EDMONTON | Of Canada's 10 provincial capitals, the city of Edmonton will never win a competition for its architecture. Without wickedness, it will always stay away from a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Inside the secure zone, aka the bubble, players, coaches and employees of the NHL would dream of getting out. Even to immerse yourself in the abandoned streets of downtown Alberta's capital.
Since the end of July, the Dallas Stars have been confined to a small perimeter. Yes, they stay in a very luxurious hotel at the JW Marriott, but they hardly ever get the fresh air. There is a footbridge that connects the hotel to Rogers Place. Even better for safety in a pandemic. But to ventilate the brain, it is not ideal.
Change one's mind
Rick Bowness once again described his reality inside the bubble.
“I haven't walked on grass for over eight weeks, I haven't had dinner with my wife,” explained the sympathetic Stars coach. Yes, we are in the playoffs, we are focusing on hockey. But you need a break in life, especially when you're in the middle of the playoffs. You are trying to take your mind off things.
“I like to run, but I like to do it outside. I can't do this now. It's hard to live in the bubble, but there isn't another place we want to be. We have the chance to play for the Stanley Cup. The NHL has done a phenomenal job of keeping everyone healthy. I'm 65 and grateful for the efforts of the NHL. I had doubts when I left Dallas for the secure area in Edmonton. I have no more doubts now. It is very safe. We get tested for COVID-19 every day and we wear our masks. It is probably the safest place.
“Despite that, I have to admit I miss the little things in regular life. I can't do the same things that normally allow me to relax. But like everyone else, I adapt. ”
The Stars will continue their journey once again without Radek Faksa. Injured in Game 3 of the Western Finals against the Vegas Golden Knights, the center has now missed the last four games. Bowness said he is still not in good enough physical condition to play.
Blake Comeau, who conceded a hard-hitting check from Ryan McDonagh in the last game, could also be absent for Game 3 of the Final against the Lightning.