Monday, June 6, 2011
Sleepless in Stanley
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins have the luxury during the regular season of spending most nights sleeping in their own beds.
The team’s game and travel schedule isn’t all that bad, and as coach Claude Julien pointed out, most of their games are played in the Eastern time zone.
That’s not the case for the Vancouver Canucks.
Because the Canucks are traveling all over the place, the team uses sleep experts in order to help the players get enough rest.
Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault was asked about it Monday morning.
“I don’t know if we have an advantage,” he said. “I do know that we’re more accustomed to traveling than Boston. We’re more accustomed to time zone changes. We’ve done that all year long. Because we travel the most in the NHL, that’s one of the reasons why we try to get a scientific approach to where our guys would have the utmost energy and throughout the season it’s worked out fine. Hopefully in the playoffs, we’ll find out.”
Vancouver has been using this “scientific approach” for the last three seasons and Vigneault said he has seen a difference.
“I do know that obviously our record is better,” he said. “I do think that, combined with both [strength and conditioning coach] Roger [Takahashi] and [skill coach] Glenn [Carnegle] monitoring our conditioning the way they do, it certainly seems to be beneficial. If you look at our third periods, they seem to have the energy to keep pushing forward and keep playing well.”
The Bruins do not work with sleep experts.
“I would say not like Vancouver does,” explained Bruins coach Claude Julien. “Obviously they’ve got a really tough schedule during the regular season. We know they deal with that. We don’t during the regular season because we don’t go out of our time zone much. But we certainly have done our research here in the playoffs. That’s an important thing that we had to do here, making sure our guys are as well rested as possible.”