No one is asking you to feel sorry for the players of the National Hockey League players who are currently fighting for the Stanley Cup in two bubble cities far from their families.
But it is true: the guys are trapped in a hotel room, waiting to play games, without seeing their loved one, being home with their wives and kids and taking a break from the tough competition between games.
Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness, whose team advanced to the second round last night in Edmonton, tried to explain it as best as possible, per The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro.
“I don’t think people understand how hard it is to live in this bubble,” Bowness said. “I’m just telling the people that this isn’t as easy as you think it is.
“I can only speak for myself. I’ve gone a couple of days where I haven’t even gone outside. Because the way we’re set up here, the hotel is connected to the rink so you walk from the hotel through the tunnel, get to the rink, then you go back into your room. You’ve really got to make a concerted effort just to get outside and get some fresh air. That applies to every player on every team, so it’s not just us. Everyone is making the best of it that we can, and give everyone a lot of credit.”
Unfortunately, things won’t get any better for players and staff who were told families would be able to join them at some point. The NHL delivered some tough news on Friday morning, per John Shannon, announcing that families will not be joining the bubble in Conference Finals.
Teams and players have just been informed and we can understand how hard of a blow it is for them.
We still don’t know if something will be done for families to join the players who reached the Stanley Cup finals.
As for now, teams will need to keep supporting themselves throughout this strange process. As for the Stars, coach Bowness revealed that his players need to get out of the hotel to relax in the fresh air. The team is going to take a bus over to the CFL football stadium in Edmonton; it’s going to be a mandatory team trip and one built around getting players out of the monotony of bubble life, per Shapiro again.