Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kings and Rangers Hope to Avoid Fatigue in Tough Stanley Cup Final

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Kings and Rangers Hope to Avoid Fatigue in Tough Stanley Cup Final

Article excerpt

Fatigue could be factor in Stanley Cup final


NEW YORK, N.Y. - The New York Rangers had just suffered a difficult loss to the Kings in Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final, but coach Alain Vigneault didn't use the long plane ride home from Los Angeles to drill his players on how to get back into the series.

Vigneault wanted the Rangers to rest and re-energize, and after a tiring start to the series the Kings had the same idea.

"You should've seen the plane ride over here," Kings winger Justin Williams said. "It was all lights out and guys were sleeping."

Kings coach Darryl Sutter voiced some concern about fatigue earlier in the series, but the true test is how these teams will react moving forward after two overtime games and then cross-country flights Sunday. Neither team practised on the day before Game 3 because rest is now at a premium.

"I think the longer series go, the longer the playoffs go, (it's about) courage, determination, extra effort," Sutter said. "You're never going to feel fresh. You're never going to feel as good as you did in November. That's the way it works. That's for sure. They're people."

Williams doesn't consider fatigue a problem. For now.

"We'll be fine," he said. "It's the Cup finals, there's no excuse for not being ready or not being prepared or being tired. You can get yourself ready."

That's easier said than done after it took until midway through the second overtime before Dustin Brown finished off Game 2 to give Los Angeles a two games to none lead in the series.

Despite Williams scoring 4:36 into overtime in Game 1, there's a build-up of extra hockey going on for the Kings. That was their third overtime game in a row.

"It's pretty tough," Kings winger Marian Gaborik said. "To play this many periods the last three games, it's a lot of hockey. But everyone will find the energy."

The Rangers had a handful of days off after beating the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference final, but that doesn't mean players could immediately re-adjust to the time change by the time they took the ice at Madison Square Garden on Monday morning.

Trying to explain the mood around the team, forward Brian Boyle noted that it's still early in the morning. …

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