After a break forced by COVID-19 and the postponement of four of their games, the Carolina Hurricanes players are ready to take the collar back on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
For Rod Brind’Amour’s men, this will be a second attempt to kick off their season. However, the Hurricanes head coach will be deprived of some important elements and is concerned about the physical condition of his players following this unexpected break.
” We must react. That’s it, ”said Brind’Amour.
“The apology pot is full. There is no more room, nobody cares, and we have to find the solutions. This is the approach we must have. ”
The Hurricanes haven’t played since their victory in Nashville on Jan. 18. Concerns about COVID-19 forced the postponement of the rematch the next day and three games at home, two against the Florida Panthers and the one scheduled for Tuesday against the Lightning.
In total, the names of six Hurricanes players have been placed on the COVID-19 non-availability list.
The first name on it was that of Captain Jordan Staal on January 15. He was removed on Tuesday and took part in the team’s first full training session that same day, after it was limited to breakout sessions the day before when the complex reopened. training.
“There were only three games played in the season and we were just starting to find our rhythm,” defenseman Brady Skjei said after Wednesday’s practice session.
“The guys were excited to start over, and that was the most important thing. We couldn’t wait to get back to the rink.
The names of four players who had been placed on the non-availability list on the day of the postponement of the game against Nashville were still there on Tuesday. They are wingers Teuvo Teravainen, Jordan Martinook and Warren Foegele, and defender Jaccob Slavin. The name of striker Jesper Fast was added to it on Saturday.
Staal said he experienced chills and fought off a cough following his positive result.
“For a while I felt like a leper,” said Staal, as the team’s first player to test positive.
The NHL said the team followed health and safety guidelines before game postponements. The league also clarified that the blacklist encompasses a range of factors including a positive test and isolation or quarantine related to contact tracing.
Brind’Amour noted that there are still so many players missing that things did not seem normal when training resumed.
During the forced break, Brind’Amour said, the team spent time reviewing the first three games and keeping the players mentally prepared.
“The whole week, the worst fear has been wondering if there are going to be other guys,” said Brind’Amour.
“Every day we were like ‘OK, what’s going on?’ We want it to be behind us. ”
-By Aaron Beard, The Associated Press