of COVID. I explained the same earlier in the year about Hernandez when he returned. There seems to be a misguided expectation of some that because these are world class athletes they either won't be impacted or will bounce right back. The virus can linger, especially in the lungs, well after the contagious period and after anti-bodies have been built up. Athletes are not immune from that.
Most of the time, they likely feel close to normal. It's that small percentage that is not 100%, where they are slightly winded from something that would never register, or breathing, especially in the cold, is something they are suddenly aware of. He likely isn't in pain or with serious symptoms. But, imagine deep breaths being felt in your chest and lungs every time. Now imagine it as an athlete really pushing himself and doing so on the ice. As a result, his energy and cardio capacity is likely down.
As fans, it is easy to say the quarantine period is over and he has no outward signs, so he should play. It is also easy for an athlete to want that and for the team to expect that. But, there is not guarantee that 2 weeks clears the body. In fact, that is proving not to be the case more often than not.
A few points on MSG real quick...
-I felt they did a very good job. The closest people to my seat were at least 10 feet away.
-Only concessions available at limited locations were hot dogs, pretzels, beer, soda, M&M’s, and Twizzlers. I thought it was mobile order, but that was not available for yesterday’s game. Maybe they’re still working on it.
-Fans were generally in adherence to the safety protocols.
-Definitely weird looking around and seeing so few people, though it was nice after the game to not have to squeeze in to those stairwells to get out.
-The artificial crowd noise is still operating, and I found it to be more annoying in person than it is on TV. It’s a constant hum with a whistling sound, I found it irritating.
Now onto the game itself. Wow, that sucked. One of the worst performances of the entire season, especially offensively. I feel like many of the games they’ve been shutout or scored only 1 goal have been because of unbelievable goaltending on the other end. A few minutes before the Blackwell goal I remember thinking “This is going to be the easiest shutout of Rask’s career.” Nice to see Lafreniere get his 3rd point in 4 games, and all of his points are primary points this year. I barely even noticed Zibanejad and Kreider on the ice yesterday again after they were really humming the past few games. Playoffs are starting to look more and more like a pipe dream, now that they are 8 points out of the Flyers and the Flyers have a game in hand. Hopefully Chytil can come back tomorrow and Panarin and Kakko’s absences aren’t too much longer. What a weird season.
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