The New York Islanders will not play another game this week as the NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to postpone all games on Thursday to limit spread of COVID-19. NHL facilities will reopen on Sunday, Dec. 26 with games beginning on Monday, Dec. 27.
The NHL and the NHLPA have agreed to the shutdown of all operations from Wednesday, Dec.22 through Saturday, Dec. 25. NHL facilities will not reopen until 2 PM local time on Sunday, Dec. 26. That being said, the Islanders game against the Capitals slated for Thursday, Dec. 23 has been postponed. (NYI Hockey Now)
This season, New York Islanders head coach Barry Trotz has been hard on 23-year old forward Kieffer Bellows. But through Bellows’ struggles for a longer leash, it seems that his ability to make the most of an opportunity could lead to that leash extension in the near future. Here’s what head coach Barry Trotz had to say about his young forward. (NYI Hockey Now)
With talks regarding a potential league-wide shutdown, the NHL decided to allow the teams that can continue to play their schedule the ability to do so. While that decision has been changed, Islanders head coach Barry Trotz believed that if teams could play, they should. The Islanders will already have to make up games and he doesn’t believe it is fair to the athletes, the fans, or the league to make teams play an abundance of games in such few nights in the second half of the season. (NYI Hockey Now)
According to Mark Divver of the New England Hockey Journal, Boston Bruins defenseman Jakub Zboril had knee surgery recently. Zboril left during the second period of the Bruins’ 2-0 win over the Predators in Nashville on Dec. 2 and has not played in a game since. He has missed the team’s last six games with that team termed a lower-body injury. (Boston Hockey Now)
The NHL announced that due to COVID-related issues affecting the New Jersey Devils, the Tuesday game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey has been postponed. A make-up date for the game has yet to be established. New Jersey’s game on Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens was previously postponed. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
At the age of 36, Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin is still getting it done. It seems that he will be on his way to the All-Star Game in Las Vegas, and with 29 percent of all the votes so far, could be wearing a “C” for the Metropolitan Division. Ovechkin is second in the NHL with 22 goals this season and third in points with 47 through 31 games played. (Washington Hockey Now)
Not much went right for the New Jersey Devils in Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. However, Mason Geertsen of the Devils was credited with landing the chirp of the year on Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi. As you all know, Bertuzzi is the lone player in the NHL that did not receive the COVID-19 vaccination and that was used against him on Saturday. Read what Geertsen had to say. (Detroit Hockey Now)
The Montreal Canadiens, along with a majority of NHL teams, will not play another game until after the Christmas break. Their game against the New York Islanders slated for Monday was postponed due to the inability to cross the border. The Canadiens game against the Boston Bruins, scheduled for last Saturday, was postponed as well. Montreal forwards Artturi Lehkonen and Laurent Dauphin have been placed in the league’s COVID protocol. (Montreal Hockey Now)
Florida Panthers rookie Chase Priskie had himself a week in the American Hockey League as he was named Player of the Week. He picked up six points in four games as the Charlotte Checkers went 3-1-0. Priskie, along with a few of his teammates, was recalled to the Panthers as they were shorthanded given COVID-19 and injuries. (Florida Hockey Now)
Vegas Hockey Now beat writer Owen Krepps joined Stefen Rosner and Brendan Azoff of the Backcheck Podcast on Monday. With the Vegas Golden Knights finishing up and sweeping their four-game road trip on the East Coast, the trio discussed the recent Golden Knights games between the New York Islanders and New York Rangers. (Vegas Hockey Now)
There is a battle ongoing between the television company Comcast and Altitude Sports, which broadcasts the Colorado Avalanche hockey games. But it looks like things are moving in a positive direction. Attorney Dan Jacobs, also a part-time host on 104.3 The Fan, Monday reported that Altitude Sports earlier in the day had agreed to submit its anti-trust suit against Comcast to a settlement conference, to be presided over by Denver Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty. Hegarty’s success rate is in the high 90’s. (Colorado Hockey Now)
San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns is currently in COVID-19 protocol. Burns practiced on Dec. 17, but was placed in protocol right after as his test was positive. San Jose was a team that had a major outbreak earlier in the season but it looks they will be okay. Burns also feels fine and all Sharks players were tested the day after Burns went into protocol. (San Jose Hockey Now)
The Vancouver Canucks have not had the “Flying Skate” logo as part of their primary jersey for some time. It has been used as an alternate sweater, not worn often. At practice on Monday, netminder Thatcher Demko was seen not only rocking it on the jersey, but also on his helmet. The rest of his gear was retro-esque and Demko said that it was a mock-up of Canucks of Kirk McLean’s equipment, who played for the Canucks from 1987-1998.(Vancouver Hockey Now)
In the lone game on Monday night, due to all the postponements, the Dallas Stars put up a seven-spot on the Minnesota Wild as they won by a score of 7-4. Not only that but the Stars had seven different scorers in the contest with Mikko Heiskanen and Jamie Benn picking up a goal and an assist in the contest. One would call this a good balance. (NHL)
There has been non-stop discussion about the pass Trevor Zegras made to Sonny Milano. Yeah, you know the one I’m referring to. Leagues all around the world are starting to mimic the play. The latest comes from the WHL, as Portland Winterhawks Cross Hanas flipped the puck over the net to teammate James Stefan, who batted it into the goal. (NHL)
The 2022 NHL Draft is months away but it’s never to early to look and see who the top picks in the draft will be. Logan Cooley could become the first American-born pick in the draft as we shall see how the 17-year old centerman plays when the U.S. competes in the 2022 IIHF World Junior Tournament. (NHL)
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