By Len Bardsley
© 2005 The Times of Trenton
The Titans left Florida late Monday morning after a very enjoyable trip to the Sunshine State.
The team savored the warm weather, great playoff hockey and, of course, two victories, giving taking home with them a 2-0 series lead on the Florida Everblades in the Kelly Cup Finals.
You almost got the sense the Titans would not have minded sticking around a little longer and adding another game at Germain Arena the way they played Saturday and Sunday.
However, they had to be satisfied with the alternative – an impromptu poolside barbecue at their hotel following their 2-1 victory Sunday put together by some of the Titans Booster Club members who made the trip, and a flight back home with a firm grip on the best-of-seven series.
The series does not resume until 7:30 p.m. Friday at Sovereign Bank Arena, with the rink being put back together following a five-day stay by the circus.
The break has its advantages and disadvantages for the Titans.
It gives the players a chance to relax for 48 hours, take a deep breath and take a well-deserved rest after the great effort they displayed in winning the first two games of the series.
The challenge comes in regaining the sharp focus and determination they displayed before the break.
Titans coach Mike Haviland took his usual approach to a gap in the schedule, only worrying about the things he can control.
“It is like a regular week in the league,” said Haviland. “It is what it is. We travel (yesterday) and they would be off anyway. We will watch some video and make some adjustments and get ready for Friday. It is just like a week in the regular season without a mid-week game.”
Titans goalie Andrew Allen admitted he would rather be playing tomorrow to keep up his momentum. He will accept the extra rest, but he is looking forward to some more intense playoff hockey.
“This is what hockey is all about,” said Allen. “I have never been able to experience it this deep into the playoffs before. You watch the NHL playoffs on television and wonder what it is like. It is an amazing feeling to play in front of an electric atmosphere when everyone is giving everything they got.”