Darryl Sutter rushed the Los Angeles Kings out of their locker room in Newark on Saturday night as if they were fleeing the scene of a crime.
The Kings coach was just in a hurry to get home, and that's what his club did: On the plane by midnight, wheels up by 1 a.m. Eastern time, and in their beds back on the West Coast shortly after 4 a.m. Pacific.
''Hey, every minute counts,'' Sutter said Sunday after the Kings reported for a relaxed meeting at their training complex.
Sutter's Kings do this type of traveling all the time, with roughly a dozen cross-country flights interspersed among the usual lengthier schedule of Western Conference teams. The New Jersey Devils hardly ever get this type of transcontinental road test, but both teams think it's unlikely to be a factor in the Stanley Cup finals.
While the Kings played their first three rounds in Vancouver, St. Louis and blessedly close Phoenix, the Devils hadn't even been on a plane since April 26. New Jersey could use ground tra...