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Carlyle worried Kessel, JVR will be emotionally flat after Olympics

Jan 4, 2014, 2:50 PM EDT

Phil Kessel AP

Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle is happy that Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk were asked to be part of Team USA’s roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but he is worried about what they’ll be like when they get back.

“If we want to be selfish about the Toronto Maple Leafs,” Carlyle told the Toronto Star, “sometimes those things don’t work out the way you’d like them to work out because we know they’re going to another level of hockey, the highest level at the Olympics. Coming back to here after, sometimes the emotions are flat. Some people don’t have anything left.”

Carlyle said he saw that from Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Scott Niedermayer when they returned to the Anaheim Ducks after winning the gold medal with Team Canada in 2010.

His concerns speak to a larger issue about the potential impact the Olympics might have on the battle for the Stanley Cup. The biggest concern is that a star player suffers a serious injury during the international tournament, but fatigue — emotional or otherwise — could also prove to be a problem, especially when you factor in the timezone difference that comes with playing in Sochi, Russia.

That being said, because the Olympics will involve the star players of every team, all 30 squads are basically in the same boat. That’s especially true when you keep in mind that those that don’t participate in the games will have to wait around for a couple weeks and potentially get rusty. So in the end, every player might be impacted to varying degrees.

  1. penguins87and71 - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    I just don’t understand Carlyle’s thinking. He does know that these guys are professionals right? The Leafs are still in a playoff spot right now the players should have all the focus in the world after the Olympic break about making the Playoffs. Now if the team was out of contention that would be a different story.

    • titansrbeast - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Yeah, if anything wouldn’t the Olympics just make these guys more motivated, knowing that they’re on a high enough level to compete in Sochi? Idk, but I would be PUMPED if I was them and would want to bring the level of play back to Toronto, or whichever city for that matter.

  2. joey4id - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:11 PM

    Oh! Enough! Already! Every other player from other teams in the NHL playing in the Olympics can experience the same. So it all evens out. Just win!

    • titansrbeast - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:18 PM

      Exactly, it’s just part of the game to them. They will continue as always.

      • c9castine - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        as a hockey player, i never got sick of trying to win.

        i imagine when you make it to the NHL, you probably have a little of that in you, right? carslyle is weird, complaining about HBO and cameras and now the olympics having negative effects on your players…if you think they are bothered by these things as multi-million dollar pros maybe you should be trying to coach them through that and toughen their skin.

  3. penguins87and71 - Jan 4, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    If anything it should the players like JVR and Kessel more confidence, knowing that they made the Olympic team.

  4. csilojohnson - Jan 4, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    They are all pros but also all human.
    You can become emotionally drained just as you can physically and mentally. Chance at Olympic gold for their country is the ultimate high for these guys.
    What goes up must come down.

  5. csilojohnson - Jan 4, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Wouldnt say it is a given though.
    Some guys have more heart then others.

  6. sunderlanding - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:38 PM

    To bad the Olympics are going to get in the way of me watching the NHL. I dream of the Stanley Cup, and couldn’t care less about the gold medal and the corrupt IOC.

  7. muckleflugga - Jan 4, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    quoting csilojohnson:

    ‘what goes up must come down’

    most of the time…?

    johnson…nice handle

  8. penguins87and71 - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    If Kessel and JVR can’t get up for the stretch run to the Playoffs then they shouldn’t even be in the NHL.

  9. terrier92 - Jan 4, 2014 at 6:39 PM

    It is mind boggling to consider that Toronto has not been to a Stanley Cup final since the original expansion . God bless Leafs fans they are insanely loyal but wow that is putrid performance given their resources and history

  10. chadhungwell - Jan 5, 2014 at 5:30 AM

    They are both 1-way players. They don’t worry about defense. They’ll still lead Toronto to a disappointing season.

  11. warrenhajr2013 - Jan 5, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Thanks also a LOT and a LUMP for that this i of Mr. Dadoun’s said accounts recounts also that Carlyle STILL feels worried Kessel, van Riemsdyk will be emotionally FLAT after mmxiv Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, for all iii of them, for fans of Maple Leafs, for others and even for us, too…. However, I STILL KNOW also that even though I’m NOT from Ontario, STILL I want to write that this even says also, Thanks also a LOT and a LUMP for that despite that this STILL cites also their coach worried they BOTH will be emotionally FLAT after mmxiv Winter Olympics in that said Russian city, STILL we’re happy also that they’re also NOT giving up nor giving in on the season for themselves, for fans of Maple Leafs, for others and nor else even for us, too….

  12. bsfan77 - Jan 5, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Leafs cant get much worse then they already are this year.

  13. tmoore4075 - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Well comparing it to my Red Wings team 4 years ago, they came out of it strong. Granted they were getting a lot of guys back from injury but they came out flying. I think it energzied them. One guy in particular was Brian Rafalski. He was looking slow and tired before the break, but looked great in the Olympics and came back playing better.

    As some have said, a lot of teams have to deal with the same thing. I don’t think it’s advantage or disadvantage to anyone. There are still more players not going, than going on any one team. That rest for a few weeks I think is a good thing in a long season.

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