Wednesday’s game between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals started at 7:30pm ET. It ended after midnight. The contest lasted 114:41 minutes of actual playing time, making it one of the longest games in NHL history. Which begs the question: How do you even find the strength to play for that long?
Well, if you’re Marc Staal, who logged 49:34 minutes for the New York Rangers, you eat bananas. A lot of bananas. Staal gave an interview on Thursday to discuss what goes into recovering from a game like that. You can check it out below:
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Of course, it takes more to win a triple-overtime game than just bananas. You also need plenty of soy sauce.
“We’re eating, we’re hydrating. You have fruit, you have white rice with soy sauce. You got a little bit of everything,” Washington’s Karl Alzner said. “It’s just do whatever you need to do. A lot of guys taping sticks, changing gear. Everything’s really getting wet and heavy, and you want to get a cool down somehow.”
Troy Brouwer compared it to being a kid, but instead of it being a pizza party, it was a four-plus hour marathon of NHL hockey in which he had to skate 32:02 minutes over 41 shifts. But hey, at least there were orange slices and power bars. You know, everything a kid could want.
Mercifully, neither team practiced on Thursday and they don’t have to play again until Saturday.
As if Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final couldn’t get any more dramatic, it has — Tampa Bay captain Steve Stamkos, who hasn’t played since Mar. 31, will make his playoff debut against the Penguins tonight.
Stamkos underwent vascular surgery in early April to correct a blood clotting issue, and has remained on blood thinners ever since. While there’s been no confirmation he’s off medication, he did tell Sportsnet he’d be able to return to the lineup once he was.
Stamkos reiterated that he’s still on the same prescription of blood thinners he was given earlier this month. He takes a 12-hour dosage, twice a day, and it has been suggested to him that once he is cleared to stop taking the medication, Stamkos conceivably could return to the Lightning lineup almost immediately.
That’s why I’m trying to stay in shape,” he said.
Per NHL.com, Stamkos took the warmup and participated in line rushes centering Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan.
It’s been exactly eight weeks since Stamkos played his last game. At the time of his diagnosis, the Lightning said his timetable for recovery was 1-3 months.
To say his return will be a boost is a major understatement. Aside from the emotional factor, Stamkos led the Bolts in goals this year, with 36, and would presumably spark a power play that’s gone just 2-for-12 in the series.
Steve Stamkos took the team bus to tonight’s Eastern Conference Game 7 in Pittsburgh. As TVA noted, it was the first time he’s arrived early for a game in these playoffs.
In his pregame presser, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper refused to answer any questions about Stamkos’ availability.
And then Stamkos took the warmup.
As such, the drama surrounding Tampa Bay’s captain has reached an all-time high. Stamkos, who’s been out of the lineup since early April due to blood clots, looks as though he’s on the verge of an emotional comeback as the Lightning try to win an ECF Game 7 — on the road — for a second consecutive season.
“If Stamkos is in the lineup, it’s our best foot forward,” Cooper said. “If he’s not in the lineup, it’s because he wasn’t eligible to play.”
No word if No. 91 is still on the blood thinning medication he’s been taking since undergoing vascular surgery on Apr. 4.
EDINA, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise has been rehabilitating his back injury without surgery, putting him on track to be at full strength by September.
Parise said Thursday he’s “happy with the way everything’s going.” He said he’s been able to work out as he normally does during the summer, despite missing the playoffs because of the injury.
Parise said there’s “no question” he’ll be ready to play for Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey tournament.
Parise joined teammates Erik Haula, Jason Pominville, Nate Prosser, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker at an autograph signing to raise money for people affected by the wildfires in Alberta. The parents of Spurgeon’s wife, Danielle, lost their home to a fire in the Edmonton area.