We had heard this before in July when Toronto Maple Leafs’ general manager Kyle Dubas told TSN Toronto 1050 that all indications were Tavares would be “good to go” for camp. But on Thursday during an interview with NHL Network, Tavares seconded that report by saying that he was “doing fantastic.” Specific for Maple Leafs’ fans, he saying that he’s healed from both the concussion and the knee injury he suffered during his team’s Game 1 of the playoffs.
So, today’s report isn’t exactly “new” news, but it is good news. It means that when training camp opens in mid-September, which is only a few weeks away, Tavares will be ready and able.
Related: Maple Leafs’ Rasmus Sandin Really Must Be Ready for Prime Time
It Was a Great Offseason for the Maple Leafs’ Captain
During his interview on Thursday, Tavares told NHL Network that “It’s been a great offseason for myself from a health standpoint, but even more so, I think just continue to get back to work and try to get better and recover well.”
However, Tavares did note that he thought having “some time really helps. Really fortunate it wasn’t anything much more than the incident and [I] really came out of the hospital doing really well ever since, and didn’t really have any hiccups or any issues. Just kind of kept building from there. So it’s been a good offseason and I’m doing great. The support from the hockey community has been tremendous.”
Tavares Is Back Working Out On the Ice
Tavares spoke about the informal on-ice workouts he’s been engaged in. He reported that, “For me, it was nice to just kind of get back out and work on some things I wanted to work on.”
He added that he’s appreciated being “on the ice a lot (and reported that he was getting) a good feel for my game and build from there with a good group of guys.”
Tavares Supports Matthews Belief that the Team Was “Going to Get It Done”
One interesting Tavares did say was that he was inspired by comments his teammate Auston Matthews made last week to ESPN. During an interview, Matthews shared his belief that “we’re going to get it done.” By that, Matthews believed the Maple Leafs were going to win the Stanley Cup.
In fact, Tavares noted that he loved Matthews’ comments. But he also added to what his teammate said. “We go out there and play to win. And you believe in yourself, you believe in your group and your team. And I think we’ve shown many great things in my time here over my first three years and obviously we’ve had some really tough endings to our season, but we’ve just got to keep knocking and banging on that door until we knock it down.”
Tavares Also Noted that He Appreciates Matthews’ Leadership
Although Tavares is the team’s captain, he obviously doesn’t mind when a teammate jumps forward to take a leadership role. About Matthews’ comments, Tavares noted, “That’s one of the best players in the world … so it’s great to see him lead the way he does.”
Tavares also added that “we’re going to find a way to break that door down and get to where we want to get to.”
Related: Why Doesn’t Anyone Talk About Maple Leafs’ T.J. Brodie?
Tavares Is Both Realistic and Philosophical About the Stanley Cup Chase His Team is Engaging
Finally, Tavares admitted that the team’s lace of success has been “disappointing,” but he added that’s what makes the Stanley Cup chase so tough.
His exact words were “You know how challenging it is, this level, this league, year in and year out and many teams before us have faced their own adversity, their own challenges, their own doubts, whether that’s externally or internally, and that’s what makes competing and winning the Stanley Cup so special is really not knowing truly what it takes to get there until you get there, and trying to understand that part of it. So it’s fantastic just to have his presence and his belief in the group.”
It’s hard for anyone to say it better than Tavares did this week. It seems that he’s ready both physically and mentally for the challenge.
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August 28, 2021 at 1:26 pm
Really glad to really hear from Tavares about his really good summer, really doing well and that he really likes Matthews’ really good comments 😛
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