|Ducks master the art of flying|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 31 May 2007 16:13|
So their four-plus hour flight to Ottawa on Thursday was quite familiar to the NHL's southwestern-most team that features only three opponents located within its Pacific time zone.
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle followed the team's regular plan by having his players sleep at home before flying out at 10 a.m.
``It's kind of like we get into this routine, and it's a routine that you start not just for the playoffs but that you start in September,'' Carlyle said. ``And the number of miles that we put on, it's the nature of our business.''
The flight to Ottawa was just a little longer than Anaheim's two trips to Detroit in the West finals.
The Senators, by comparison, had played only three games outside the Eastern time zone the entire season before their two games at Anaheim. And Ottawa's longest regular-season trip was to St. Louis on March 20.
PLANES PART II: If the Ottawa Senators are uptight about their 2-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup finals, they didn't really show it upon returning home to Canada on Thursday night.
Instead of watching game tape on the long flight from the West Coast, the Senators tried to just relax.
``We played poker and I watched ``The Office,'' top-line forward Jason Spezza said after a short skate Thursday night on home ice. ``You talk about it, but it's only two games. Teams have come back and good teams will come back. We feel like we have a good hockey club here.''
Of the 42 teams that took 2-0 leads in the finals, 39 have captured the Cup. Only one team out of 30 that opened the series with two home wins has failed to win the title.
``We're down two games, but we're still an excited and confident group,'' defenseman Chris Phillips said. ``We just can't push the panic button and change things around because of two games. It's not like we have to make drastic changes here.
``We have to establish a forecheck to create some chances.''
ALL BOOKED UP: Staying at a resort in Gatineau, Quebec, was not coach Randy Carlyle and the Ducks' first choice. Carlyle said the team hoped to stay at a resort closer to Scotiabank Place, but discovered Anaheim's top choice was booked.
The reason? It's where NHL executives and the media just happen to be staying.
``We had another hotel that was first on our list, but the NHL took all the rooms there,'' Carlyle said, smiling.
FIVE IN A ROW TIMES SIX: The NHL will honor the six surviving former Montreal Canadiens who were members of each of the team's record-setting five consecutive Stanley Cup wins from 1956-60.
Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Dickie Moore, Tom Johnson, Don Marshall and Jean-Guy Talbot will be guests at a dinner Friday night honoring the record-setting dynasty. The six former players will also take part in a tribute before Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals on Saturday night.
They won a combined 45 Cup titles over the course of their careers, all with Montreal, including Richard's record 11 championships.
In all, 12 players were a part of each of the five straight titles, including Maurice Richard, Jacques Plante, Doug Harvey, Bernie Geoffrion, Claude Provost, Bob Turner and coach Toe Blake, who have all passed away.