Three hours, without a minute to spare. That’s the amount of time each Maple Leaf gets for treatment, workouts and skating once he arrives at the Ford Performance Centre to voluntarily participate in Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return to Play plan. Leafs winger Zach Hyman laid out the new world order, for NHL players […]Hours in the life of a Leafs player in NHL’s Phase 2 are used efficiently: Hyman — Toronto Sun
Three hours, without a minute to spare.
That’s the amount of time each Maple Leaf gets for treatment, workouts and skating once he arrives at the Ford Performance Centre to voluntarily participate in Phase 2 of the NHL’s Return to Play plan.
Leafs winger Zach Hyman laid out the new world order, for NHL players in the midst the COVID-19 global pandemic, to reporters during a conference call on Tuesday.
“It’s pretty air-tight with time,” Hyman said, adding that his check-in time for Tuesday at the rink was slated for 12:15 pm.
“(After checking in), you see the doc, get your temp taken, and if it’s your testing day, you get tested.
“Then you go into the change room. You get ready, get treatment if you need it, and then you’re in the gym for probably 45 (minutes) to an hour.
“You rush over (to the dressing room), get changed to go on the ice, go on the ice for 40 minutes or so, then you hop off, you have to quickly shower off, take turns.
“And then you’re out of there. So it’s real quick turnaround — three hours in and out — and it sounds like enough time, but it’s tough when you’re trying to get everything through. It’s just great to be on the ice, so it’s worth it.”
Hyman and his teammates — in his small group are Alex Kerfoot, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly, Travis Dermott, Joseph Woll and Ian Scott — will take whatever they can get right now.
“Just getting out of the house and everything that goes with that,” Hyman said when he was asked what has been most helpful about taking part in Phase 2, which began last week for the Leafs. “Seeing the guys and feeling like it’s a little bit normal, even though everybody is wearing masks.
“Skating is the biggest (advantage). You can always work out wherever you are, you can modify your workouts, I was working out in my condo, so I felt I was in good shape, but you can’t modify skating.
“And you can’t modify interacting with people, interacting with friends and teammates. Actually interacting with your friends and being on the ice is the best.”
One of the unique aspects of the NHL’s Return to Play is teams in the qualifying round — assuming we get to that point in Phase 4 — will have known for months who their opponents will be.
Hyman doesn’t have any doubt about the Columbus Blue Jackets’ work ethic, but won’t take much for granted.
“The funny thing is, you never know,” Hyman said. “Things could change from a system perspective. Coaches in the off-season sometimes tweak their systems and this is the unknown.
“When you go from the regular season to the playoffs, you don’t really tweak too much. You just roll into the playoffs.
“This is a completely different beast where what you watched a couple of months ago may not be the team you are playing against in the summertime. It’s almost like a brand-new year with the same roster. It will be interesting to see how everything turns out around the league with the long layoff.
“I think the team that comes back the best in shape is going to have a massive advantage.”
We should count on the notion that the Blue Jackets, under coach John Tortorella, will be in tune physically and mentally from the opening faceoff of Game 1. That the Jackets managed to earn a chance to compete for a playoff spot, considering the losses last summer of Sergei Bobrovsky, Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene to free agency and then a raft of injuries during the 2019-20 regular season, is a minor miracle.
“Columbus was never a team that we envisioned playing,” Hyman said. “They’re a hard team. They upset Tampa last year, their style of play is a lot different than our style of play.
“I’m sure our coaching staff loved the fact they have a couple of months to prepare and watch video, and once we get back in the swing of things (at camp in Phase 3, scheduled to start on July 10), we’ll get caught up on all of that.”
Hyman on the potential of living in a bubble in a hub city for an undetermined length of time, if and when Phase 4 starts: “It’s a tricky question. There are not many guidelines (yet) to what the bubble is. It’s going to be tough. These are circumstances that are difficult and affect everybody. If we’re going to have a chance to play, we’re going to have to be in a bubble and isolate and potentially not see our families for a period of time and that’s a decision that guys have to make.” … This, to us, from Ottawa 67’s general manager James Boyd on Leafs prospect Nick Robertson, who will try to earn a spot in the Toronto lineup for the Columbus series after scoring 55 goals for the Peterborough Petes last season: “He can make split-second decisions, which translates really well to pro, and he senses pressure. The coaching staff can go over it — ‘Watch Robertson, watch Robertson,’ — they can say it 100 times, but he scores the winner with no one within 30 feet of him. The pass is behind him, in front of him, in his feet, but he is going to get a shot off. He has that dexterity, even off back passes, he can let it go.”