Peter Laviolette on wearing mask behind the bench: 'My mother will be happy'

Kevin Brown
·2 min read

Laviolette on following mask rule: 'My mother will be happy' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

In Peter Laviolette's first media availability since learning details of how the 2021 season will be played and regulations that will be enforced to make sure the games do get played, the new Capitals coach's reasoning to follow one rule was quite a good one.

That rule -- the requirement for NHL coaches to wear masks behind the benches during games, as announced by the league last week. 

"It'll probably be good for me," Laviolette said. "Nobody will see what's coming out of my mouth, so my mother will be happy, I think."

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Hockey is a sport entrenched in trash talk, but perhaps more importantly from a coach's perspective is the fact that no teams scouting the Caps will get a peek at what the first-year coach will be saying during the games. Having a happy mother due to the absence of lip-reading some swear words is certainly a good thing. Laviolette, who has coached the Predators, Flyers, and won a Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes, probably prefers the strategic advantage a bit more important.

At the end of the day, though, Laviolette is happy to do whatever it takes. 

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"Everybody's dealt the same hand and we'll deal with it. If that's the protocol and these are the rules, I respect them and we'll get it done," Laviolette said. "It's a different time that we're living in right now. I'm just excited to be back, I'm sure everybody's excited to see everybody back. If my advice today is wearing a mask behind the bench, I'll gladly do it." 

The NHL has little wiggle room to ensure all 56 games scheduled for the adapted 2021 season, losing precious time with a Jan. 13 start to the season compared to the NBA's pre-Christmas start. With greater logistical issues to juggle with having a handful more Canadian teams, coaches will need to follow Laviolette in following all protocols to make sure the spread of the coronavirus is minimized. 

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Washington
+115+1.5O 6.5
Pittsburgh
-134-1.5U 6.5