Ivan Provorov in Wilkes-Barre style, the way he knows how

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Since joining the NHL at 19, Ivan Provorov has never missed a game in his career.

It’s 315 consecutive games.

Only one NHL defender has played more straight games with the same team to start his career – Dan Girardi at 330 for the Rangers from 2007 to 2011.

When the Russian native came to the United States to pursue his NHL dream, he was only 14 years old and played in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. His level II Knights junior team had only five defensemen, so Provorov quickly got used to eating minutes and rarely leaving the ice.

“I’ve been playing a lot all my life,” said Provorov in February. “This is what I like to do. “

This is what he always does at the highest level.

During the NHL shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, Provorov ended up on the ice in the Wilkes-Barre region. It’s hard to stop it. The 23-year-old lives with his former ticket family, the people who helped him grow up in America. The house has a gym for him to workout and nearby there is a private ice rink the size of a tennis court, said Provorov, where he skates solo.

“It’s just me, no one else, so always following the rules with social distancing and all that,” Provorov said Thursday in a conference call. “Fortunately, I am able to skate and train. “

He is happy to meet his family of three sisters and two brothers.

“They are lovely people,” said Provorov.

“When I was 13 I came for a few tournaments and when I was 14 I came for my first year and stayed here for two years and had a very close relationship with the people here.

“It was really nice to hang out with them, just hang out, play games, talk, catch up on things and sit back, look back and laugh whenever we had when I stayed here. Everyone is busy during the year. Three children are in colleges and the rest are finishing high school. Everyone is busy. Probably three, five times a year, they can come to the games. In previous years, I always went there for the Christmas holidays. It was really nice to be here and spend time with them. “

Provorov, who has played just under 24 minutes per game in his four seasons with the Flyers, is training hard (as usual) to keep his level of stamina on a grand scale for when or if the 2019 season -20 resumes.

But not as hard as the offseason. At least not for him.

“In the offseason, there are 10 weeks of hell, ranging from 10 to 11 hours a day,” he said. “Here’s a little less, probably spending about five or six hours trying to stay in shape, maintain, do as many things as I can.” to keep me in shape.

“I train most of the time and skate whenever I can. … I do this for half the day, then half the time, just spending time with my brothers and sisters. “

Like the good old times.

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