I guess the New York Islanders are only allowed to play the Vegas Golden Knights on a Sunday. The Isles’ road visit there back in October was a Sunday night (at 10:00 p.m. EST, no less), and now tomorrow’s home game against the Golden Knights is a 2:00 p.m. EST start.
It also means no Islanders hockey on Friday or Saturday. I guess in most seasons that would suck, but these days, maybe that’s not such a bad thing!
And, to take a different tact, who knows if there even will be any more games as rumors swirl of a full-league pause.
Expect more NHL postponements to be announced today. A league-wide pause feels inevitable but for now sense is the NHL/NHLPA will try to power through next few days if possible with case by case approach still…— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 18, 2021
- No updates on Mathew Barzal or Kyle Palmieri from Barry Trotz. [Andrew Gross Tweet]
- Barry Trotz isn’t thrilled with the reinstated restrictions in the enhanced protocols, and neither are his players. [NY Post]
The @NHL and @NHLPA announced today the immediate adoption of enhanced COVID-19 measures.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 18, 2021
These enhanced measures will remain in effect through the Holiday season and the New Year, and will be re-evaluated no later than Jan. 7, 2022.
Full text: https://t.co/kcjziKo2nJ pic.twitter.com/ZOebBUm1zL
- Trotz sees some similarities between Anthony Beauvillier and another player he used to coach, Chandler Stephenson, who has been the top center for the Vegas Golden Knights for the past few seasons. [NY Post]
- Just when it seems like the Isles are picking up some steam, COVID-19 may force a league-wide shutdown through Christmas. [Newsday]
Last night’s NHL scores include the Metro Division and some of the Eastern Conference teams that the Islanders must chase earning at least a point. The Rangers lost to the Golden Knights in the shootout, the Penguins beat the Sabres in overtime, and the Capitals whipped the shellshocked Jets (more on that below).
- Shocking news yesterday as nine-season head coach of the Winnipeg Jets, Paul Maurice, resigned from his position. Why? The guy just seems like he needs a break. It’s not fun for him right now, especially after the pandemic. [NHL]
- But he walked away with one final win. [Daily Faceoff] And then the Jets got waxed last night without him.
- Commissioner Gary Bettman heard Jason Spezza’s appeal and reduced from six games to four games his suspension for kneeing Neal Pionk in the head. [NHL]
- Noted Josh Bailey fan Mark Scheifele was the first pick of the Jets’ franchise upon their move to Manitoba, and he has been seen as their franchise player. But he hasn’t quite reached “franchise player” status in the NHL because he can’t learn defense. [The Athletic]
- Thursday night against the Islanders, and the next few games before Christmas, are a preview of what the Boston Bruins look like when Patrice Bergeron, 36, and Brad Marchand, 33, hang ‘em up. It’s a little iffy. [Fluto @ The Athletic]
- Boston is also probably about to shut down, too.
Players and staff are wishing each other Merry Christmas as they leave the rink.— Fluto Shinzawa (@FlutoShinzawa) December 18, 2021
- Vancouver Canucks winger Conor Garland, a guy I was hoping Lou could poach from the Arizona Coyotes in the offseason, isn’t the biggest guy. But he’s fearless. And it endears him among his teammates. [Sportsnet]
- Sean Gentille and Dom Luszczyszyn wrote letters to Santa from each team as their gimmick for this week’s Power Rankings. The Isles’ letter came from Mathew Barzal. [The Athletic]