Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/06/14 at 10:10 AM ET
from Justin Bourne of TheScore,
No team in the past 25 years - that’s going back to 1989, back when the Flames last won the Cup - has had to endure five playoff games in seven nights. New York went back-to-back in Game 6 and 7 versus the Flyers, had a day off, opened their series against the Penguins, had a day off, then played back-to-backs again, home and away. They’ve played seven in 11 nights, which also hasn’t happened in 25 years.
And remember, these are playoff games. Anybody who follows hockey will tell you there’s another gear players find for these battles. They’re more physically involved, and there’s no taking shifts off. I can’t imagine how their legs feel.
As a player, you do everything you can to have your legs feel as good as possible as soon as possible, particularly in the playoffs. That means you get off the ice and spin on the bike to get that lactic acid out of your legs, you stretch, you sit in the freezing, miserable cold tub for 10-12 minutes, you get some sustenance in you (ideally a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio - chocolate milk!), and you get to bed as soon as your body allows, which is never very early. You do what you can.
But you can only get so much max performance out of your body, so it becomes a mental struggle as much as anything. You’re always trying to coax out that extra effort, as is your coach, but it’s just not the same as having that natural pop when you’re rested.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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