Early wake-up call as Devils adjust to Pacific time
MARINA DEL REY, Calif. -- It was a little bit before 8 a.m. local time Monday when Devils coach Peter DeBoer stepped to the podium in a conference room at The Ritz-Carlton hotel, which is about 30 minutes from Staples Center, the site of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Players Bryce Salvador, Andy Greene, Zach Parise and David Clarkson addressed the media as well, all before 8:30 a.m. With a 5 p.m. start against the Los Angeles Kings, the Devils had to get up pretty early in the morning to fulfill their responsibilities and address reporters.
"It's one of those things where I didn't really focus too much on it, to be honest," Salvador said. "It hasn't been that big of a deal."
It's a massive change in routine for the Devils in many respects. One, very rarely will a team eschew a morning skate unless it is playing on back-to-back days. Also, this was the first time the Devils boarded a plane since eliminating the Florida Panthers in the first round on April 26.
If the 37-day break from air travel isn't enough, Game 3 of the Cup Final is the Devils' first outside of the Eastern time zone since playing in Winnipeg on Jan. 14.
"We were pretty fortunate for two series to not get on a plane," Greene said. "It feels good to get back into this routine a little bit and get back on the road and get away from home and get back to being focused on just the single thing, it's the game. It's not that we're not focused at home, but on the road, there are a lot less distractions. I think it'll be a big plus for us."
"Hopefully it plays to our advantage, getting that extra rest and not having those long flights," Parise said. "Hopefully as the series moves on, that'll be to our advantage."
Despite the unique game-day schedule, DeBoer said the plan was to get his team adjusted to the Pacific time zone as quickly as possible.
"We had a later dinner," DeBoer said. "We tried to keep the guys up until 10 or 11 o'clock. I don't know if it's realistic, but you want to get on L.A. time as quickly as you can. That's our thought process."
Greene said not having a game-day skate at Staples Center shouldn't be a hindrance.
"I don't think it's that big of a deal," he said. "We had a good practice yesterday after we got off the flight, had good energy out there. Guys were upbeat and ready. It's not like when we skate out there in the morning skate, it's not like we're out there for an hour testing the ice anyways. You're out there for 10 or 15 minutes and done. Get out there in warmups, get a good warmup and be ready for the game.
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