May 28, 2012, 2:09 PM EDT
Over at NHL.com, Dave Lozo writes about the curious pattern that’s emerged over the last four seasons.
Each of the last three Stanley Cup champions — the Bruins (2011), Blackhawks (2010) and Penguins (2009) — all began their seasons by playing in Europe via the NHL’s Premiere series.
Pittsburgh played in Finland and Sweden, Chicago in Zurich and Finland, Boston in Northern Ireland and the Czech Republic.
This year, Los Angeles played in Germany and Sweden, defeating the Hamburg Freezers and New York Rangers before losing to the Buffalo Sabres — but even though they’ve now made it 4-for-4 for NHL Premiere teams advancing to the Cup finals, captain Dustin Brown isn’t sure it’s worth the travel.
“A trip like that always does build some bonds, but all the guys would probably say we wouldn’t want to do that again,” he explained. “You hang out a lot, but this core group has been together for a while. It’s not like we are going to go on a road trip like that and be closer for it.”
To be fair to Brown, he’s seen the other side of the coin with regards to starting in Europe. The Kings opened the 2007-08 season in Austria and England, flew home, lost five of six to open the season, finished dead last in the Western Conference and saw head coach Marc Crawford get fired.
- Of course: ‘Hawks, Ducks’ back-and-forth series is going to Game 7 11
- WATCH LIVE: Ducks at Blackhawks, Western Conference Final Game 6 1
- As Bolts deal with illness, extra day of rest could prove beneficial 10
- Sounds like it’s Rundblad, not TVR, in for Chicago on defense 16
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ 39
- Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach 17
- Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7 6
- Lightning get taken to ‘school of hard knocks’ in third-period collapse 11
- A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video) 11
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Fetisov wants to restrict young Russians from playing in the NHL (53)
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ (49)