The Philadelphia Flyers face the Pittsburgh Penguins in an exhibition game at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 (7/28/20)
What: NHL Stanley Cup qualifiers
Who: Penguins vs. Flyers
When: Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Time: 4 p.m. ET
Where: Scotiabank Arena
When the Boston Bruins boarded their flight bound for Toronto, they thought of it as just another long road trip.
Sure, they were spaced out and masked up on the plane, but they were en route to compete for the Stanley Cup that they fell one win short of earning last season. Patrice Bergeron said he was “excited and looking forward to what’s coming next.”
It unfolded a little differently for Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith when he checked into a downtown hotel Sunday minutes from his house for a stay he hopes will last more than two months.
“Reality definitely set in,” Smith said.
NHL players from the 24 playoff teams woke up to their new reality Monday in the hub cities of Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. Quarantined bubble life began with the league reporting zero positive coronavirus test results last week, and this existence away from the public is scheduled to last until the Stanley Cup is awarded in the fall.
“We asked our group right from the start just to keep open minds because everything’s going to change, everything’s fluctuating constantly, daily, minutely,” Minnesota coach Dean Evason said.
“It’s different. You’ve got a walkway with fences. People can’t see in. You can’t see out. But if you embrace it and are willing just to go with things, it’s pretty cool.”