McDavid, Fleury don't think NHL should go straight into playoffs
Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Find out the latest on COVID-19's impact on the sports world and when sports are returning by subscribing to Breaking News push notifications in the Sports and COVID-19 section.

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid and Vegas Golden Knights netminder Marc-Andre Fleury don't think it would be fair for the NHL to head directly into the postseason once play resumes.

The two stars believe some sort of tuneup would be necessary, contrary to what Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby said Thursday.

McDavid is concerned about players' safety, as they would be forced to go from a long layoff to postseason intensity. His Oilers would match up against the provincial rival Calgary Flames if the regular format is used, and there's been no shortage of physicality in the Battle of Alberta this season.

"I don't think we can just step into playoffs," he said during a video conference call Friday, according to Sportsnet's Eric Francis. "Game 1, Calgary comes to Edmonton and guys just run around killing each other and haven't played a game in two months. It will end up the (AHL affiliates) Stockton Heat versus the Bakersfield Condors if that's the case."

Fleury, meanwhile, doesn't think it would be fair to netminders, specifically.

"The biggest thing as a goalie is timing," he said in a separate video call, per The Athletic's Jesse Granger. "The speed of the game is something you have to catch up on, so it would be nice to play some (regular-season) games before starting the playoffs."

However, McDavid adds that if the 2020 postseason does take place, it would make for some very entertaining hockey.

"If we can get back to playing, it could be some of the best playoffs we've ever seen," McDavid said. "Everyone would be rested and healthy."

Flames captain Mark Giordano shares McDavid's sentiment, though he doesn't believe there would be time for any tuneup games. He floated the idea of an alternate playoff format instead.

"I think maybe you go 12 and 12," Giordano said, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. "More teams get in this year. Maybe a couple byes at the top."

The NHL suspended its season March 12 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Comments
McDavid, Fleury don't think NHL should go straight into playoffs
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox