|TD BankNorth Gardens (Photo: Google Images) |
After a tough game against the Flyers, we quickly headed to the airport for our game Saturday against the Bruins in Boston. The guys tried to get out of the rink as fast as they could and onto the road to the airport to beat the Flyers bus.
There is always a huge sigh of relief when you beat the visiting team to the terminal. That way you don’t have to stand right behind an extra 35-40 people at clearance before you get on the airplane. The wait can get annoying, especially when you are leaving after a loss.
Anyway, we arrived in Boston around 1:20 a.m., at the hotel and settled in by 1:45 a.m. That is always the tough part of those back-to back games. You get in late. It’s also a shame when we don’t get a chance to relax a little bit in Boston and are in-and-out so quickly.
After a team meeting at the hotel in the morning, most of the players went over to the TD Garden for a morning skate.
One of the more unique and entertaining parts of our trips can be the bus rides to the rink or hotels. Since we visit many cities multiple times during the season, we know our routes and the buses that we will be on. We usually have the same drivers in the same cities. There are some great guys and we always look forward to seeing them.
But in my mind, and many others, the most talented bus driver we have in any city is by far Jack in Boston.
In most arenas, our team bus will pull into the inside of the arena and drop off the team for both convenience and safety. At the “New Garden” there is a ramp at the back of the building that I would say is almost 70 yards long and at about a 25 degree angle.
I know it doesn’t sound like much, but Jack has to back it up the ramp at a pretty fast speed, as well as maneuver the bus into the door that only gives about six inches on either side of the bus for space. It is amazing how fast Jack drives backwards, but I’m not sure he has a choice! We always think he is going to crash, but he always smoothly gets us to the event level. It is entertaining everytime. It's the little things I guess...
At the morning skate, one of the more amusing things was the post-skate locker room “interview” with two members of our media and goaltender Jhonas Enroth
He is a very quiet and reserved guy who does not show a whole lot of emotion. Despite knowing that within seven hours, he would be making his NHL debut, he refused to let on he was playing. So after a short game of 21 questions, they realized he wasn’t going to budge and made their own assumptions.
From being asked how he slept the night before the game, to how much tape he thought he was going to use on sticks Saturday as opposed to Friday, he calmly gave vague and simple answers. Needless to say, it was pretty funny to watch and it added a little humor for our reporters as well.
The morning skate also brought out the usual line of questioning for rookie Tyler Myers
by the visiting media. Of course the day of his first game against the Bruins 6-foot-9 captain Zdeno Chara was sure to draw a crowd of reporters.
Tyler gets the same questions asked to him everyday it seems, but he takes it in stride and politely answers them all the same way every time. I think I know all of his answers by heart! I know he does not mind though. I guess since you are 6-foot-8, the tall questions have been asked for many years. But it is still pretty amazing how many times Tyler is asked if he played basketball every week.