STOCKHOLM — The clock says afternoon, shortly after 4 p.m. to be exact, but it feels like the middle of the night.
This confusion isn't the result of the transatlantic flight to get to Stockholm from Minnesota, even though the days started to blur together somewhere near Denmark.
No, I am stumped by the time because I haven't seen the sun once since arriving in Sweden for the Wild's two games this weekend in the NHL Global Series, and now it's pitch-black out before I've even made it to the dinner table.
I was prepared for overcast, noticing in the weather app before the trip how much earlier the sun sets in Stockholm than what we're used to in Minnesota, even after daylight saving time kicked in earlier this month.
But it's still jarring to experience, like falling into the fog that always settles in around Thanksgiving and Christmas when no one knows what day it is — only that it's time to heat up leftovers.
Factor in Minnesota being seven hours behind, and it makes sense why the Wild are on a schedule in Sweden that has given them ample opportunity to adjust to their new surroundings before their first game on Saturday vs. Ottawa.
Their first practice in Stockholm was Wednesday, and they'll take a break Thursday before returning to the ice Friday.
That's also the first day there's supposed to be a break in the cloud coverage, and the forecast for Saturday when the Wild will try to end their three-game losing streak is full-blown sunshine. Coincidence?
In the meantime, the gloomy skies and frigid wind are appropriate.
That is hockey weather, and this is a hockey trip in a city that has become a regular pitstop for the NHL.
Even before hosting these four games among the Wild, Detroit, Ottawa and Toronto, Stockholm already had held the most regular-season games outside of North America at 12, and every one of them happened at Avicii Arena.
A lineage like that, alongside the historical and modern features of Stockholm, the cosmopolitan center of Sweden, make this week an intriguing detour in the Wild's season.
Time (?) to learn more.