On Thursday morning it took roughly 2.5 cups of Starbucks coffee (the bold) just to keep my head from hitting the keyboard. And that was just from sitting in front of a TV watching the Rangers battle the Capitals in their 3OT thriller the night before. Imagine if you were New York D Ryan McDonagh, skating 53-plus minutes against the best forwards the Caps could put on the ice. It probably took more than a few ventis to get his motor revving the following day.
But what's it really take to recover from logging so many minutes? ESPN Insider's Craig Custance checked in with Mike Modano, a veteran of three of the longest playoff games in the past 10 years, to see how players go about getting ready to soldier on (Insider). Here's a snippet:
"You try to get as much fluids, IVs in you," Modano said. "Bring some food in. Massages -- trying to do anything to get things flushed out of the system. You try to do all those things, it's a draining night."
A common refrain is that the huge number of minutes will eventually catch up with the Rangers blueliners, particularly McDonagh. Maybe. Maybe not.
Looking back to a similar situation in 2007, Stars D -- and former Ranger -- Sergei Zubov logged 48:43 in a 4OT game against the Vancouver Canucks. The next game, all he did was skate for 28:43, notch an assist, 6 shots on goal and finish plus-2 as the game's first star. It's just one example obviously, but the moral of the story is clear. NHL athletes are capable of sustaining these unexpected spikes in playing time. That's why they're the professionals. Anyone expecting McDonagh or any of the other Rangers to be zombies out there in Game 4 should probably reevaluate their thinking.