The Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t waste time in the first period of their exhibition against the Montreal Canadiens, scoring 33 seconds in to take the lead, thanks to Ilya Mikheyev and John Tavares.
However, it might have been a good thing they scored so early in the game because the Sportsnet cameras caught those two players, along with Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher struggling for breath during the first period.
They must be realizing that returning to game shape isn’t that easy, and there is a bit of rust in that first game.
Mikheyev, who scored the goal, hadn’t played since December 27th, 2019, when he suffered a severe wrist injury that kept him out for the rest of the suspended season. It is surely great to see him back on the ice, despite being out of breath after a tough shift.
You have to admit that game action is like nothing else and even though most players have taken part in team’s training camp, it is not the same.
Hockey is back and players are reminded of how tough their jobs really hard, especially with a Stanley Cup on the line.