- D.J. King: Not a fan of Trevor Gillies or road trips from Kelowna (Photo: Associated Press)
The Washington Capitals returned to practice on home ice this morning after a grueling three-game road trip which made stops in Carolina (a 3-0 win Wednesday night), Minnesota (a 2-1 loss Thursday night), and Calgary (a 7-2 win Saturday night).
Some might think a three-city, three-time zone, four-day trip would take a lot out of a team. But as it turns out, last week's swing was a minor inconvenience compared to some of the road trips these Capitals have had to go through.
After this morning's practice, I asked select members of the team for their least favorite road trip or worst travel story at any level of hockey.
Their answers are after the jump.
Jason Chimera: "When I was in Columbus we had some bad ones. Places like San Jose, and the two Alberta games (at Edmonton and Calgary) were always tough trips. The worst was in the American League (where Chimera played for the Hamilton Bulldogs). You'd have three games in three days and you'd have to take the bus. Compared to that, (this past week's trip) isn't so bad."
Mike Green: "Going out West is always tough because of the time change and because the teams out there play such a different style. They play it much more tight defensively.
"When I was playing in Saskatoon (in the Western Hockey League), we would have a 22-hour bus ride to Seattle for a game. We'd have to leave the day before and come back right after. Another really bad one was the 9-hour bus ride to Brandon (Manitoba), where we'd go up that day, play, and drive back right after."
Mike Knuble: "I've never really had to deal with anything like what those guys deal with in the Western League. I mean, that's just not fair. Occasionally you get snowed in places, and Calgary and Edmonton in December and January are tough, but I really haven't had anything that bad. In 2006 (while playing for the Philadelphia Flyers), I got stuck in Ottawa just before the Olympic break. Robert Esche, Derian Hatcher, and I were all supposed to go over (to Turin), so that kind of messed up our plans a bit."
Tomas Fleischmann: "The trip to Brandon from Moose Jaw (also in the Western Hockey League) was always my least favorite. The worst part of it was, we'd spend five hours on a bus, and then when we got there, we'd never win."
D.J. King: "I don't have trouble sleeping on bus rides, so I didn't have any really bad experiences. The only time I really had trouble was when i was with Kelowna (also of the Western Hockey League in 2003-04). You're up in the mountains, and the bus is bouncing around, and your ears are popping because of the elevation. Those trips were tough for me."
Brooks Laich: "That's easy. 24 hours overnight from Seattle to Brandon. And then 24 hours going the other way after the game."