As soon as the gold-medal game between Canada and the United States was decided on Sunday, the 46 players making up the two nation’s rosters had travel plans to consider.
, who assisted on Sidney Crosby
’s gold-winning goal in Canada’s 3-2 overtime victory, could be a bit more leisurely -- his Calgary Flames
don’t play until Wednesday, when they host the Minnesota Wild
. Iginla also had the shortest distance to travel, with only about 600 miles separating Vancouver and Calgary.
The same couldn’t be said for Mike Richards
and Chris Pronger
of the Philadelphia Flyers
and Ryan Malone
of the Tampa Bay Lightning
. They had a distance of approximately 3,300 miles to travel in order to make it back to Tampa Bay for Tuesday’s contest between the Eastern Conference rivals.
All in all, 41 of the 46 Olympians from Canada and the U.S. had games scheduled for either Monday or Tuesday. Forward Paul Stastny
and defenseman Brian Rafalski
of Team USA are the first players to return to NHL action, as Stastny’s Colorado Avalanche
host Rafalski’s Detroit Red Wings
in Monday’s only game.
One of Tuesday’s featured matchups, the San Jose Sharks
hosting the New Jersey Devils
, features a whopping eight Olympians who played in Sunday’s tournament final. Joe Thornton
, Patrick Marleau
, Dany Heatley
and Dan Boyle
, who all won gold for Canada, will be reunited with U.S. forward Joe Pavelski
as they put their Sharks jerseys back on.
Crosby, who beat Ryan Miller
in overtime Sunday, will be in the same building as the goalie again Tuesday as the Pittsburgh Penguins
welcome in the Buffalo Sabres
. Miller, Crosby and two other Penguins, Marc-Andre Fleury
and Brooks Orpik
, had about 2,600 miles to travel from Vancouver after the Olympics. It isn’t likely Crosby will score on Miller in this game, however, as Sabres coach Lindy Ruff
announced Monday he would give the start to backup Patrick Lalime