While arena workers furiously prepared Prudential Center for tonight’s Radiohead concert, there were signs of hockey everywhere. The New Jersey Devils, in their red hoodies, milled around and did off-ice work and media interviews. Some of the Kings kicked and headed around a soccer ball, rode stationary bikes and (of course) did media interviews. At first glance, most players probably groaned at the two-day break between Games 1 and 2 of the Stanley Cup Finals, but given the length and intensity of the game, and the heat and humidity inside the arena last night, a day off didn’t sound so bad today.
Both teams will be back on the ice tomorrow for what figures to be some intense work. Neither team was particularly happy with its effort in Game 1, and while there were some meetings and talk today, it was more about getting the players’ bodies back to normal. Matt Greene, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown and Devils coach Peter DeBoer gave their thoughts on the break…
GREENE: “I think it’s just a recovery day. With two days in between games here, especially with last night going into overtime, and being a hot building as it was, I think guys are just going to get their rest and rehydrate and try to get their legs back underneath them.’’
KOPITAR: “It was pretty hot in the building, and everybody was a little bit dehydrated, so it was good to have another day and recharge.’’
BROWN: “This time of year, rest is pretty important. It’s a grind, just getting to this point. We’ve had a lot of rest, to this point. That first game is always the hardest, when you’ve had a long break, and we found a way to win a game and now we’ll get right back at it.’’
DEBOER: “I think we’d like to jump right back in and play. I’m sure they would, too, after getting a win. I think you want to play, for me, every other day this time of year, that’s the perfect scenario. But we’ll take the time to fix what we have to fix.’’