The NHL is now in the bubble. The teams are practicing in the two hub cities. Tomorrow, the Islanders play their lone exhibition game, against the Smurfs. We are getting there, and getting there fast.
- The Islanders are in The Bubble now. And now that they know (if not see) other teams are around, that makes everything “feel more real.” [Isles]
- They feel safe as they get acclimated. [Newsday | Post]
- Arthur Staple breaks down the state of the goaltending decision. I’d be curious if any of you thought it was ever anything but Semyon Varlamov’s gig to lose. [Athletic] Both will get time in the exhibition game. [Newsday]
- Dan and Mike return to talk about the bubble, hatred and paranoia for rivals, and the surprising situation in Arizona. [Islanders Anxiety podcast]
- In a motif that will be cited again and again, Bubble Life will feel like a road trip and be a chance to bond. (Unrelated aside: I hope it makes the Leafs feel like they’re in a special episode of hell minus all the fans telling them how awful they are.) [Isles]
- Be honest, were there any surprises on the Islanders’ final roster? This is a total Lou/Trotz show. [NYI Hockey Now]
Elsewhere (but really only in Toronto or Edmonton)
Last night’s NHL scores include...nothing but a bunch of highly tested athletes exploring their bubbles.
- Here are all your final rosters for the bubble. [NHL]
- I feel really bad for Coyotes fans right now because we know all too well that PTSD feeling of “What franchise drama is it now?” Suddenly-former-GM “John Chayka is a liar and a quitter.” [Coyotes Insider | Five for Howling] The NHL official site headline (with no byline) makes clear the league’s stance: Quitter.
- What’s next now for the Coyotes? That and 30 or so other thoughts (including an unrealistic Islanders “Maybe if...” about their goalies, and many many Kraken thoughts). [31 Thoughts]
- The Coyotes-Chayka divorce isn’t over. The owner that Chayka helped convince to buy the team wants Gary Bettman to adjudicate. [Sportsnet]
- A look at the good, the bad and the ugly from Chayka’s tenure. [TSN]
- Unlike MLB, which was roiled by a bunch of positive tests on the Marlins, NHL teams are now truly in a bubble. What’s it like? “A permanent road trip.” [Sportsnet]
- Pulsating bubble update: Steven Stamkos might play in the Lightning’s round robin. [NHL]
- The Leafs players are “sophisticated” now. [Sportsnet]
- Remembering Eddie Shack, player and pitchman. [Sportsment]