Penguins Head To Western Canada
The Penguins are headed West.
The team will make its longest roadtrip of the year this week as it heads to Western Canada for a three-game set against
For many of the team’s young players such as Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Jordan Staal and Ryan Whitney, this will be their first visit to those cities as NHL players. The Penguins have not been scheduled to play at those locations in four years – the first week of December in 2003.
“Everyone out there hasn’t had a chance to see Fleury and Crosby and Malkin and all the young talent we have on our team, so I think they are definitely awaiting to see that,” Penguins winger Colby Armstrong said. “It’ll be great; it’ll be great for hockey up there. I think tickets are pretty hard to come by.”
This trip has a special meaning for some Penguins as Erik Christensen (
“I grew up in the
“This is going to be a fun week. A lot of people are going to be coming. It’s the most-exciting time of year for me, just looking at the schedule,” he continued. “When the schedule came out, I was getting phone calls immediately from friends and family telling me they wanted to come to the game. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I am really looking forward to it.”
Armstrong is looking forward to playing in front of family and friends.
“Yeah it’s my first time I have played out there in a long time. It’s going to be really exciting, for sure,” he said. “My family has been able to come out here a few times to watch, which has been awesome, but a lot of my cheaper friends out there haven’t been able to make the trip. It’ll be a close drive or flight for them now, so it’ll be a lot easier for them to come. I know they are excited. Going to
Sydor spent most of his career in the Western Conference, so his trips back to the area have been more frequent than most on the Penguins roster. Nevertheless, he’s happy to play in the area again.
“It’s always nice to get back in front of friends and family and see them. But, you go out there and your focus has to be on hockey. With Sid and the stars we have, they are sold-out shows,” he said. “With the way the schedule is set up now, you don’t get to see teams every year. So, it’s special this year for everyone out there.”
The schedule, which limits interconference play, will change next year so all teams will play each other at least one time per season, either at home or on the road.
“I am a big fan of the schedule change – I think we should go to every city at least once a year. I know they want to say we should play every team at least once, but I am a big fan of going to each city once a year and they come here as well,” Christensen said. “I think it’s good for the league to see every team and every player every year. Every three years we had to wait, but it is going to be worth the wait this time.”
Nevertheless, the Penguins look forward to seeing new areas.
“It’s one of the nicer spots to go and play and visit,” Sydor said. “I was fortunate enough to play out there and live out there and see it quite a bit in the summertime. It’s nice terrain.”
“Well where I am from, it’s a lot like
Armstrong is thrilled to get a chance to return home.