Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are okay with going right into the playoffs if the NHL season resumes

The question of how to proceed with hockey once the NHL season returns — if it even returns at all — is one that has been hanging over the league since commissioner Gary Bettman announced earlier this month that he was putting the season on pause amid the coronavirus outbreak. For two of the game’s biggest stars, the solution is to get right into the peak of the sport’s action and start things up with the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“You try to get in as many games as you can. I wouldn’t mind starting right at the playoffs,” Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby said, according to Sam Kasan of Pen Inside Scoop. “But there are a lot of guys in different situations. The more games you can play, the better (the) integrity of it.”

Washington Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin echoed the sentiment his Canadian rival in a video conference call between reporters and certain players Thursday.

“For us it is better for playoffs to start right now. We don’t want to play extra games,” Ovechkin said, according to the Samantha Pell of the Washington Post. “I would rather play playoffs right away. Sorry, guys.”

Unsurprisingly, not every player feels the way that these two legends do. Anders Lee, a winger for the New York Islanders, likely disagrees as his team sits a few games outside of the playoff picture. Flyers forward Claude Giroux said that it’d be good to have a few regular season games so that postseason spots aren’t just handed out.

“It would be good to get a few games before playoffs,” Giroux said, per the Flyers. “Especially for teams fighting for a spot. Whatever is most fair for everyone.”

The NHL season has been paused since March 13, and while there’s been no official announcement of the league’s plan going forward, teams are reportedly being asked about their arena availability through August, suggesting that hockey could go into the summer months.

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