The NHL is officially back on. The Canuck Olympians are getting in late tonight (or early depending on your viewpoint - they’ll roll in around 3am). Roberto Luongo has earned an extra day of rest with Andrew Raycroft starting Tuesday against the Blue Jackets.
All seven Olympians elected to stay in Vancouver and finish out their Olympic experience. The team gave them that option (in fact, they encouraged it) and sent the charter back to pick them up. I doubt most of them will skate Tuesday morning, or Wednesday morning with the back-to-back games. It will up to strength and conditioning coach Roger Takahashi to manage them a bit over the next few days.
The rest of the team watched the game together yesterday. They had most of the hotel sports bar to themselves. There was no doubt who most of them were cheering for, though Shane O’Brien was the only one willing to say out loud (with a coy smile on his face) that he didn’t want Ryan Kesler to win gold.
It got pretty quiet with nerves in the third period and again in overtime. There were a few American fans in the pub, but they weren’t very vocal. The coaching staff seemed pretty relieved by the outcome. I think everyone is excited to see how a gold medal will impact Luongo for the remaining 21 games of the season. More
DAY ONE, AGAIN
The second leg begins today in snowy Columbus. It was a pretty empty plane that left vancouver, only 31 on board. All the management are headed to Chicago for trade deadline and all the Olympic players don't fly in until Monday night.
Kevin Bieksa has joined the team. He participated in the past three practices out in Burnaby, and I hear we'll get an idea of his timetable for a return tomorrow. It's a bit of a surprise that he's on the trip, and when he walked onto the plane there was a smattering of applause from his teammates who were pretty happy to see him.
There were lots of tanned faces and well-rested expression on the plane. It definitely looks like everyone was able to make the most of their Olympic breaks. The realities of the season will come crashing down pretty quickly as the trade deadline looms just days away.
The Canucks are halfway there, and I’m headed home. I’m the lucky one.
The Canucks are lucky to be leaving Boston with 2 points. Alain Vigneault put it best; “We did to Boston what Montreal did to us, they outplayed us badly… If not for Lui, this game would not have been close”.
The mental break Luongo took Thursday night against the Senators looks to have done wonders. After stopping 41 Bruin shots, 7 of those quality chances in overtime, Luongo admitted he was “feeling really good. I was seeing the puck well, but even if I wasn’t I was in the right position… that’s what happens when you feel good”.
ON TO BOSTON
The trip started out on a really big high with a major comeback win against Toronto but the team has suffered two straight losses in Montreal and Ottawa, respectively so they'll be excited for tomorrow's matinee game.
Despite the struggles Boston's been having this season, they're still as tough defensively as they always are, especially with Zdeno Chara on their blueline - scary. The Canucks scored five against the Leafs but just three total in their two losses - and barely scored their lone goal in Ottawa so it's not going to be an easy one, even though the two teams' records look so different. More
SEVEN DAYS, TWO GAMESWe are now in Ottawa, but I want to reflect on Montreal for a second. A visit to the Bell Centre has to be tops on the list of any hockey fan. What an amazing building, atmosphere and show they put on in Montreal. The history of the team speaks for itself, but the way the organization honours their heroes is second to none. Their open, which takes about 15 minutes, makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
Okay, back to Ottawa. I may be getting used to this eastern weather, but it is quite a bit warmer here. I left my gloves in my room this morning and didn’t panic when I got outside, that’s a big step forward for me. More
DO WHAT THE LOCALS DO
It’s game day in Montreal, and it’s hard to believe the team has already been on the road six days and is only playing their second road game. The players are anxious to get on the ice again. They’ve been practicing well, but I think boredom is starting to set in just a little bit.
BACK TO BUSINESS
It’s the midway point of my trip, but the team is less than a third of the way there. After a day off Sunday, the team had a lengthy practice at the Bell Centre. They skated hard for over an hour today.
Sami Salo looked good and skated the entire practice. He is expected to play tomorrow. More
NEXT STOP: MONTREAL
I’m working on my French by watching French television in the very cold Montreal (I promise to stop complaining about the weather, but its even colder here than it was in Toronto).
The team traveled into Quebec this afternoon after a well-earned sleep-in this morning.
BRR... IT'S COLD OUT HERE
It is very, very cold in Toronto. Its -16 today, but feels even colder than that (keep in mind, I am a West Coast girl through and through. My cameraman Rory McGarry is equally wimpy though and that makes me feel better.)
Once we were all finished complaining about the weather, we headed into the ACC for a full Canucks practice. It’s rare to see the whole team skate on a game day especially after a full practice the day before. More
AT THE ACC
Today the Canucks practiced at the ACC with Dave Nonis, Brian Burke and Cliff Fletcher all watching. There was a decent media contingent on hand from the local press and there were questions to Alain Vigneault about Henrik Sedin as a possible Hart Trophy candidate, so I guess the eastern media has been staying up late to watch some games.
The team practiced for over an hour and it was pretty spirited and fast paced. There are lots of smiling faces on the team right now, I guess a 6 game winning streak will do that for you. More
CANUCKS DEPART TO TORONTO
The Canucks packed up their dressing room and closed out their final home game of the month as they head out on the road for the next 14 games. They won't return to GM Place until March 13.
They were perfect in the four home games before the trip and last night's win secured first place in the Northwest division for Vancouver, who are now two points ahead of Colorado, who have led the division since the beginning of the year. More
11 – Road games for the Calgary Flames during 1988 Winter Olympics.
14 – Consecutive road games for the Canucks during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
8 – Games in 18 days prior to the 2010 Games.
6 – Games in nine days post-Olympics.
13 – Non game-days (not including Olympic break).
42 – Percent of overall travel taking place over the final nine days.
15 – Total flights.
49,315 – Estimated number of commercial flights around the world per day.
3 – Time zones visited (9 East, 3 Central, 2 Mountain).
300 – Sticks en route with the Canucks.
3 – Sets of back-to-back games (two in the second half of the trip).
13 – North American cities the Canucks will visit (Columbus twice).
42 – Days away from General Motors Place, aka The Garage.
8 – Games: the previous Canucks record for longest road trip (02.21.1975 - 03.05.1975).
11 – Games: the previous NHL record for longest road trip (Calgary in '88, Philadelphia in '05-'06).
28 – Points up for grabs during this trip.
10-11-1 – Vancouver's current road record.
20,737 – Total kilometers to be traveled (11,608 first half, 9,129 second half).
12,861 – Total miles to be traveled (7,153 first half, 5,707 second half).
5,000 – Approximate length of Canada from West to East, in kilometers.
40,075 – Approximate length of Earth's equator, in kilometers.
3,343 – Longest single stretch, in kilometers (Vancouver to Toronto).
160 – Shortest single stretch, in kilometers (Montreal to Ottawa).
4,147 – Hours it would take the average person to walk Vancouver's road trip.
1,574,803 – Number of Oreos it would take to map out the trip (cookies placed one after the other).
26,958 – Amount, in Canadian dollars, to take a taxi from start to finish of trip (not including tip).
30:37:00 – Total flight time (16:35:00 first half, 13:42:00 second half).
3.5 – Number of times the Canucks could watch War and Peace as an in-flight movie (it has the 12th longest run time of any movie ever).
1,975 – Number of times the Canucks could watch YouTube smash hit Charlie Bit my Finger as in-flight entertainment (that really hurt Char-lay and it's still hurtin').
505,175 – Number of words the average player could read while in the air.
4.3 – Number of times a player could read the first Twilight book to pass the time.
0 – Number that will read Twilight.
26 – Relieved Canucks upon returning home on March 10.