From golfing to axe throwing, here’s how the Dallas Stars have been spending their off time in the bubble
The stars are used to the bubble. They are just not used to taking time out in the bladder.
With the Stars playing against St. Louis in the last round robin game on August 9, the team had no more than a day between games – apart from the two-day strike in the second round. But after sending out the Vegas Golden Knights in five games in the Western Conference Final, the Stars had the luxury of waiting for their opponent in the Stanley Cup Final.
You just have to find a way to pass the time.
“At this point it just feels like that is the norm,” said striker Blake Comeau. “We’ve been around for so long and we were all in a routine. They don’t have a lot of entertainment options so I think we really bonded as a team, just hanging out in the lounge, playing cards, hanging out, eating together. “
The stars went to play golf on Tuesday. They practiced Wednesday. They did an off-ice stretch on Thursday and then spent some time bowling and throwing axes.
Dallas Stars player Tyler Seguin (center) will start on a driving range during an ice break in Edmonton, Alberta on September 9, 2020.(Jeff Toates / Dallas Stars)
Sunday marks eight weeks for the stars in the Edmonton Bubble. Unlike some of the Western Conference teams that switched hotels or the Eastern Conference teams that traveled from Toronto to Edmonton, the team has been at the JW Marriott the entire time.
“I think it changed our team,” said general manager Jim Nill. “We are in this bubble together. We eat in the same room every day. They are playing cards in the room. They watch golf on TV together. They are always together. “
Interim coach Rick Bowness said the team can now see “the light at the end of the bubble” as they know the team will return to Dallas after the next series, win or lose.
“It took us a couple of days,” said Bowness. “We have a few people who are done. You are tired. Talk to a few veterans today, “Okay, we have a few days off.” They really want to play again. “
While Bowness did not specify which Stars players needed rest to heal agonizing injuries, Nill said there is no team at this point in the postseason without players taking pain injections or numbing body parts to play.
Do the stars want so much rest? Or does it turn to rust?
In this postseason, teams with at least four days off before game 1 of a series are 5-3. The Lightning had six days off before beating the Islanders 8-2 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Final. The Hurricanes had seven days off before losing to Boston in double overtime from Game 1.
“It’s different,” said Bowness. “We’re definitely using it to rest for some players who are really nuts. We needed the break. “
Bowness said the stars would train again on Friday to regain their puck skills and strengthen their overall team structure.
“It’s a bit better than playing every other day, so it’s good to have a few days off there,” said Miro Heiskanen.
Injury update: Bowness said goalkeeper Ben Bishop, center Radek Faksa and defender Stephen Johns were unfit to play. Bishop practiced Wednesday and skated Thursday, Bowness said.
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