Ralph Krueger says the 11 days since the NHL paused its season due to concerns about the coronavirus have felt like a lifetime.
The Buffalo Sabres coach is a citizen of Switzerland, and he's been in Zurich since early last week, in self-isolation, wondering when and if the 2019-20 season will resume.
"Whatever decisions are made, we're going to embrace them and we'll do the best," Krueger said on a conference call Monday. "There's nothing that I cannot imagine as an option here at the moment."
With so much time spent inside, he said he often looks at the Sabres schedule in his office and wonders what might have been. The Sabres have 13 games to play and are 13 points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets and Carolina Hurricanes for the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
But then the first-year coach of the Sabres thinks about the vacant streets outside and knows the world is dealing with a much more serious issue than a race for a spot in the postseason.
"I just came off a conference call with the coaches and it sounds like life here is pretty similar to what people in Buffalo and/or Chicago are feeling, where it's very quiet," he said. "People are extremely careful in their movement and quite disciplined and respectful toward the situation, which we all need to be.
"But the fear factor is in the air. With Italy, Spain, France, Germany kind of surrounding Switzerland there is a lot of buzz and, of course, hope that things get under control soon."
Krueger said the coaches to date have left the players alone during their self-quarantines. He believes they'll keep themselves in shape for whenever hockey returns.
"It's one of those [situations] where sports will be very important out the other end of this, I know that," he said. "We just have to be ready when that call comes, that we do our part to get the world in motion in the right direction again."
A world that is currently in flux.