The gear hung in the customary spot, as if awaiting its owner for the 8 p.m. Hockey Night in Canada start only a few hours away, represented an as-quickly-as-possible hope.
The crutches resting to Kris Versteeg's left the immediate reality.
"Yeah, nice of them,'' said Versteeg, of the No. 10 jersey and accompanying equipment all in place. "I didn't expect that.
"I'm going to need to be here, in the room, around the guys, as much as possible.
"For the sake of my own sanity."