Haliburton’s Matt Duchene is back on the ice, training with the Nashville Predators as they prepare to return to NHL action in the next few weeks.

Duchene has been recording the #DucheneDiaries on Twitter for @FifthThird and posted an update July 14.

In it, he said it was great to be back with his teammates, wearing the Predators logo, and being back in Nashville.

He said July 14 marked his first day back at the rink with his teammates.

“It was nice to get back into our dressing room and see everybody and get on the ice and start to put some work in together again.”

Number 95 said he had been looking forward to being back with his teammates in the locker room.

“The best thing about playing hockey is the camaraderie amongst each other,” the former Highland Huskies player said. He said he had an 800-square-foot training facility at his home, but at the rink they have a “great” weight room, which is built for the style of strength training their strength coach employs.

As for the team’s chances, he said, “Before COVID hit we were really climbing as a group. We were getting back to where we should be based on the talent we have. I’m excited about where our team was heading before COVID and I think we’ll hopefully pick up where we left off in terms of that mental vibe. I’m exited for all of us to get back together.”

Duchene said the mental side of things going into the playoffs is going to be the biggest challenge in his opinion. He said preparing physically for it is much easier.

“The best way to attack it is just go day-by-day. It’s just about having a good workout. Getting on the ice and feeling good. Just worry about everything as it comes. We want to stay fresh mentally. This is going to be a marathon. It’s not going to be a sprint. There’s just too many unknowns to really start preparing or overpreparing now so for me, it’s just a day-by-day thing.”

The Predators’ first round is against the Arizona Coyotes beginning Aug. 2 in Edmonton.

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