BOSTON (CBS) — Living in a bubble is not necessarily as fun as it may sound. Sure, having no responsibilities is always a plus, as is having other people take care of every meal you eat.
But at a certain point, the monotony of going from hotel to rink, and then back to hotel? It can wear on people.
The Associated Pres’ John Wawrow detailed this phenomenon taking place in both of the NHL’s bubbles, in Edmonton for the Western Conference and in Toronto for the Eastern Conference. While most of the story detailed the drag that can affect the psyches of players and coaches who are living apart from their families, it also included a quote from Brad Marchand that flipped that reality on its head.
“We’re all sacrificing to be here, so I think the drive is there to want to make it all worth it,” Marchand said. “So when you get on the ice, you want to win, because otherwise this whole thing is for nothing. It’ll be worth it if we win. So it’s that fear of losing, I guess, that kind of drains you mentally, and being away from the family.”
Marchand’s outlook is noteworthy, as the Bruins are a team with clear Stanley Cup goals, after coming up one win shy of winning it all a year ago. Teams that entered the bubble on the periphery of the playoff picture might not have been able to delude themselves into such a line of thinking.
Nevertheless, “bubble fatigue” shouldn’t be an issue for the Bruins anymore. They’re in the midst of what will certainly be a heated series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, one that will keep them engaged on game days and exhausted on the days in between.
If the Bruins lose, they leave the bubble and go home. If they win, they’ll not only be playing in the high-stakes conference finals, but they’ll also be moving to a new bubble, as both conferences will play their finals in Edmonton. They also may be getting the added boost of welcoming families into the bubble, which the NHL planned for the final two rounds.