NHLers share glimpse of life in hockey’s bubbles

Sportsnet's Gene Principe and Mark Spector discuss how players are adjusting to life in Edmonton's bubble, the Oilers goaltending situation, and the chances of the other Western Canadian teams.

Here’s something we’ve been waiting four and a half months to say:

It’s game day!

Players, staff, and teams continue to give us a glimpse of what life is like inside the NHL’s bubbles. Here’s a roundup of pictures, videos, updates, and other notable developments from Tuesday.

Penguins taking advantage of the amenities

Pre-game soccer kick-arounds were taken up a notch, and… might hotel tennis tournaments be the grown-up version of the hallway mini-sticks battles? (It would be easier on your shins.)

All the sports are being played on Tuesday…

Players in Toronto also have access to TFC’s BMO Field for some time outdoors:

Teams to assess goalie situation during exhibition matchups

Players’ mask game is solid

Cale eats a salad. Kale Makar.

Is age an advantage?

The best-of-five format of the qualifying round series leaves no room for error. It’ll be interesting to see how many teams who win Game 1 will go on to claim the series, and if age has anything to do with a team’s ability to go full-tilt right out of the gate — or if perhaps experience is an advantage.

Bear honouring his Indigenous heritage

Edmonton Oilers defenceman Ethan Bear, who is from Ochapowace Nation in southern Saskatchewan, will honour his Indigenous heritage when he hits the ice on Tuesday against the Calgary Flames. Bear’s sweater will feature his name written in Cree syllabics.

“It will be an honour to wear this jersey tonight,” Bear said. “I feel like I will be wearing it for all those Indigenous players who came before me and those Indigenous kids dreaming of playing in the NHL.”

Someone in the bubble got their Panthers mixed up

Bishop keeping things light

Dallas Stars goalie Ben Bishop has a little fun after his Tuesday media availability.

(At 6-foot-7, that’s a lot of pretend stairs to get all the way down…!)

With the return of hockey, comes the return hockey hair

Salad skates will have extra flow this year.

Serious question: When do playoff beards begin?

Fierce rivals join forces during Anthem to take a stand against racism and hate

The Blue Jackets announced they’ll do the same ahead of their Thursday matchup against the Boston Bruins, and it’s expected more teams will come together and take a stand together moving forward.

Crosby plays vs. Flyers

Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan gave both himself and his captain as much time as they could afford before making a decision on the status of Sidney Crosby ahead of Tuesday’s exhibition game against Philadelphia in Toronto. Crosby missed almost a week of practice after suffering an injury midway through Phase 3’s training camp when he left the ice during a team scrimmage.

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