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Vegas Golden Knight Jon Merrill Surprises His Young Daughters After Returning Home From Playoff Bubble So Have A Handkerchief Nearby

"Dada, did you win?"

"No...but I'm home."

Giphy Images.

Over the last month or so of Spittin' Chiclets, we've frequently mentioned how difficult it is for every person* who committed themselves to life in a playoff bubble for possibly as long as three months. Whether you're cleaning the ice or skating on it, it's a huge mental battle to be isolated from your family and friends to work every day in a confined area for an unknown amount of time (and it's much tougher for some folks than others). A couple of recent guests spoke about how taxing the mental grind this 'SLAP SHOT meets GROUNDHOG DAY' existence could become after the newness of it quickly wears off.

"Yeah, Johnny always says you can just screw so much and drink so much."

Yeah, sure, they make good money and weren't exactly doing a bid at Pelican Bay. But they're also human beings dealing with the same mentally and emotionally challenging bullshit we've all dealt with during quarantine---except without having their wives, kids, and/or best friends under the same roof to lean on when they need to. I'd be willing to bet there are plenty of players whose happiness at finally being home trumped any sadness at coming home Cup-less. 

See Exhibit A above. Vegas Golden Knight Jon Merrill was a depth defenseman for a contending squad during this post-season. He played 14:08 vs. Vancouver on August 30 in his lone appearance. Before and after that game, he was prepared and ready to go at a moment's notice. I'm guessing the bubble was probably tougher for guys like himself who had to do the same work as everybody else knowing it was unlikely that he'd see precious TOI during a Stanley Cup Playoffs game.

Jon Merrill returned home without a Stanley Cup. But seeing the video of him surprising his three daughters in their garage after finally coming home makes him a winner in my book. 

(*---Denotes players, trainers, equipment guys, coaches, front office/game day staff, refs, linesmen, off-ice officials, media, ice crew, custodians, food service workers, NHL staffers, health service workers, arena workers, security folks, and any other folks I inadvertently left out. Sincerely, hockey fans thank you very much for pulling this off.)