BOSTON (CBS) — For professional athletes, working from home isn’t really an option. They’re trying to stay game-ready should the sports world resume at some point, but there has been a lot of hours to fill while much of the country is on lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Bruins forward Charlie Coyle is making the most of his time, staying in shape as much as he can. But without a sheet of ice in his Boston apartment, that is proving to be a tad bit difficult.
“I’m just treating it as my summer training schedule, as if the season was over. I’m working out 4-5 times a week and just doing a lot of body weight stuff,” he said on a Zoom call with Boston reporters Wednesday afternoon. “I got my hands on some weights and other equipment. I bought a Peloton because I needed some conditioning.”
He’s even doing some stick-handling in his living room, and from the sounds of it, hasn’t broken anything. He’s doing it all in hopes of staying fresh for when NHL play resumes.
“You never know what’s going to happen so I’m trying to stay in shape the best I can off the ice,” he said. “I’ve done some roller blades a little bit, get some strength in the legs and get motion down of skating. Little by little, doing different things to stay sharp and healthy for when this thing gets back on track.”
Unfortunately Coyle is like the rest of us and has no idea when — or if — things will get back on track.
“We’ve never been through anything like this, so it’s kind of bizarre. Everything is up in the air and you don’t know what to expect,” he said. “What the format will look like and what we can accomplish, I don’t know. I’m asking the same questions you are and wondering the same things. I hope we can finish this thing on and do it the right way – the same format it would have been as best as possible. But I’m not sure what they’re able to do.
“I just hope we get back to it, get past this thing and everyone is healthy,” he added. “As far as the league goes, I want to finish this off and I know a lot of the other guys do as well. It would be different playing into the summer, but that’s where we’re at. We’ll see.”
When play was put on hold last month, the Bruins were sitting pretty as the best team in the NHL. But with tight playoff races in both conferences, Coyle believes jumping straight to the postseason would be a bit unfair to those teams that were fighting for their spot in the tournament.
“It’s tough because there are so many teams that were so close, on the bubble of being in a playoff spot — how do you decide that? It would be unfair if you just take the first teams or whatever,” he said. “It’s tough to come up with something fair for everyone. I don’t really have a say in what I’d like to see them do. I’m still learning and figuring out more scenarios and ideas. I don’t have a perfect one in my head that I’d like to see. I’m just kind of going with the flow. Seeing what’s out there and what we’re able to do in the best way possible to make it as fair as possible.”
Coyle has been texting teammates to keep in touch, and his new puppy has been keeping him busy when he’s not trying to play hockey in his apartment. He’s even trying to help out more in the kitchen, which has proven to be more difficult than beating an NHL goaltender.
“I’m not much of a cook — I never liked cooking. Now, with everything going on, we order out a lot to support local business, but we also order meals so we can cook,” he said. “We’ve been cooking a lot. My girlfriend is helping me, and probably does the bulk of it. But I can make a mean Caesar salad. Maybe I’ll turn a new leaf after the season.”
Growing up in Weymouth, Coyle is happy that he’s going through this worldwide ordeal close to home. He also took time on Wednesday to reflect on One Boston Day, commemorating those lost in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings.
That day made Boston come together and grow stronger, and Coyle believes getting through the coronavirus pandemic will do the same.
“You remember that day and everyone affected by it. It was such a crazy time. In those hard times you see everyone come together and it makes you proud to be from this area and in Boston,” he said. “All the people, Boston Strong, that whole aspect, it makes you want to keep living by that. With what we’re going through now, it’s another obstacle we all have to kind of come together and do our part to get through this and get passed it.
“In these hard times it helps bring everyone together to get to a common goal. I’d love to get back to our normal lives and I know everyone else feels the same thing. There are people who have been laid off and are scratching and clawing to provide. You don’t want to see that happen but it’s where we’re at, and a lot of people are helping others. You see a lot of people come together at these times,” he said.