Stars Wait Inside Bubble For Stanley Cup Final Opponent

Dallas Stars head coach Rick Bowness appears to be like as much as Dale Hawerchuk as he’s honored earlier than NHL Western Conference Stanley Cup playoff motion in opposition to the Calgary Flames, in Edmonton, Alberta, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press through AP)

Blake Comeau and the Dallas Stars knew there could be the large sacrifice of being away from their households as soon as contained in the NHL bubble, and people absences have solely been amplified by monotonous gaps with little to do between taking part in video games just about each different day.

EDMONTON, Alberta: Blake Comeau and the Dallas Stars knew there could be the large sacrifice of being away from their households as soon as contained in the NHL bubble, and people absences have solely been amplified by monotonous gaps with little to do between taking part in video games just about each different day.

We mentioned from the beginning of it, the way in which to make it worthwhile was coming dwelling with the Stanley Cup, Comeau mentioned Wednesday.






After 8 weeks in Edmonton, Alberta, whereas staying in a resort linked to the sector the place they play, the Stars at the moment are ready to seek out out if they may play Tampa Bay or the New York Islanders within the Stanley Cup Final.

Theres no different place wed moderately be, particularly now that had been within the finals, than proper right here, interim head coach Rick Bowness mentioned. Is this straightforward dwelling? Absolutely not. … Were all making one of the best of it.

Still, the Western Conference champions want their households may very well be with them to share within the playoff run an expertise taken away due to the lingering pandemic.

Whether its a participant like Comeau, in his 14th NHL season together with his sixth staff and in his first Stanley Cup Final. Or the 65-year-old Bowness, an NHL coach in elements of 5 completely different a long time and now in his first Stanley Cup as a head coach.

Thats most likely one of many hardest elements, Comeau mentioned. Youd like to have your loved ones right here to rejoice with you, however we dont. So hopefully we will win the Stanley Cup and we will rejoice after.

There have been numerous telephone calls and FaceTime chats with household, however the Stars as a bunch have additionally gotten encouragement for dwelling. Bowness mentioned the wives, youngsters and different members of the family of gamers and workers had been requested to ship in private video messages which have been shared with your entire staff.

When had been all sitting collectively, you miss your loved ones, however its a reminder, OK, had been making unreal sacrifices right here. Every evening had been taking a look at these, and they’re private, Bowness mentioned. It additionally retains their households concerned and makes them really feel a part of it. … Its necessary that we make them really feel a part of what had been doing, as a result of we all know the sacrifices theyre making for us.

The gamers themselves have had loads of time to bond collectively, taking part in playing cards, consuming meals and hanging out in a staff lounge collectively between video games. A golf outing Tuesday, the day after wrapping up the Western Conference Final in 5 video games over top-seeded Vegas, was a uncommon enterprise outdoors since attending to Canada.

They are of their largest hole between video games for the reason that season resumed, both 4 or six days.

The Stanley Cup will begin Saturday or Monday, relying on if the Lightning wrap up the Eastern Conference Final in Game 6 on Thursday evening, or if New York extends the sequence to a full seven video games.

Their 3-2 extra time clincher over Vegas on Monday evening, which received the Stars to their first Stanley Cup Final since 2000, was their 21st recreation in 45 days. That contains the round-robin play among the many conferences prime 4 seeds earlier than profitable best-of-seven sequence over Calgary, Colorado and the Golden Knights.

Its nice to have a few days off and get effectively rested earlier than the finals begin, mentioned 21-year-old defenseman Miro Heiskanen, their main scorer this postseason with 22 factors (seven targets, 15 assists).

Bowness put his staff by a uncommon bubble observe Wednesday, and plans one other one Friday after one other off-ice group exercise Thursday.

The Stars had already been contained in the bubble for almost 4 weeks after they ended their first-round sequence in opposition to Calgary with six video games in 10 days. The day after advancing, there was mandated staff outing to Edmontons soccer stadium, the place gamers had been collectively within the sunshine with Frisbees and soccer balls.

That was additionally after they discovered that they might play Game 1 of their second-round sequence in opposition to Colorado the following day. The sequence in opposition to the Avalanche then ended with a Game 7 on a Friday afternoon, with puck drop decided lower than 24 hours earlier than win-or-go-home recreation.

Weve been right here for thus lengthy and weve all form of been into the routine that had been in, Comeau mentioned of the bubble life. I assume you might form of have a look at it in a method as once you had been youthful, going to tournaments. … Spending lots of time collectively as a staff. And weve actually bonded.

Without taking part in mini-stick video games within the hallway and with a a lot greater trophy to attempt to win.

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For extra AP NHL protection: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports


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