Just one participant in NHL historical past has performed extra video games in a single season than Ryan O’Reilly is about to when he hits the ice for Recreation 7 of the Stanley Cup ultimate. However it may very well be argued that no participant has performed as many video games at a degree as elite.Ryan O’Reilly|Brian Babineau/NHLI by way of Getty ImagesBOSTON – When Ryan O’Reilly steps on the ice Wednesday night time for Recreation 7 of the Stanley Cup ultimate, it is going to be the 108th time this he has finished so this season. There’s most likely no one on this planet who has performed that many video games in 2018-19.
Test that. There’s truly most likely some eight-year-old child on the market who performed 85 video games this season for an elite travelling staff, then had his insane mother and father put him on a spring staff that performed in a bunch of tournaments. That child might need performed extra, however that’s a rant for one more day.
Really, O’Reilly is flirting with historical past with regards to the quantity of video games he’s performed. Just one participant in historical past has performed extra. In keeping with the Elias Sports activities Bureau, Marcus Nilson performed 69 regular-season video games for the Florida Panthers in 2003-04 earlier than being dealt to the Calgary Flames on the commerce deadline, the place he performed 14 regular-season video games and one other 26 playoff video games for a complete of 109. Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Valtteri Filppula and Anton Stralman all performed 108 for the Tampa Bay Lightning of their run to the Stanley Cup ultimate in 2015.
It’s one factor to play all 82 regular-season video games and 26 extra within the playoffs. It’s fairly one other to play them on the elite degree during which O’Reilly has this season. He and Patrice Bergeron are finalists for the Selke Trophy and O’Reilly can be a finalist for the Woman Byng. And what makes it much more exceptional is that O’Reilly not often takes a day without work, typically skating with the staff even for optionally available practices. And if the Blues are to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise historical past with a street win Wednesday night time, there’s a great likelihood the O’Reilly Issue goes to loom massive.
“Oh yeah, for certain I do know this needs to be the perfect recreation of my life,” O’Reilly mentioned. “However I’m certain everybody in our room feels that as properly. That’s what Recreation 7 of the Stanley Cup ultimate is. It’s everybody bringing every little thing they’ve and our greatest will hopefully beat their finest.”
The way in which O’Reilly works and takes care of himself is a component in all of this. He’s the one participant on both of those groups who performed all 82 video games this season and he missed just one final season. He’s in nice form and he’s very robust mentally. And when he does take part in these optionally available practices, he’s not simply on the market for a leisurely skate. He’s there to work on his recreation, which ought to come as no shock to anybody who sees how his consideration to element makes him probably the greatest two-way facilities within the league. It’s additionally a testomony to his love for the sport.
“I discover once I can exit on the ice and observe sure expertise, that builds confidence for myself,” O’Reilly mentioned. “Simply realizing I’ve put the work in a sure space, if I’ve been struggling at it, I feel that helps me sort of reset and be assured in no matter little talent I’m engaged on. I like getting on the market.”
For O’Reilly, most of these video games have been performed at a particularly excessive degree, even when the Blues have been enjoying terribly. The one fixed in a Blues season that has seen as many downs as ups has been O’Reilly’s play. Even when the Blues have been the worst staff within the NHL, the view from the surface was that it wasn’t on account of O’Reilly, who was truly enjoying a few of the finest hockey of his profession.
“He’s been our most constant participant from begin to end,” mentioned Blues heart Brayden Schenn. “Even after we have been enjoying horrible at the beginning, he was nonetheless some extent a recreation. He was a star proper from the start and he’s been doing all of it playoffs. He does issues at each ends of the ice that assist our staff win. The extra you play with the man you learn the way good he’s and we’re glad to have him on our staff.”
So now Ryan O’Reilly must do it once more yet one more time. You’d suppose that at this level he’d must coax his 28-year-old physique, however that’s not the case in any respect.
“Now we have an important medical employees that retains me collectively,” O’Reilly mentioned. “It doesn’t really feel like that. It appears like there’s one recreation left and go away every little thing attainable on the market.”
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Tags: st. louis blues, stanley cup playoffsConnect: In regards to the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. For sure, it did not work out.