The New York Islanders’ COVID nightmare isn’t over yet; much like the global pandemic itself, perhaps it just kind of pauses between accelerations.
On a day when multiple NHL teams are facing a growing number of cases and another game was postponed — perhaps that’s due to winter or the more transmissible Omicron variant — Mathew Barzal became the ninth Islander to enter COVID Protocol this season.
That and other topics in Barry Trotz’s post-morning skate availability, including how Barzal has been a big part of the power play’s recent signs of life:
Trotz Pregame Availability pic.twitter.com/SPadgfzPhD— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) December 14, 2021
The Isles are fortunate Barzal is the only one (as of late afternoon), but of course he’s one of their most important players, so his absence hurts. To fill in, it’s likely the recently scratched Anthony Beauvillier re-enters the lineup, though it’s possible Matt Martin does also/instead.
The Isles are in Detroit to face the Red Wings, official start at 7:30 p.m. EST. We’ll see who else is standing at that time.
Just talked to someone in the NHL league office.— Emily Kaplan (@emilymkaplan) December 14, 2021
As of now, there’s been no discussions about pausing the season due to COVID cases.
NHL & NHLPA have a regularly scheduled call (will happen tonight or tomorrow) where they will discuss if there’s a need to enhance protocols.
For the Red Wings, the key difference from last meeting is the return of Brave Unvaccinated Hero Tyler Bertuzzi.
Keep up with other Red Wings happenings at Winging It In Motown.