Craig Berube believes NHL playoffs can be done without fans


In sports, it’s always said that one of the hardest things to do is defend a championship. In the case of the St. Louis Blues and head coach Craig Berube, they’re left to wonder whether they’ll even have that chance.

With the league on pause because of the coronavirus outbreak, there’s been a wide variety of scenarios tossed around.  

“Just playoffs, no fans, things like that,” Berube said in a video interview this week with NBC Sports Philadelphia's Flyers analyst Chris Therien. “The league wants to get it in the best they can. They want to hand that Cup out.”

Berube’s guess is as good as anyone, as the league continues to mull over its options, including playing deep into the summer.

“Maybe a two-week training camp, right into playoffs,” Berube said. “They’re going to do what they can to get this up and running at some point.

“We gotta do what’s right for everybody.” 

Many players, including the Flyers' Sean Couturier, have expressed concerns with finishing the current season and then beginning the next season in close proximity, among other concerns. But for Berube, he’s ready to play whenever and wherever they can. 

“For me, I’m all set to play no matter what," the former Flyers player and head coach said. "I’d love to play. If we have to play without fans, we have to.

“It’s not the best scenario but people are going to watch because they want something to watch. If we can get out there and play even without fans, it just gives people something to do and watch while this is going on.”

There’s arguably nothing that matches the energy of the NHL playoffs and much of that is because of the fans in arenas. Berube said players and coaches may have to find different sources of motivation. 

“I get there’s no fans, but your motivation is you might have a chance to win the Stanley Cup this way," he said. "It’ll never be this way again.” 

Berube’s Blues at the hiatus had the most points in the Western Conference and second most in the entire NHL. Time will tell if the Blues get to “Play Gloria” once again. 

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