Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/26/13 at 10:01 AM ET
from David Pollak of the Mercury News,
All 30 NHL teams get a little something extra this Christmas: a holiday break that has grown from two to three days off so players can spend more time with family and friends.
The extended break was mandated by the collective bargaining agreement that ended the league's lockout 11 months ago.
The downside? Ten games are on the schedule Friday, and that means 10 teams -- including the Sharks -- must take an early morning flight, get in a quick morning skate and play the same night.
That is not the normal routine, of course. Players and coaches generally say one day away from the rink is good during the season, but not more than that for conditioning reasons. And day-of-game flights might be acceptable during the exhibition season but not usually when the outcome matters.
Coach Todd McLellan is taking a stoic approach even with players having to get on the team plane at 6:30 a.m. for the two-hour flight to Phoenix to face the Coyotes.
"There's nothing we can do about it," he said, noting that every team deals with the same 72-hour period without skating or organized workouts.
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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.
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