One of the best quotes ever about the game of hockey comes from the great Jim McKenny. He said, “half of the game is mental, the other half is being mental.”
In 2020, playing hockey inside of a bubble, staying mentally sharp both on and off the ice is going to go a long way in determining which teams succeed and which fail.
You’ve got nothing else to do. You (only) think hockey. -Jonathan Machessault
Literally plucked away from their families, friends, and society as a whole, the NHL’s method of keeping players safe is working incredibly well, but it’s also bound to start taking a toll on the minds of the players involved.
It’s hard. You know, you talk to them every day and also as a parent you miss a lot of things. My one-year-old started walking and my two oldest have started school. So it’s really unfortunate to miss those. They are asking me every day how many days until they are going to see me but I mean it’s hard for me to give them an answer. -Marchessault
The Golden Knights have been in the “bubble” for 23 days and they aren’t even through the first round of the playoffs. If things go well, that number could reach north of 60.
The league’s plan at the beginning was to allow players’ families to join for the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final, but those plans remain “up in the air” according to NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.