The Dallas Stars are back at work – and wow, has the workplace changed. What’s it really like inside the NHL’s Stanley Cup bubble, from the players’ perspectives?
With The Athletic’s Sean Shapiro as his amanuensis, Stars forward Jason Dickinson is gathering his observations about what it’s like to play under pandemic precautions. The novel coronavirus affects everything, starting with how players packed for the trip:
I’m not sure how it’s going to work at the end of this, but I’m basically prepared so that I could leave from here and not have any of my clothes missing. Everything is going to be with me. It was weird we don’t normally pack like this – like, I never bring my Xbox on the road, so I had to think about that. And now I’ve got two backpacks with me; I never have that.
So little things start to come up, like, if I’m here for this long I’m gonna want my Xbox, and I’m going to want some extra snacks that I brought so I don’t have to order in. Just little things that you wouldn’t normally think about that just came up.
Dickie also shares his thoughts about life in the bubble – from the COVID-19 testing stations, to the strangeness of doing media availability via Zoom, to playing in front of cameras instead of fans:
We played the first exhibition game in the empty arena on Thursday against Nashville. At first, I don’t know if I was feeling like it was a real game – I wasn’t feeling the emotion, and I wasn’t really into it. But after the first five minutes, I got back to normal, and I kind of created a bit of my own energy, and I felt better about where I was emotionally and in my head mentally.
After that, I didn’t notice anything about it being an empty building. Then I was just playing, at that point.
Sean has much more. [The Athletic DFW]
The Stars don’t have to qualify to play – but the round-robin could still do them a world of good, writes Mike Heika.
A unique opportunity in a unique season#GoStars https://t.co/v2Yebfd8G0— x-Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 3, 2020
So what’s it like trying to broadcast the Stars’ Edmonton experience from an office in Las Colinas? Matthew DeFranks asked the FOX Sports Southwest team about it.
On reality television, blind dates, goal songs, and how Fox Sports Southwest is producing and broadcasting Stars games 2,000 miles away from Edmonton: https://t.co/tB9fQzCPD1— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) August 2, 2020
Around The League(s)
- The Chicago Blackhawks won a 6-4 goals rush against the Edmonton Oilers, with rookie phenom Dominik Kubalik racking up five points. [Second City Hockey]
- The Winnipeg Jets suffered a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames, but they may have been lucky enough not to lose Mark Scheifele for the series. [Arctic Ice Hockey]
- The Nashville Predators stumbled out of the gate and rallied too late to catch the Arizona Coyotes, who started their series with a 4-3 win. [On The Forecheck]
- Nazem Kadri’s epic buzzer-beater helped the Colorado Avalanche stun the St. Louis Blues 2-1 in regulation. [Mile High Hockey]
- And Alex Stalock earned the shutout as the Minnesota Wild started its series with a 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. [Hockey Wilderness]
TSN’s Sara Orlesky posted the latest about Scheifele, who took a skate blade to the back of the ankle from Matthew Tkachuk.
A source tells me tonight that Mark Scheifele's injury is not believed to be long term but he is still doubtful for game 2 Monday afternoon. Patrik Laine is also doubtful. #NHL #TSN— Sara Orlesky (@saraorlesky) August 3, 2020
This is what Kadri’s last-tenth-of-a-second heroics looked like in real time.
In case you missed the CRAZINESS of Nazem Kadri (@43_Kadri) scoring the GWG with 0.1 seconds left... #StanleyCup Round Robin— NHL (@NHL) August 3, 2020
Read more: https://t.co/8D58Wd6TKB pic.twitter.com/wzYUQLbRIf
It didn’t take long for an officiating controversy to erupt, courtesy of Michael Ferland and his beef with Ryan Hartman, who was on the bench at the time.
A little context on why Micheal Ferland wasn't suspended: https://t.co/y464D4R1gI— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 3, 2020
It may be a good thing if you’re working from home right now, because you can watch the hockey without muting it.
Here’s what to expect from the NHL slate today. Six (!!) games on the schedule https://t.co/ksjSdmXKTp— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) August 3, 2020
Place your bets: Who will be next to follow the home of the Washington Capitals?
Box office at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. has been turned into a temporary sportsbook and is accepting bets now. Permanent sportsbook in arena expected to be completed this fall.https://t.co/fK4MK4Lo1X— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) July 31, 2020
The Toronto Maple Leafs lost yesterday, but Auston Matthews did go bar down on Steve Simmons, who revealed Matthews’ positive COVID-19 test back in June. [theScore]
“First of all, it’s unfortunate I’m getting a question from you at this point, Steve. I just wanted to say that I didn’t appreciate the article you wrote about me a couple of months ago. I thought it was a bit unethical, to be honest."— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) August 3, 2020
- Auston Matthews to Steve Simmons pic.twitter.com/qAwEnFAnYd
“I have a mic today. I have a mic on me.” Get ready to make Anton Khudobin’s laugh your new ringtone.
We mic'd up Dobby at practice— x-Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) August 2, 2020
Yes, he is indeed a national treasure pic.twitter.com/pf4qmGtoP2