Yesterday, critics of Don Sweeney all got a big chuckle as intrepid reporter Amalie Benjamin dropped this particular nugget:
The three first round picks all failed the conditioning test: Senyshyn, DeBrusk, Zboril.— Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) September 10, 2015
Everybody flipped out a bit, especially as that dropped at the same time as Mathew Barzal signed a brand new three-year deal with the Islanders. Barzal, you may remember, was picked immediately after the Bruins' unprecedented first round trio. There aren't a lot of things we can do about that now, besides cry of course, so the focus must return to Jakub Zboril, Jake Debrusk, and Zach Senyshyn.
First of all, let's look at the test they failed. It's a John Whitesides special delivery of pain through exertion. We all know about John Whitesides, who was a highlight of Behind the B and a number of other videos. He's the strength and conditioning coach and maniac for the Bruins, and has been for a while. Let's go back to Amalie Benjamin again on what the test was:
BTW, conditioning test is 300 meters in 1 min or less, rest 3 min, 300 meters in 1 min or less, rest 3 min, 300 meters in 1 min or less.— Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) September 10, 2015
On a standard track, that's 3/4 of the way around. It's just under a thousand feet. You need to average at least 5 meters per second in order to get under 1 minute. Then, after all of that exertion, you need to rest for three minutes and do it again. Here's a video of 300 meters, run in 62 seconds by a 52-year-old runner:
Don't mind the heavy breathing. Anyways, it's tough. But these are pro athletes, right? They should be able to handle that. After all, that simulates a couple of really tough shifts back to back to back. And, most of the Bruins do succeed at the conditioning test. It's not exactly shocking that a couple of kids that haven't actually made the jump to pro hockey yet don't quite measure up.
All three of these kids are at least a year away from making the big club, so this test is essentially meaningless for the Bruins this year. It's fodder for a few chuckles among the peanut gallery of those that don't enjoy the Bruins, but that's about it. If, after a year under the tutelage of Whitesides and crew, they come back and fail...well, it could be a problem.
Then again, Erik Karlsson doesn't do any off-ice training, and he seems to be doing alright. Running sprints on a track is a far cry from playing NHL hockey, as it turns out.