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.

CSNBayArea.com 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.

Yikes.

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.

Erik Karlsson played through hairline fractures in foot to help Sens advance

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Remember when many were keeping an eye on Erik Karlsson after he was seemingly cramping up after logging more than 40 minutes in an OT contest against the Boston Bruins.

It’s possible he was also dealing with that sort of ailment, but he earned some “hockey tough” kudos on Sunday after word surfaced that the Ottawa Senators defenseman was dealing with hairline fractures in his left heel through the series.

Sportsnet’s Jason York refers to the issue as “two small fractures” while ESPN’s Joe McDonald went into specifics, noting that Karlsson explains that the injury happened on March 28 (and was why he missed some games late in the season).

There’s some optimism as the Senators ready for the New York Rangers, at least according to Karlsson.

Hmm.

Either way, that’s impressive stuff from the Senators defenseman, and the sort of information that usually only surfaces after a team has been eliminated. We’ll see if he’s hindered by such issues as the playoffs go along.

Gaudreau, Granlund and Tarasenko: 2017 Lady Byng finalists

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The NHL officially announced the nominees for the 2017 Lady Byng on Sunday, and they’re a star-studded bunch: Johnny Gaudreau, Mikael Granlund and Vladimir Tarasenko.

The PHWA determines “the player adjudged to have exhibited the best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

(Did Tarasenko help eliminate Granlund’s team in a gentlemanly fashion?)

For more on the three finalists, click here.

MacArthur, Senators end Bruins’ season in OT after controversial calls

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It’s a feel-good story, especially if you can look beyond questions of officiating.

Clarke MacArthur could have very well never played another NHL game considering his lengthy battles with concussion symptoms. Instead, he drew a penalty on the Boston Bruins in overtime of Game 6 and then managed to score the series-clinching goal.

Now, this isn’t to say that MacArthur didn’t rightfully draw a penalty; it most clearly was. And, in the bigger picture, it’s one of those stories that almost makes you wonder if real-life sports actually do follow Hollywood scripts.

People just wonder about some other decisions during that overtime, in particular, making it frustrating for some Bruins fans to see the season end in such a way.

Whether they like it or not, that is the case, though.

The Senators took Game 6 by a score of 3-2 (OT), winning their series 4-2. They can breathe a sigh of relief in avoiding a Game 7, an especially valuable bonus since Erik Karlsson had been pushed hard lately, logging more than 40 minutes in a recent game.

Ottawa avoids a do-or-die contest. Instead, they’ll face the New York Rangers in the next round while the Bruins enter the summer following an up-and-down campaign.

Bergeron takes advantage of slow Sens change, sends Game 6 to OT (Video)

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Every game in this Senators – Bruins series has been decided by one goal, so why not send Game 6 to overtime?

Oh, and speaking of overtime, this contest going beyond regulation makes it 17 OT games, tying an NHL record for the most in a single round.

Ottawa appeared to take a “lazy change” with a 2-1 lead, and Patrice Bergeron made the Senators pay, putting in a rebound to collect the goal that eventually sent this contest to overtime.