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St. John's coach Doug Plumb not sure all that rest is best for the Edge

After playing six road games in nine days earlier this month, the St. John's Edge could have used a break ... and they got one. When the Edge host the London Lightning Saturday night at Mile One Centre, it will be 13 days from their last game. St. John's coach Doug Plumb, shown in this file photo, hopes the benefits of the time off outweigh the negatives that might come with such a lengthy hiatus. — St. John's Edge photo/Jeff Parsons
After playing six road games in nine days earlier this month, the St. John's Edge could have used a break ... and they got one. When the Edge host the London Lightning Saturday night at Mile One Centre, it will be 13 days from their last game. St. John's coach Doug Plumb, shown in this file photo, hopes the benefits of the time off outweigh the negatives that might come with such a lengthy hiatus. — St. John's Edge photo/Jeff Parsons

When his team plays London Saturday at Mile One, it will be its first game in almost two weeks

The St. John’s Edge are on a roll, winners of four straight and 10 of their last 11 games to climb into first place in the National Basketball League of Canada’s Central Division.

Now, coach Doug Plumb hopes the momentum his squad has built hasn’t lost steam with a lengthy break between games.

The Edge (11-6) play host to the London Lightning — the same team which ousted St. John’s from last year’s playoffs, en route to its second straight league championship — Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at Mile One Centre, the first couple of games for St. John’s in 12 days since wrapping up a six-game road trip Jan. 6.

“The scheduling thing is whole other topic of discussion,” said a frustrated Edge coach Doug Plumb. “It’s crazy, really.”

Following the London series this weekend, the Edge have another eight days off before the Halifax Hurricanes drop by Mile One for a two-game set Jan. 29 and 31.

In December, the Edge went through two stretches of nine straight days off between games (in fairness, one of those was the Christmas break).

"You don’t need 12 days off. It changes the intensity in practice, and makes it challenging to keep guys bought in, and keep going any momentum that you’ve built up.” — Doug Plumb

By contrast, the Edge won’t much time to sit around in February, with a run of nine games in 16 days, and seven if those are on the road.

In the Edge’s most recent road swing, St. John’s played six games in nine days, in five different cities.

So in some respects, Plumb is thankful for the time off following a tough haul. But 12 days may be pushing it a bit.

“Look,” he said after a team workout at the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Centre, “we’re in Newfoundland, so it can be a challenge, which I can appreciate.

“But to have these bunches of games, and then have nine, or 10 or 12 days off all the time … it’s tough.

“This is our second big break now. It’s not always good.”

The upside from the extended layoff is the Edge are 100 per cent healthy. Carl English, who sat out the post-Christmas road trip with a leg injury, looked fit in practice this week.

“It’s great to get guys healthy, no doubt,” Plumb said. “But you don’t need that much time. You don’t need 12 days off. It changes the intensity in practice, and makes it challenging to keep guys bought in, and keep going any momentum that you’ve built up.”

The Edge and Lightning tangle 6 o’clock Saturday evening and 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon.

robin.short@thetelegram.com


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