Winnipeg Jets fans won’t get the feeling of confidence from star player Patrik Laine…
While the top forward is eager to return to the ice and play hockey again, he expressed on Friday how he knows he will be rusty once he steps back on the ice if the NHL gets the green light to return this summer.
“My game is probably gonna look terrible since I haven’t skated for two months,” Laine said on a video conference call with reporters Friday. “It’s always a struggle to come back after a long period when you haven’t skated.”
The NHL has shut down on March 12th, more than two months ago, but there is a sense of hope now that the NHL Players’ Association is believed to be inching towards a vote on a 24-team playoff format that would see 12 clubs from the Eastern and Western Conference compete for the Stanley Cup.
Laine will need to get his game ready.
“If there’s a training camp or something like that, I think it’ll be a good playoff run since everybody’s rested and hopefully healthy,” said the 22-year-old. “I think it would be a great playoff run.”
Laine is currently in Finland, awaiting the decision on the playoff format and start up date. He collected 28 goals and 63 points through 68 games when the NHL suspended its season March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He says he doesn’t care about the format, he just wants to play.
“I just want to play, and I can do whatever format they decide,” he said. “It’s still hockey, but I don’t mind the format. It’s not an issue for me.”
He wants to play sure, but he knows he will struggle at first to get back to full form.