Coach Tom McVie of the Washington Capitals carries fond memories of the bush leagues - no worries about mislaid equipment or luggage, or concern about socked-in airports.
"This is the way to go," McVie exulted as the Capitals bused through much of the exhibition schedule. "Just lean back and relax."
The Capitals will be riding up Interstate 95 today, but it's doubtful that McVie or his charges will be relaxing much. For the Capitals tonight meet the Philadelphia Flyers, a team they have never beaten, in the inhospitable confines of Philadelphia's Spectrum.
Tonight's game will be televised (WDCA-TV-20 at 8 p.m.) and then Capital Centre patrons will view a rematch Saturday at 7:30, a contest for which only a few scattered single tickets remain.
At Capital Centre, Washington has managed three ties, but in the Spectrum the record is 0-6, with the Flyers outscoring Washington 40-12.
Philadelphia slipped a bit last year, sidetracked by Boston in a four-page Stanley Cup semifinal. But the Flyers have rebounded handsomely, posting a 5-2-1 record thus far and rolling up 44 goals, high in the NHL. A year ago, they had record only 25 in the first eight games.
Right wing Don Saleski is the unlikely leader among the flyer scorers, posting nine goals and four assists Orest Kindrachuk, who centers for Saleski, is goalless but has earned 11 assist.
Like the Capitals, the Flyers have some walking wounded Goalie Wayne Stephenson and right wing Gary Dornhoefer are nursing demaged knees. Barry Dean, the left wing with Saleski, had been tiring quickly, with a low blood count the cause.
Playing a regular shift on defense alongside veteran Joe Watson is the Flyers' No. 1 draft choice. Kevin McCarthy, a smooth passer who was the player of the year in the Western Canada Hockey League last season.