The San Jose Sharks are ready to leave the snow behind.
“We actually had to take a side road to get here,” head coach David Quinn said of the Sharks’ struggles this morning to just get from the team hotel to KeyBank Arena in Buffalo. “Obviously, slow moving on a bus under those circumstances and that condition, there’s an awful lot of snow here and not a lot of activity going on.”
Understandably, Quinn was 20 minutes late to his pre-game availability, which started an uncharacteristic hour and a half before the game (usually, it’s two hours or more before an early game).
Originally scheduled to fly out of Ottawa right after a 5-4 loss to the Senators on Saturday night, the San Jose Sharks had to stay an extra night in the Canadian capital because of a Buffalo-area snowstorm.
After flight departure delay after delay in Ottawa (at least they were able to hang out in their hotel waiting), the Sharks finally arrived at their Buffalo hotel at 9:30 PM ET Sunday night for a Monday 12 PM game.
“Frustrating,” Quinn said of the experience. “I think it was a little bit unsettled yesterday, but people have worse problems in the world.”
At least the landing into snowy and windy Buffalo after a one-hour flight wasn’t too rough.
“Actually was better than I anticipated,” Quinn said. “It was windy, for sure. But our pilots did a great job managing the situation. The minute we land, we’re all kind of talking about that wasn’t that bad.”
Despite their travel challenges, Quinn expects the Sharks to be ready to play this afternoon.
“I think they’ve had an opportunity to get plenty of rest and we should be ready to go today. Can’t find excuses at this level or any level, for that matter,” he said. “The things that we need to get better at, we addressed, and we’ll see how it goes today.”
San Jose Sharks (10-30-3)
Kaapo Kahkonen will start.
Scott Sabourin is in for Mike Hoffman, while Kyle Burroughs is in for Calen Addison. Both Hoffman and Addison are healthy.
Logan Couture will not return tonight or tomorrow in Chicago. Quinn suggested that Couture was fine, trending well, but they don’t want to rush his return.
The Sharks’ five-game road trip ends tomorrow in Chicago. Their next game is Jan. 20 at SAP Center against the Anaheim Ducks.
Buffalo Sabres (18-21-4)
Where to Watch
Puck drop between the San Jose Sharks and Buffalo Sabres is 9 AM PT at KeyBank Center. Watch it live on NBC Sports California. Listen to it on the Sharks Audio Network.