So far, so good. So far this week the Capitals have successfully traveled to Canada, entered the bubble in Toronto and won their lone exhibition game. The team would appear to be acclimating to bubble life rather nicely. In a recent interview with Sport.SK, Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary provided interesting insight with regards to what life is like inside the bubble. The following is a translation of a portion of the interview.
With the team, you moved from Washington to Toronto, where you will have to restart the season. What does the hockey bubble look like?
“There are strict rules. We have already called Erik Cernak, who lives in the same hotel as us. There should also be Zdeno Chára, with whom I don’t know much, and also Jaro Halák with Boston. It’s more challenging. Each team has three floors. Complete isolation from the others cannot be guaranteed one hundred percent, because we go to dinner together and the rooms are next to each other. ”
What do you have available?
“We have a swimming pool, gym and we can go to the football stadium. Everything is closed. The food is positive. We have a choice of fourteen restaurants where we can eat.”
Do you go directly to the stadium from the hotel?
“Yes, a bus will come to take us for practice or a game. You can also walk to the stadium. The whole road is fenced, no one outside can get there. Overall, the NHL leadership is well organized, as evidenced by the recent days.”
Your team is one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup. Are you mentally prepared to have months in the bubble waiting for you?
“Yes. I came here to be with the team the whole time. I believe we will be here as long as possible.”
You said in the past that you’re not interested in playing games on consoles. How do you spend your free time?
“I started reading a book about mental training from former coach Jaromír Jágr. I watch television series or movies through streaming companies. I was impressed by a documentary about Michael Jordan “The Last Dance”, which I watched.”
Is mental training important to you?
“Clearly, in today’s sport, mental training is a big part of performance. It has a big impact on everything. I experienced my first mental coach on the national team under eighteen years of age. I‘m interested in similar things.”
What can you say about your current situation on the Capitals team?
“I survived the main cut, they sent a few players home before leaving for Toronto. There are currently ten defenders here. I train mainly in a pair with Radko Gudas. We’ll see how it develops. We have one preparatory game, and then we have three games waiting to decide who we will face in the playoffs. I hope I get a chance in them. ”
Do you have a response to your performances?
“No, no, they didn’t talk to me. At the camp they just told me that I would train with the first team. I try to take away the best possible play.”
How satisfied are you with your performance?
“It’s good, even though I had some problems at the beginning. I was in contact with an infected person who had no symptoms, but passed a positive test, so I had to be quarantined for longer. At the same time, I came to America two weeks earlier to adjust well and start fully practicing. Eventually I had to be in a hotel for ten days and I couldn’t even train on the ice. It got on my head a little, but I got over it. ”
You also missed one practice during the camp. What was the reason?
“The problem was that they could not find out the exact result of my test. Fortunately, it was just a mistake and the next day I could practice.”
Teammate Michal Kempný unintentionally hit you in the face with a hockey stick, are you okay yet?
“Yes, I was okay right after. They just had to glue the wound under my eye with a special glue. It was nothing serious. ”
So far, it seems that your mentor in the season is an experienced Czech defender Radko Gudas. What can you say about that?
“Radko is a great man. He explains things to me during practices and is always willing to help me. I am very grateful to him for that. Similarly, Richard Pánik, Michal Kempný and Jakub Vrána. I am happy that we have such a Czechoslovak group here. We spend a lot of time together because everyone is in a bubble without families.”
Has it helped you playing six NHL games this year?
“Definitely yes, the coaches know what a hockey player I am, they know me. They could try me during the season. ”
This was probably your advantage over Adam Ružiček, who had a successful camp in Calgary, but in the end it wasn’t enough to keep him on the team, do you agree?
“I guess so, I’m sorry Adam wasn’t taken. We’ve known each other since we were little, we’re best friends. We also trained together. Over the summer, I saw how he was ready. I thought he would get a chance in preparation. He took it responsibly. I believed he could play in the NHL. ”
Has the team’s respect for your person also increased?
“I do not know if I would be respected. The guys already know me and I’m not a complete newcomer to them. I’m happy they’re counting on me.”
Have you also thought about what it will look like next season, when players may be looking to play in Europe so that they will not be without games for a long time?
“I don’t deal with it now, it’s one of the things in mental preparation. It’s not good to think about things you can’t influence. Nobody knows what it will look like. My only priority is to play the NHL. ”
The last major addition to the Washington Capitals is Ilya Kovalchuk.
“Ilya is a great treat, he fit in. He also goes out with us young people. He has no star rules. It feels like he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone. He’s achieved a lot. He is focused only on winning the Stanley Cup, ” said the Slovak defender.
Fehervary believes that goalkeeper Iľju Samsonova was injured, but his good friend Vítek Vaněček could also get a chance on the first team.
The Injury to Ilya was big, the coaches were counting on him. On the other hand, a chance opens up for Vítek. I believe he will use it. ”
By Tomáš Prokop