Canucks photographer Jeff Vinnick joined the team for their four-game road swing through Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, and Edmonton.
He's kindly agreed to share a few thoughts, and hopefully and slew of pictures over the next week as he captures action behind the scenes.
When you cover more ground in a season than the UPS guy, you have to have a rock solid system. The Canucks have it down to fine science.
Not that they have a choice. In some of the eastern divisions, teams can play a road game and still watch the game highlights from the comfort of their own bed. Until Kelowna, New West, Langley and Victoria get NHL teams, this probably won’t happen for the Canucks.
It’s not all bad, and it certainly helps to create dependable routines. It’s the same airplane, same flight crew, same bus schedule, only this time it’s a much warmer climate.
Sunday morning in Vancouver delivers a light dusting of snow and an unfamiliar bite of cold in the air, making a trip to southern California with its warm climate and the clear skies something to look forward to. It’s a far cry from last month’s swing through Edmonton and Minnesota that almost had the guys busting out the balaclavas.
Of course the weather doesn’t make the hockey any easier. This promises to be a tough week for the team. It’s four games in six nights, and comes on the heels of a three game trip that saw the team scrap for tough points on back-to-back nights.
I’m not going to level a finger at the NHL schedule makers - okay, I am, but who can blame me? The guys play back-to-back games four times in December. You can’t imagine what that’s like.
Finish a game, do media, shower, jump on a bus and drive to the airport. Assuming you clear customs – and they’re usually pretty good even though they’re waiting on you – your flight takes anywhere from an hour to three hours.
Now, depending on where you land, the airport can be up to 45 minutes away from the hotel. If you’re lucky, and the time change works in your favour, you might get to bed by 2 am, maybe. Then it’s back up for game-day skate at 9 am. Not exactly glamorous stuff. Oh yeah, it’s December, so you’d better squeeze some shopping in there somewhere. Now that’s a Christmas miracle.