Fans are excited to say that the National Hockey League is back, but we are now wondering, after TSN’s Gord Miller’s comment - is it really?
Sure, 24 NHL teams will be competing in a playoff tournament, which kicks off on August 1st, but after a long four-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have no clue how rusty players are going to be and which level of competition we are going to see.
Miller explained on the air of TSN that he had been made aware that many teams are holding off and not unloading full on on their number 1 guy.
“They don’t want to break a foot, they don’t want to hurt the goaltender, so what’s it going to look like when we really play?”
Miller did not stop there, getting worried about what to expect when play resumes as he talked about the importance of preseason games and the impact the lack of exhibition contests could have on the players.
A couple of days before the official playoff tournament kicks off on August 1st, in the East, the Montreal Canadiens will face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs - classic - the Tampa Bay Lightning will battle the Florida Panthers, the two New York clubs will face each other, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will meet in a battle of Pennsylvania, the Carolina Hurricanes will play against the Washington Capitals and the Boston Bruins will need to win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
In the West, you guessed it, the the Oilers are expected to play the Flames in pre-playoff game, exhibition contest, on Tuesday, July 28th. The Vancouver Canucks will face the Winnipeg Jets, the Dallas Stars will meet with the Nashville Predators - a Winter Classic repeat - the Chicago Blackhawks will face the St. Louis Blues, the Arizona Coyotes will face the Vegas Golden Knights and the Minnesota Wild will face off against the Colorado Avalanche.
Hopefully, players are not taking risks and will be ready to (REALLY) compete when it all restarts!