Comparing the Sharks Crazy Road Trip to the Warriors Crazy Road Trip
By: Sam Lubman
After completing a 3-3 homestand, the San Jose Sharks now find themselves hitting the road this week. Monday night’s game against the Dallas Stars in Dallas kicks off a stretch of that will see the Sharks play 8 games in the next 13 days, 7 of which will be on the road with a quick trip home squeezed in on the 28th or March.
If that kind of itinerary sounds familiar, it is because the Golden State Warriors complete a similar road trip two weeks ago. Of course, these two trips have their differences. For one, the two teams play very different sports. The Warriors trip also saw them make two long cross-country flights within 72 hours of each other, while the Sharks only travel about halfway across the country twice in that same span (Nashville to SJ, SJ to Edmonton). The Warriors were also crippled by the injury to Kevin Durant. Hopefully, the Sharks won’t face a similar injury on their trip.
That is not to downplay the similarities, though. Both trips include over 20 hours of flight travel. Both trips included three back-to-back sets. And both trips have the awkward home game squished in the middle.
Here is a breakdown comparing the two trips. Travel time is by flight hours.
*Sharks could instead travel by bus from Edmonton to Calgary, which would be a 3-hour drive.
**No flight info available for Philadelphia to Washington
A major chunk of the travel comes from the single home game squished into the trip. The toll the travel took on the Warriors is debatable. Did all the travel wear the team down? Or was it the loss of Durant? A bit of both? Or was all the hoopla made regarding the trip just that, hoopla?
Road trips like this exist in every sport, and playing on the West Coast exacerbates the amount of travel a team does simply because America is a big country and most of the teams are very far away from us. So there is no need to complain about it. It is just the nature of the beast.
How else can we compare the Warriors trip and the Sharks trip: The impact they have on the standings. The Warriors began their trip with a four and a half game lead over the San Antonio Spurs for first place in the Western Conference. At the end of the trip, that lead was gone and the two teams were tied atop the standings. The Sharks embark on their trip with a four point lead over the Anaheim Ducks, a lead that was seven points a week and a half ago. Could the Sharks see a similar thing happen to their lead?
I am not trying to be Mr. Negative or anything, but this trip will test the Sharks greatly. The good news is that the Sharks seem more than ready to take this trip on, and when they return, they finish the season with three very winnable home games.
Look for Aaron Dell, starting in goal tonight, to split the back-to-back contests with Martin Jones. The fact that the Sharks have two great options in goal helps tremendously.
Watch the video below on what the Sharks think of their upcoming trip. You’ll notice there are a lot of positive vibes coming from the players in it.