McDonagh says ending season “would be ideal” for Lightning


Ryan McDonagh is supportive of the end of the NHL season, whether it’s playing the last three weeks of regular season games or going straight into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“With our team and where we are … and our season, the way it would be, if we were to play or end part of our season, we would take this scenario,” the Tampa Bay Lightning defender said on Wednesday. “… It would be ideal for us. “

Tampa Bay was second in the Atlantic Division when the season was interrupted on March 12 due to concerns over the coronavirus. The Lightning (43-21-6) is eight points behind the Boston Bruins and 11 points ahead of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“I have not looked at a calendar and coordinated the days when we would have played or not,” said McDonagh. “We are coming in the first week of April. So we’re preparing for the playoffs, which is the most exciting time of the year for a player.

“And you just want to be able to continue playing, but know that it’s bigger than hockey. What we do as a community and as a nation is the right thing, keeping everyone safe and healthy. And then we can go back to everyone working, sports start again, people go back to work and go back to the community and all that. “

Video: TBL @ NYI: McDonagh scores long distance goal in 3rd

McDonagh said he expects players will have a shortened training camp if the season resumes. The NHL recently announced that it had asked players to remain in quarantine until April 15 at least and that US social distancing restrictions were in place until April 30.

“If it lasts another month, it may not be as long, but maybe if it lasts two or three months, you may be considering needing three or five more days (from pre-game training camp), “said McDonagh. “But I think the players understand that this is a unique situation if we resume and try to finish part of the season, we are probably not going to get a full training camp like we would after a normal offseason. “

“So in this aspect, we will just have to prepare a little differently. And I think if there is a scenario where if we finish some sort of season the guys will just be happy to play this and we will have to put some extra work here and there in any type of camp training days or training days we get. “

McDonagh, who has 12 points (one goal, 11 assists) in 50 games this season, played the Lightning’s last two games on March 8 and 10 after missing the previous 14 with a lower body injury. He was able to skate for a few days after the season break because the Lightning facilities were temporarily open for players who continue to recover from injuries.

He said he continues to train and stay in shape with bike rides and a home workout routine that includes walks with his young children, Falan and Murphy.

“Our training staff and coaches have tried to provide as much as the guys can have at home,” said McDonagh, “They’ve delivered bikes and [resistance] dumbbells and dumbbells just to have tools at your fingertips if you haven’t already. Like most people, you try to do a little routine and with a 3 year old child, we have this morning routine, after breakfast, we go for a walk and she has her little scooter at push and I kind of start my day there, get the body moving a bit. ”


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