“The intensity is going to be high. We’ll probably see games that will be crazy,” said John Tavares, an attacker of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
July 19, 2020 15h56
NHL: players expect spectacular matches and unpredictable
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
In normal times, the players of the national hockey League to show up for training camp in September after their summer training and to submit to sessions of skating.
Depending on the case, the calendar preparatory may be lighter or busy — veterans will often play half of the games — in the context of a slow process of preparation in anticipation of the regular season.
The playoffs and the Stanley Cup finals represent the ultimate goal. In both cases, the route to get there is far.
Inevitably, at the beginning, there was rust and these games in October can be laborious. Especially those before the time when the coaches arrive to set up their system and to detect trends.
Thus, in a season like no other, what will look like the hockey after an interval of 143 days between the presentation of important matches when will resume the NHL season on the 1st of August, after the interruption caused by the pandemic, and after a sprint to the chaotic prepare for it?
“Fun to watch”, has launched John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs.
“The intensity is going to be high. We’ll probably see games that will be crazy.”
“Fast and unpredictable”, is believed, on his side, defenceman John Carlson, Washington Capitals.
Most players have put away their skates for two months or more after the suspension of the activities of the NHL, 12 march, due to an outbreak of the coronavirus.
“Everyone has had an opportunity to get away, to reflect, to rest, and [the players] probably feel much better mentally and physically after a pause, too long,” noted Tavares.
“We know there’s speed and talent in our league, as a whole. The margin of error is slim, and right from the start, the stakes will be high.”
“Everyone has had an opportunity to get away, to reflect, to rest, and [the players] probably feel much better mentally and physically after a break too long ”
John Tavares, Toronto Maple Leafs
In April, however, Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins, was concerned that the there is a raise, “really, really awful”. In may, Patrik Wool, Winnipeg Jets, has used the adjective “terrible” to describe the pace of the return-to-play, in his eyes, after such a long leave. A few days after the start of training camp, Wool had not changed his mind.
But all in all, the players do not believe that it will take a lot of time in the 24 teams involved in the recovery to restore their synchronism.
“This is a league where you need to prepare,” recalled the centre Elias Lindholm with the Calgary Flames.
“And if you don’t, you are going to find yourself outside of the league fairly quickly. I think the players have started their preparation. I do not believe that it will take a lot of time on the ice to come back.”
Mike Sullivan, head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins, is agree to say that individuals who are regarded as the best in their field will not have a lot of difficulties to find their bearings, especially when you consider the importance of the issue.
“These are guys who are proud of it. Many of them see the opportunity that presents itself to them. This desire and motivation to win a Stanley Cup will force these players to adjust quickly,” said Sullivan.
“I am convinced of one thing : the competition will be fierce, he added. Once the schedule has started and that the players will have participated in an increased number of matches, the quality of the performance will continue to improve.”
Defender Christopher Tanev, Vancouver Canucks, is certain of something else : the fact of playing in front of the bleachers deserts will have an influence on the look of the games.
“The change of pace to the games will be very different,” predicts Tanev.
“Especially when you will not be able to take advantage of the enthusiasts who encourage you, or if you’re in a foreign country, that the arena ignites and that the other team can take advantage of a new impetus for five or seven minutes.”
Kyle Dubas, the general manager of the Maple Leafs, don’t hide not to be intrigued by the unique nature of the situation surrounding this return to the game.
“This is a relaunch in August after a hiatus in march, so a break of almost five months for everyone between matches, and one preparatory meeting. I really have no idea of what it will look like.”
The centre Auston Matthews, of the Maple Leafs, is also unknown what will happen after so long a truce. However, he said he was looking forward to it.
“According to what I read, a lot of people think that this will be the Stanley Cup is the most difficult to win because everyone will be refreshed and ready to go. I am not convinced that people know exactly what to expect. Once the first game has taken place, the players will battle it out for the Stanley Cup, and that’s all that matters.”