Yesterday, Rudy Gobert, of the Utah Jazz, tested positive for the coronavirus. The game the Jazz were about to play last night was postponed, and both they and their opponent, the Oklahoma City Thunder, are under quarantine. Almost as soon as it leaked that Gobert tested positive, the NBA decided to suspend its season indefinitely after last night’s action ended.
Among the other sports adjustments announced yesterday is the NCAA declaring that both the Men’s and Women’s Division I Basketball Tournaments, among many other events, would be played without fans present.
However, the NHL has said they will not suspend the season or make any adjustments to the schedule at this time.
The NHLPA is in constant communication with the league and is consulting with its players.
NHLPA Statement: “We are in continuous contact with the NHL regarding the coronavirus and the recent announcement by the NBA. These discussions will continue tomorrow morning, and we will consult with players before commenting further.”— NHLPA (@NHLPA) March 12, 2020
But many NBA teams and NHL teams share arenas, and it feels like a “when,” not “if” scenario. Hell, by the time this posts, it might be outdated. For now, though, the NHL marches on.
Here’s hoping that when the NHL does, actually, cancel the rest of the regular season, the Islanders are sitting in a playoff spot. (I’d think they’d have to go by points percentage if they do cancel the season before it’s over but keep the postseason because of the uneven number of games that would have been played—in which case the Islanders, as of right now, would be in ahead of the Blue Jackets and Rangers.)
Their visit comes on the heels of some sad news because Thomas Hickey’s brother, Dan, passed away from brain cancer on Tuesday afternoon—Thomas had left Tuesday’s morning skate in Vancouver early to fly to Calgary to be with him in his final moments. A GoFundMe has been created to help support Dan’s wife and daughter. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hickey family in such a tragic time.
- Let’s preview this game while we still can, shall we? [Islanders]
- Barry Trotz spoke about getting back to the basics a little bit yesterday during practice.
"We just tried to reel it in a little bit today. There's a couple of things we simplified that will make it easier for everybody and let's get back to some foundational stuff. Yesterday I liked our commitment and our effort. We're real close to getting somewhere." - Barry Trotz pic.twitter.com/F51WYxr8pN— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) March 11, 2020
- The Islanders really did have a few bright spots in their loss to the Canucks. The problem, of course, is that the loss was their seventh consecutive. [The Athletic]
- Josh Bailey and Johnny Boychuk were both on the ice for practice yesterday in Cowtown. [Isles Day-to-Day]
- Boychuk knows he’s “extremely lucky” to not have suffered worse injury from the gash he received. [Newsday | Islanders]
- Kieffer Bellows and Travis St. Denis each recorded a pair of goals in the Sound Tigers 4-1 win over the Marlies. Goalie Christopher Gibson made 44 saves. [Sound Tigers]
Last night’s NHL scores include, of particular relevance to the Islanders, the Avalanche beating the Rangers in overtime. Colorado could’ve done the Islanders a much bigger favor by not allowing the Rangers to tie the game with :13.0 left on the clock and not allowing them get a point, but at least they only got one point. They remain a point back of the Islanders, who still sit one point out of a playoff spot.
- I’ll cut the Avs some slack: they had to do it without their best player in Nathan MacKinnon, who’s out for a week or two with a lower-body injury. [NHL]
- The Blues look ready to contend for a second consecutive Cup, if we get that far. [THN]
- Elliotte Friedman did a rundown of anything possible when it comes to how the NHL handles COVID-19. [31 Thoughts]
- The NHL will have more updates tomorrow. As of right now, the Blue Jackets and Sharks, whose overseeing governments have banned events holding more than 1,000 people, have pledged to play games without fans. [NHL]
- But we have to at least consider the possibility that there will be no Stanley Cup champion this season. [Sportsnet]