Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
NHL: The playoffs have been a blur for Stanley Cup finalists
NHL playoffs » Kings, Devils lose track of time in postseason craze.
First Published Jun 09 2012 01:06 pm • Last Updated Jun 10 2012 12:17 am

Newark, N.J. • The Stanley Cup playoffs have become somewhat of a blur for the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings.

It seemed like yesterday that the regular season came to an end and the teams looked forward with apprehension to meeting Florida and Vancouver in the opening round, respectively.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Two months later, they are hardened and wearied. The players are getting sick of the scraggily, wiry beards covering their faces. Their only concept of time seemingly is whether it is a game day. All that matters is ending the Stanley Cup chase as soon as possible.

It’s also the greatest moments of their lives, no matter what happens.

Being in the Cup finals might be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hold hockey’s greatest prize.

"It goes by fast," said Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi, who won a Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009. "You always say that during the regular season. You can’t believe it’s Christmas. You can’t believe this or that. The regular season goes by fast, and we all enjoy what we do. The playoffs is the most fun time of year to play, and it goes by even faster. It seems the other day we were talking about Game 1 in Vancouver and here we are in Game 5 in the finals."

Former Flyer and current Kings forward Jeff Carter epitomized how a player can lose a sense of time Friday when the conversation turned to Game 5 on Saturday at the Prudential Center.

Carter initially guessed it was Monday, switched to Tuesday and then just gave up.

"The whole playoffs, you are playing almost every other day," said Devils rookie center Adam Henrique, who kept the Devils alive in Game 4 with a game-winning goal late in the third period. "You travel here and there between games. You lose track of what day it is, but that doesn’t really matter. I guess you either know it’s game day or it’s not game day. That’s all that matters."

Kings defenseman Matt Greene acknowledged he was tired at this point, and had not been sleeping well lately. His focus Saturday morning at the pregame skate was planning his nap for Saturday afternoon.


story continues below
story continues below

"It’s been two months, it’s crazy," Greene said. "That’s not so much time, but it has been, and you remember every piece of it. You lose track of the days pretty quick. The only day you think about is when do we play next?"

Greene and the Kings have spent so much time on the road in the postseason, where they have played 10 of 18 games, that he gets an idea of what day of the week it is by opening his hotel door and seeing whether there is a USA Today outside.

"Today is a weekend, we got a New Jersey paper today," Greene said. "That’s about it. It’s a great time, though. It’s awesome. It’s the best time of your life. You have to enjoy but realize how special it is, too. How rare this opportunity is. You definitely have to enjoy it."

Despite being down 3-1 after four games, the Devils have enjoyed this run as much as the Kings.

Forward Stephen Gionta remembered the final game of the Devils’ regular season like it was yesterday, and with good reason. It was April 7 and he scored his first NHL goal to break a tie against Ottawa and lead New Jersey to a 4-2 win, giving it a season-high six-game winning streak to end the campaign.

He has added three more goals in the postseason and helped New Jersey win its first Eastern Conference title since 2003.

"How can you not enjoy this?" Gionta said. "This is the fun time of year. This is what you work for all year. You have to have fun and enjoy it or it’s not worth it."

The only negative is his bushy black beard.

"I think I am getting rid of it," Gionta said when asked if he might keep it. "It’s getting a little long and a little annoying. It’s been fun. I think my wife is ready for me to get rid of it, too.’

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.