Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

A Legitimate Complaint

from Justin Bourne of TheScore,

No team in the past 25 years - that’s going back to 1989, back when the Flames last won the Cup - has had to endure five playoff games in seven nights. New York went back-to-back in Game 6 and 7 versus the Flyers, had a day off, opened their series against the Penguins, had a day off, then played back-to-backs again, home and away. They’ve played seven in 11 nights, which also hasn’t happened in 25 years.

And remember, these are playoff games. Anybody who follows hockey will tell you there’s another gear players find for these battles. They’re more physically involved, and there’s no taking shifts off. I can’t imagine how their legs feel.

As a player, you do everything you can to have your legs feel as good as possible as soon as possible, particularly in the playoffs. That means you get off the ice and spin on the bike to get that lactic acid out of your legs, you stretch, you sit in the freezing, miserable cold tub for 10-12 minutes, you get some sustenance in you (ideally a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio - chocolate milk!), and you get to bed as soon as your body allows, which is never very early. You do what you can.

But you can only get so much max performance out of your body, so it becomes a mental struggle as much as anything. You’re always trying to coax out that extra effort, as is your coach, but it’s just not the same as having that natural pop when you’re rested.


Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Hockey | Permalink


Leo_Racicot's avatar

Glad to see somebody in the mass media take the time to research and thoughtfully report this topic. 

When the schedule got released hours after the Rangers defeated the Flyers a few days ago I remembered the Wings-Pens series in 2009 also “featured” a back-to-back game which was the first time that had happened in finals history.

The general perception of the league takes a big hit when it can’t bend over backwards to ensure that the most important games of the year are played under reasonable circumstances.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 05/06/14 at 10:27 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

A look on this link doesn’t show an over-abundance of activity at MSG: http://www.thegarden.com/calendar

I would assume the Rangers and Knicks get first-dibs come playoff time; not when the NHL schedules regular season games, but come playoffs I’m sure the Rangers and MSG have some sort of agreement that the Rangers and Knicks will not be screwed by other events in spring.

The NHL based its scheduling totally on T.V. And, rest assured, no hearts were broken at NHL marketing offices that the Pens, once again, are the beneficiaries of unique scheduling.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 05/06/14 at 10:58 AM ET

awould's avatar

The Wings/Pens series was poorly scheduled due to the Pistons playoffs and a tv conflict….. or so the Pens could get that extra little boost so kid Crosby could hoist a Cup and pour its contents in Bettman’s mouth. Take your pick.

Posted by awould on 05/06/14 at 10:59 AM ET

Canucklehead's avatar

From what I read elsewhere, it is MSG that is the issue.  There are other events scheduled, including a concert, which is playing havoc with the Rangers schedule.  I don’t think the league has any choice but to compress the schedule for the Rangers.  They can’t exactly tell MSG to move a concert (which has probably been booked for 6 months at least) just because the NHL playoffs are on.  And they can’t stretch out one series to give the Rangers additional rest days without causing havoc to all the other series’ schedules.

Rangers need to suck it up and look at it as a challenge to be overcome.  Right now, their biggest problem isn’t the schedule, it’s the fact that they’re making Fleury look like a Vezina candidate.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 05/06/14 at 11:02 AM ET

WingsFanInBeanLand's avatar

so the Pens could get that extra little boost so kid Crosby could hoist his cup and pour his contents in Bettman’s mouth.


Posted by WingsFanInBeanLand from where free agents no longer dare. on 05/06/14 at 12:29 PM ET

Evilpens's avatar

MSG gave concerts 1st dibs ! SORRY!! The Pens aren’t the “Leagues team” for *#$%@& sake ! they have NOT sniffed the SC finals in 4 + seasons & this season will be a 5 not sniffing it

Posted by Evilpens on 05/06/14 at 12:36 PM ET

awould's avatar

The Pens aren’t the “Leagues team” for *#$%@& sake !

Well, not anymore they aren’t.

See: Crosby getting wacked in the head twice and no penalty/suspension.

Posted by awould on 05/06/14 at 12:41 PM ET

Its All Hockey's avatar

No team in the past 25 years - that’s going back to 1989, back when the Flames last won the Cup - has had to endure five playoff games in seven nights.

Maybe this is a sign?

Or maybe MSG thought they wouldn’t get this far - lol!

Posted by Its All Hockey on 05/06/14 at 12:56 PM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.


Notify me of follow-up comments?


Most Recent Blog Posts

About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com