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08-06-2008, 12:45 PM
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Always issues with teams opening abroad

Having games abroad in other countries is intriguing for many reasons. But take a look at how recent teams have fared after trips abroad.

Last fall when the Kings and Ducks opened in London the arena was full, loud and the games were pretty decent for October. But what happened to the champs when they got back to America? They dropped 4 out of their first 5, and 8 out of 11. They went on to play very, very good hockey going 44-20-6, but finished second in the division because of the slow start. They subsequently had to play a good team in the first round and got smoked. The Kings dropped 5 out of 6 after the trip.

The Red Sox after their trip to Japan and Oakland this year, returned to the east coast and went 2-5 before getting back to normal, even with a big gap in between games. And the Yankees in 2004 played a couple games with Tampa Bay in Tokyo. When the AL champs got back home they went 7-10, and worse they lost a bunch of guys, including Giambi for a prolonged period of time (steroids and Japanese food donít mix well) due to illness. Even the Giants lost their game after a European tripÖIím guessing the Dolphins did too. There arenít any success stories after these trips, or even average stories. Theyíre only issues for the team, and for the fans in America who have to put up with awful starts, bad television feeds, and odd start times to watch their teams first game of the season. Good for Prague and maybe the NHL, but its just issues for everyone else. On the NYR website, a poll asked fans what part of the new schedule they are most excited for. Prague by far had the least amount of votes. Iím with those guys.

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