time change and you're ready for some sleep. 

I usually try to stay up as late as possible that first night because I know my body will naturally want to wake up early. The more tired I am, the longer I can sleep in and the quicker I can adjust to the time zone. That being said, it's a lot easier going east to west than vice versa. 

Friday we had practice. It was nice to get out on the ice and get the legs going, especially after a day off and a long flight. Everyone was buzzing on the ice. 

This time of the year practices are fairly short, but nonetheless we had a good pace with a lot of energy. It seems like everyone is ready to get going again. Two days off between games seems like a lifetime.

The end of practice is always my favorite. I always get to take shots from Eric Fehr. Somehow he seems to always position himself right between the hash marks in prime time scoring position. I don't mind, though. I've gotten pretty good at catching his butterflies over the course of the season. I still can't figure out how he can't get a little more whip from that big swinging stick he uses.

So Friday night we just headed out dinner to have some fun and get ready for the game [Saturday].

Should be a fun one.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.