Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker won their second straight game Wednesday at the WestJet Players’ Championship in Toronto, and the new world men’s champions haven’t yet shown any sign of being too drained to have any success at the Grand Slam of Curling event.
After winning all 13 of their games at the world championship in Edmonton, the Gushue rink only had one day off — with travel — before beginning competition at the Players, where they found themselves in a particularly strong pool with Kevin Koe, whom they defeated in the final of the Brier last month in St. John’s; 2017 Brier bronze medallist Mike McEwen; former world champion John Morris; Alberta champ Brendan Bottcher; and Reid Carruthers, a former Manitoba champion.
But so far so good. Gushue opened with a win over Bottcher Tuesday and followed up with a 6-4 victory over Morris in Wednesday night’s draw at the Mattamy Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens).
Gushue told Sportsnet’s Jonathan Brazeau he believes his team isn’t feeling too much pressure in Toronto, even though they are defending Players champions.
“I think based on what we’ve done over the last month people realize we’re probably a little fatigued coming in here and I would imagine for a team that’s had the couple years that we’ve had, I think the expectations are pretty low actually, to be honest,” Gushue said. “If we can get through the round robin, find a way to get to Saturday, I’m confident we’ll get the engines going and be right there.”
Gushue faces Carruthers this afternoon and McEwen tonight before closing out his round-robin schedule versus Koe Friday evening.