NHL Bubble Wrap: Life during Return to Play; Updates on Crosby, others
As the NHL training camp news shifts to playoff bubble news, the surroundings change, but some of the main considerations remain the same. For instance: we’re getting updates on the likes of Sidney Crosby, Dougie Hamilton, and David Pastrnak during this edition of the NHL Bubble Wrap.
Glimpses of life in the NHL Bubble: Food and games seem pretty solid
Confession: I was kind of crossing my fingers for the NHL Bubble food memes.
After all, NBA people had a field day with this one:
To my chagrin, and to more grins for NHL players, it seems like things are pretty top notch so far:
Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy believes that the hub experience will be tight-knit, and feel like a “permanent road trip.”
While that brings up images of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” it sounds like there will mainly be video games and ... Settlers of Catan?
Bryan Rust brought Settlers of Catan to the bubble. Zach Aston-Reese is looking forward to playing it. This is real— Sean Gentille (@seangentille) July 27, 2020
You might be able to kill all the time between Monday and the start of exhibition games merely exploring the details of NHL Bubble life.
- The strange coolers full of snacks?
- Free Tim Hortons, which either sounds lovely or seems like an opportunity to launch #takes about mass-produced coffee and donuts.
- Lots of guitars, too, it seems. Someone needs to up the ante with a keytar, though, IMO.
- Oh, and the creative masks could really get fun. Ryan Reaves got a little meta with his mask:
(Do you have “The Muffin Man” in your head now, too?)
[2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule / NHL on NBC TV schedule]
Injury updates for Crosby, Pastrnak, and more
Moving on from the breakfast (which may occasionally include grits) to the nitty-gritty:
- Mostly good news for Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. Crosby was a “full participant” in Monday’s practice. That said, coach Mike Sullivan said the team will decide if Crosby will play in the Flyers exhibition on Tuesday. Does that make it (drumroll please?) a game-time decision? (That game airs at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN on Tuesday.)
- Let’s keep piling on the happy stuff like ingredients into an omelette. David Pastrnak ranked as a full participant in Bruins practice. He even got up to some rascal behavior. Things aren’t as clear for fellow Bruins winger Ondrej Kase, though.
- The Hurricanes still consider Dougie Hamilton “unfit to play.” Not great for a defenseman who put up Norris-level numbers, although reports indicate the injury at least isn’t related to his broken fibula from earlier in 2019-20. Here’s some comic relief for Hurricanes fans:
Justin Williams was saying no one really recognizes each other with the masks on and Martinook said speak for yourself I have these beautiful caterpillars (eyebrows) 😂— Sara Civ (@SaraCivian) July 27, 2020
- Aaron Ekblad practiced with the Panthers, but isn’t expected to play during the Wednesday exhibition. Joel Quenneville frequently states that Ekblad should be available for Game 1 of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers against the Islanders, though.
- Things seem touch-and-go for Steven Stamkos, yet he said he’s improving. The Lightning have to cross their fingers that Stamkos and Victor Hedman can get up to speed, even if it means sacrificing a bit during the Round Robin portion of the 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
- Max Pacioretty didn’t travel with the Golden Knights and appears day-to-day at best.
- In case you missed it, the NHL reported zero positive COVID-19 tests during the second week of training camps. Keeping the NHL Bubble secure will be key, especially considering the troubling outbreak for MLB’s Miami Marlins.
More on 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers, NHL Return to Play series:
- 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Qualifiers schedule
- A look at the Western Conference matchups
- Previewing the Eastern Conference
- Power rankings: Veterans chase their first Stanley Cup wins