Kings coach Darryl Sutter gave the team the day off from practice Sunday. Good thing. I was in no shape to head to El Segundo in the morning before tackling the drive to Anaheim in the afternoon for the Ducks’ game against the St. Louis Blues. Suddenly, this Eight Games in Eight Nights thing was getting worrisome after Six Games in Six Nights. I woke up and didn’t know what day it was. That’s a bad sign. That’s a sure indicator of mental fatigue. In a moment or two things came flooding back. Oh yeah, no practice. Feed the cats. Feed the dog. Go back to sleep.
Saturday night wasn’t a tough write. The Kings smoked the Calgary Flames for the fifth victory by the home team in six games. It was over early in the third period and definitively, too. I felt sharp on the drive to the game, avoiding the 110 Freeway in order to change things up. I skipped my usual Coke and popcorn pregame treat in favor of water and no snack. After the game was a different story. I struggled to get onto the freeway at the Chick Hearn Court onramp, barely made the four-lane merge in 200 feet to get onto the 110 South and the rest of the trip home was a blur. Another bad sign.
Sunday morning featured the change to daylight savings time, which might account for my dazed start. Feeling much better now. Maybe it’s the chill of the Honda Center air conditioner, but I’m ready for Game 7 between the Ducks and the Blues and for Game 8 between the Kings and Flames on Monday at Staples Center. The end of my hockey odyssey is near. Bring on the end.
Uh-oh, I just looked at the upcoming schedule and there’s another Eight Games in Eight Nights stretch later this month. I’m ready for that. I’ll be better prepared next time.