Sharks’ Kennedy on travel: ‘You change time zones like you change your underwear’

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Road trips shouldn’t always be measured by the amount of away games a team plays. Just ask the San Jose Sharks, who face a deceptively tough five-game tour. summarizes the trek as such:

San Jose is midway though a zig-zag trek across the western half of North America. The Sharks started with a 1500-mile flight to Winnipeg, and worked their way backwards to Calgary. The current stop in Vancouver will be followed by a return flight back east to Edmonton, and will continue on to Chicago. The Sharks will fly home after the game against the Blackhawks on Sunday, and when they land, they will have accumulated approximately 6,400 miles, or enough to go back and forth across the continental United States.


As members of a California-based team, Sharks veterans are probably as accustomed to such a schedule as one can get. Tyler Kennedy switched from Pittsburgh to San Jose this summer, however, so he’s facing an adjustment.

At least he has an … interesting way of describing the change, though.

“You change time zones like you change your underwear. It’s crazy. I can’t believe it,” Kennedy said. “It helps a lot when you have a nice plane, and the staff has been great. It’s been a little bit difficult, but everyone’s been really helping me out in trying to get used to it. It’s not that bad, but it’s the time change that kills you.”

The Sharks’ estimated 57,612 miles of scheduled travel time tops the league, although a forgiving level of back-to-backs (only 10) probably drove PHT readers to say that the Vancouver Canucks had a slightly tougher schedule. Either way, it’s certainly not an easy haul for San Jose.

In other words, Kennedy & Co. might want to pack some extra britches.

In less amusing news, the Sharks still seem puzzled about Brent Burns’ window of return. That doesn’t exactly help a team already facing some adversity.

Lightning lament life as a .500 team

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The Tampa Bay Lightning have plenty of time to rise above mediocrity, yet it still must be deserving to finish at .500 for two straight months.

After last night’s 3-2 loss to the New York Islanders, that’s exactly where they find themselves:

Record at the end of October: 5-5-2

Record at the end of November: 11-11-3

As of this writing, the Lightning found themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture. It all stands as a pretty tough thing for the reigning Eastern Conference champs to swallow.

The uncomfortable-yet-vital question is: can the Lightning break out of this funk?

Looking at their schedule, it won’t be easy, at least not right away.

They crawl through California during a three-game road trip to start December, and they also face six of eight on the road from Dec. 2 – 18.

The Lightning soak up home dates to finish 2015 after that, but what damage will be done by then?

Frankly, the Bolts will need to dig deep to break this pattern. If nothing else, they’ve fought with their backs against the wall before.

Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby


Sometimes a suspension will shame a player, or at least inspire him to change the way he plays.

That apparently won’t happen regarding Brandon Dubinsky‘s one-game timeout session for cross-checking Sidney Crosby.

Dubinsky told Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch that he won’t alter his style, whether it’s against Crosby or someone else.

“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”

In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.

One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.

Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?

Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).

Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16


Sorry Mikkel Boedker, you won’t get to face the Ottawa Senators again this season.

OK, it could happen if the speedster is traded from the Arizona Coyotes. He could also face the Senators in the unlikely instance that the two teams fight it out in the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.

Beyond those two possibilities, Saturday night was it, and Boedker must have been licking his chops much like an actual coyote.

For the second straight game, Boedker managed a hat trick against the Senators, helping Arizona beat Ottawa 4-3 last night. His third tally stood as the game-winner in a 4-3 victory.

You can watch all three goals in the video above.

It’s oddly fitting that Boedker has three goals this season … against teams not named the Ottawa Senators.

Hey, Tortorella called the Penguins whiners again

John Tortorella

Don’t forget, the Blue Jackets – Penguins rivalry isn’t just about the bitterness between Sidney Crosby and Brandon Dubinsky; John Tortorella can fuel the fire, too.

Torts must not have been happy about the one-game suspension that Dubinsky received for cross-checking Crosby, as he channeled his vintage self in essentially calling the Penguins a bunch of whiners.

You can see from this glorious Sportsnet video, Tortorella said: “Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league.”

(He also said the Blue Jackets weren’t going to whine by … whining. Good stuff.)

As Puck Daddy notes, this isn’t the first time Torts claimed that the Penguins are whiners.

Both the Blue Jackets and Penguins lost their games on Saturday, but clearly some eyes and ears were still focused on their last confrontation.

In case you’re wondering, the two teams next face off in Pittsburgh on Dec. 21.