“The reason I wasn’t at training camp is that I arrived in town on July 2 and over the weekend I was isolated at the hotel, and my first test came back negative on Monday but I kind of had some sort of COVID- like symptoms, ”said the 26-year-old. “So I thought it was better that I take my Monday test and then go back to the hotel and not join the guys at the rink, and of course one of them has ended up becoming positive. And I did a confirmatory test at another lab, at the Montreal General Hospital, the next day Tuesday and that one was also positive. So, roughly, I started my 14 day quarantine. I had sort of seven, eight days of symptoms that persisted a bit. I have recovered and feel back to normal. ”
Kulak, who has collected seven assists in 56 games for the Habs this season, said it was a bit shocking to test positive and described his symptoms as mild.
“You just don’t know how it will affect you and how the symptoms develop and increase,” said the Edmonton native. “Some guys shake it up in a day or two and sometimes it can stick around and it can get, obviously, really bad. So, I was a little afraid of that. But, just as the days went by, I didn’t ‘find too much progress.
“I think my first few days were the worst. When I woke up, I just had a pressure in my head, sort of a dull headache all day. I was trying, because I had my first negative test, I was just trying to exercise in my hotel room, bodyweight stuff, and I could tell I just didn’t have it. energy I should have for the kind of difficulty of things I was doing. It affected my breathing a bit, so I was pretty sure I had it. And when the test turned positive, it wasn’t too much of a surprise to me. There was just a little worry – I hope the symptoms don’t progress to something too serious. continued, I was in talks with the team and the medical staff every day and they were super good to me. ”
Kulak said the symptoms had abated and he’s been feeling better and better since his first return to the ice for a secluded skating session with Xavier Ouellet, who also tested positive for coronavirus early in the Canadiens’ camp.
He rejoined main training on Thursday and said getting in tune with the rest of his teammates would take a few reps.
“Once you get a positive test and that, you are pretty much stopped from any physical activity,” Kulak said. “And I’m in my room all the time. So luckily at first I was moved to a condo in my hotel so I had a kitchen and they had the fridge pre-stocked with food. So they looked after me pretty well like that, so it was nice just to cook a few meals. And my little condo had a little balcony so I could get some fresh air and stuff like that. So that was pretty huge for me.
“It was cool – guys, I kept in touch with all of my teammates every day. So it was good like that. They explained to me what happened day to day at training camp when I missed something. When I got home I just hadn’t lifted any weight or obviously been on the ice participating in drills, moving the puck. And you’ve got 29 other guys flying around the ice with you, so you just kind of have to readjust to that. But honestly, I didn’t feel… I pretty much feel completely normal. I had a good skate (Friday) and I think another good tomorrow and there’s no reason I shouldn’t think that I will “feel 100%.” ”
Kulak also said he did a thorough contact tracing to try to find where he might have contracted the virus.
“I had a long phone call with Santé Québec during my quarantine period and they retraced just about every stage in my life. Kulak said. “I think it goes back to June 22. So we did a little bit of contact tracing and there was another guy I skated with who had tested positive before me – about a week before me. So originally maybe we thought I picked it up, but there was no one else on the skate who had symptoms or tested positive.
“We were keeping our distance on the ice and stuff like that, so I thought there was a pretty slim chance that I would have gotten it back. But we retraced my steps from day to day and all those around me. , and I know I had to give a lot of contact info and phone numbers and I think they were doing their job and calling everyone I was with and making sure they felt good , checked them out and saw what they were doing. ”
With all of that sorted out, Kulak is just excited to be back with his teammates and he’s doing everything he can to prove that he can be reliable in the upcoming Montreal Stanley Cup qualifier against the Penguins. Pittsburgh.
“I think I’m pretty close to being back to my level of play where I’m going to be effective in games, and I feel great,” Kulak said.