Tuesday morning the New York Islanders announced a fifth post-winter break addition to their COVID Protocol list, as leading scorer Brock Nelson joined Oliver Wahlstrom, Anthony Beauvillier, Zach Parise and Cal Clutterbuck on the list.
Later in the day, the league officially announced that Wednesday’s scheduled game with the Detroit Red Wings is postponed due to COVID issues affecting both teams. Soooo, that means the Isles’ next game is Thursday when the Buffalo Sabres visit whoever is healthy enough to join the lineup at Belmont.
Hearing #Isles postponement stemmed from #RedWings' situation more than their own. Seems more likely than not, at this moment (can't stress that enough), that Thursday vs. BUF will go on.— Joe Pantorno (@JoePantorno) December 28, 2021
Meanwhile, the Islanders’ AHL affiliate in Bridgeport is also dealing with an outbreak, which is tough for them and also complicates the NHL Isles’ efforts to get through this latest round:
GM CL: "Health is priority No. 1. ... As we know it's a very, very challenging environment. We're trying to stay as current as we can with all of this."— Michael Fornabaio (@fornabaioctp) December 28, 2021
They were thumped last night, 5-1 [boxscore] and are home to the Hartford Wolf Pack Wednesday.
More about the NHL’s latest postponement though: In an interesting move, as part of that NHL announcement they also postponed nine additional games in Canada due to attendance restrictions currently imposed in several cities and provinces there.
The NHL is limping along through this current COVID wave and is up to 80 games postponed, with some players complaining about testing asymptomatic players while other North American leagues are moving toward more of a “don’t ask, don’t test” approach to players who don’t have symptoms. Of course, with seven teams north of the border, the NHL is far more affected than other leagues are by multiple governmental jurisdictions and related travel issues thanks to hockey being Canada’s Game.
Both the NHL and NHLPA are keenly interested to generate and recoup as much lost revenue as possible, so the attendance restrictions in Canada hit both sides of the labor divide.
And then you have the World Junior Championship, where the U.S. had to forfeit a game against Switzerland because it had so many players in quarantine.
Everybody’s gotta deal with the global pandemic the best they can. (Including pissing and moaning that your dozen clients had their dreams crushed because they don’t get to go to the Olympics — while my dream was realized because I don’t have to feel obliged to watch them at whatever hour and date they’re held). Here’s hoping you and yours are doing alright.