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It was bound to happen. Someone was going to suggest that a league championship won in a bubble setting wasn’t “real.” With the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup title the first to conclude in a North American bubble, they’re getting the brunt of the hate, and they’re not happy about it.

Canadian columnist and radio host Damien Cox tweeted his criticism at the conclusion of Monday’s clinching Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals. 

“Not as difficult to win a Cup when there’s no road games, no travel,” Cox wrote. “Still a difficult thing to win it all. Tampa gave lots of sweat and blood to make this happen. But let’s not compare bubble hockey with the real thing.”

STANLEY CUP: How the Lightning handed off the Cup

Two Lightning players have posted on Twitter directly in response to Cox’s tweet. Defenseman Mikhail Sergachev, who scored a goal and dished out two assists in the series, pointed to the lack of rest afforded to players in the bubble.

Tampa Bay’s energy forward Barclay Goodrow, who had an assist in Game 1, shot back at the critique even before Sergachev, outlining the overall lifestyle difficulties of the bubble environment.

A handful of former NHL players have also tweeted back at Cox with their own criticism of his take. Those include former goalie Chris Mason, former defenseman Brent Sopel and former wingers Theoren Fleury and Chris Dingman.

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September 30, 2020
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