Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine doesn't see himself playing at his usual star level if the 2019-20 season resumes.
"If I look at myself and think about myself, my game will probably look terrible since I haven't skated in two months," Laine told reporters on Friday. "It's always difficult to come back after a long period when you haven't skated."
Laine said she does not have an opinion on the 24-team Stanley Cup playoff format. If approved, the group would link the Jets against the Calgary flames in the first round with the winner facing seed # 1 in the Western Conference.
"I don't personally care," said the Jets winger from his home in Tampere, Finland. "I just want to play and I can do whatever format they choose. It's still just hockey, but I don't care about the format. It's not a problem for me."
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The NHL is reportedly targeting two or four "core cities,quot; to complete the season, with Las Vegas, Minnesota, Edmonton and Vancouver as the top candidates. Some players voiced opposition to the idea of being quarantined away from their families for several months in case their team has a deep playoff career.
For Laine, it would be the same as always.
"I think I have to bring my computer to play video games," said Laine. "I think it will be boring, but if that's what it takes to play hockey this summer, that's fine with me. I don't care and I don't need to go anywhere other than my hotel room, so that would be normal. me on the road. If need be, I don't care. "
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The 22-year-old was on his way to having the best season of his young career before the season was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 68 games, Laine recorded 63 points, including 35 assists, the highest in his career. He said it was his most complete season yet.
"I took some important steps this year, especially in my full game. It was the first time in my career that I had more assists than goals, so I hope that doesn't happen again," reflected Laine. "But yeah, the whole game was good this year. I got more consistency in my game. It was a good year. Too bad we had to stop the season."
This season, Laine has been on the second line with center Cody Eakin and winger Nikolaj Ehlers, as Winnipeg's top line consisted of Kyle Connor, Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler. He admits having to keep improving all areas of his game to be a front-line striker.
"I think it's just as a producer and hopefully as a front-line player. Obviously getting more points is one and being even better in my full game, which improved a lot this year," said Laine. "But there is always a lot of room for improvement. Maybe some PK in the future, who knows. But yeah, just more ice time, more responsibilities, and just better overall."