Training Camp rolls on for the Nashville Predators who have managed to avoid Covid-19.
The Preds have two weeks to get up to speed and play elimination games right of the shoot. Winning means staying healthy and that means avoiding Covid-19.
The NHL battled for four months to be in the position to resume play and Preds Captain Roman Josi acknowledged much of the responsibility to stay healthy is now on the players, “I mean we’re all wearing the mask around the rink, you’re definitely wearing the mask when you leave the rink and it’s like you said there’s a lot of responsibility on each guy and there’s a lot of trust on our team for everyone to do the right thing.”
Head coach John Hynes says the Preds have the right make-up to handle the situation, “We have a little bit of an older team so you have guys that have families and a little bit different lifestyle. We’ve really tried to communicate with the players even before they got back to training camp just about the importance of social distancing, wearing the mask. You know, trying to stay basically in phase one quarantine even when we are not.”
Covid-19 numbers have jumped dramatically since the NHL announced it was returning to play and opening up camps. Still for a lot of the players they were returning to a country in much worse shape than their own.
Both Predator goalies Pekka Rinne and Juuse Saros went home to FInland where they have only had 7300 Covid-19 cases and 329 deaths, that is a sharp contrast to the U.S. where we have had over 3.5-million cases and about 139,000 deaths.
“Back in Finland everything started to go normal and I live in a smaller city where there were pretty much no cases at all and you watch the news and everything is spiking up here,” Saros said Tuesday, “so of course you think about it a little bit, but I mean I haven’t really left the house over here. Just come to the rink and go home.”
The decision to only go to the rink and go home could be the difference between advancing and an early exit in Edmonton.