17 Days

February 13, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle (22) skates with the puck in front of Washington Capitals center Mathieu Perreault (85) in the first period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

The boys are officially three days into a 17 day road trip and by the look of things, it should be an interesting couple of weeks coming up. As I write this we are about to head into the 3rd period against the Capitals and we’re leading 3-1. I won’t jump to conclusions and assume that we’re going to win this game…there is still a whole period to go. In the same manner, I also won’t start making predictions about how this whole road trip is going to go. Right now we’re looking good, but sometimes the road can be a dream killer, and the boys still have one period and seven games to go before returning back to home ice, and as we all know, a lot can happen out there.

Let’s put aside the obvious things can throw off a game and look at a couple of risks that come with traveling. Number one, of course is fatigue. Traveling through multiple time zones, sleeping in unfamiliar environments, and having a different schedule all contribute to the stamina of the players. With fatigue comes weakened immunity, and as we all witnessed last week, players are not invisible and they will get sick. Tonight Washington Capitals goalie Thomas Vokoun was absent from the game due to a bad flu and we all know our very own Dan Boyle was out with it recently as well. The height of cold and flu seasoned coupled with over two weeks on the road could really be a negative factor for the guys. Of course we can start talking about how hard it is to play in different arenas, etc…but I just wanted to touch on the fact that I see these next few weeks being risky physically for the team.

Hopefully all goes well and the guys rock this road trip without any major losses or incidents and provide us with some solid hockey games along the way! So far so good…just hope they find their stride and stay in it!

~ALH

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