SPORTS-HKN-PLAYOFFS-GET

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins walks off the ice after Tuesday’s victory against the Montreal Canadiens in Toronto.

SEATTLE — Onetime NHL captain Ryan Walter still isn’t sure what to make of the pandemic-modified Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Now a British Columbia-based mental performance coach for athletes and business leaders, Walter admits it “freaks me out a little” to watch neutral-site games with no fans and piped-in crowd noise. He’s found games “fun to watch” but still can’t gauge how players are responding mentally after a 4 1/2-month layoff and with COVID-19 hanging over everything.

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