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Islanders No-Gameday News: Sabres games postponed due to Covid

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We woke up thinking the games were in doubt. So it goes.

NHL: DEC 14 Sabres at Islanders
Vesey isn’t in Buffalo anymore, but you get the picture.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Tonight, the Islanders are were supposed to take on the Buffalo Sabres in the first of two home games against the in-state foe. But logistical complications may change that.

UPDATE: Indeed, the game has been postponed due to COVID protocol with the Sabres. Officially from the league:

Due to weather conditions yesterday, the Sabres altered their travel schedule so as to fly today to New York. So that required COVID contact tracing and testing protocols can be completed appropriately, the decision has been made to re-schedule the game for a future date.”

UPDATE 2: And after conducting tracing and testing protocols, both games with the Sabres this week have been postponed, with at least two Sabres now on the Covid protocol list.

The original gameday (we wish) post continues here:

One issue is the weather. If you live in the New York metro area, you too likely saw a mountain of snow fall. Hell, by me, it is still coming down a bit. As of yesterday, the Sabres could not make the trip down to Long Island. This does not seem too difficult to work around, thankfully, as the worst of the storm appears to be over.

But another problem, one that might be more difficult to solve, is that the Sabres just played two back-to-back games against the Devils. We will get to this below, but New Jersey has nearly a dozen players on the COVID-19 protocol list and had to shut down operations for at least a week, and realistically, probably longer than that. So who knows how many Buffalo players may be infected.

However, we want to remain optimistic around here. Assuming the game goes forward, leave here your FIGs. Remember, we have a 6:00 p.m. start. Happy Groundhog Day.

Islanders News

  • Tonight’s team site preview.
  • The Isles are happy to be back home but they know that they need to pick up their “collective game.” [Newsday]
  • Arthur Staple has nine takeaways through nine games, and not many of them are good. [The Athletic]
  • Dan has his own takeaways in this week’s Back & Forth, and not many of them are good, either. Come for the hockey, stay for the Seinfeld references. [LHH]
  • Robin Salo and William Dufour continue to score goals; the latter had an eight-game point streak. [Islanders Prospect Report]
  • This (yester)day in Isles history: the Islanders retired Denis Potvin’s no. 5 and raised his banner to the rafters (1992). [Islanders]
  • A.J. Mleczko broke new ground when she received the between-the-benches gig, and got some help from her former Harvard linemate, Jennifer Botterill. [Sports Illustrated]
  • The Athletic projected the 2022 Team Canada Olympic roster, and Mathew Barzal made the cut. They also said they were picking Barry Trotz to be its coach.
  • The Athletic also ranked arenas. The Coliseum came in 28th: 3rd in both atmosphere and sight lines, but last or near-last in every other category, as we like it.

From old to new: here is UBS Arena weathering the storm.

Elsewhere

Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers downing the Penguins 3–1 and Bruins giving the Capitals a taste of their own medicine by allowing Washington to take a 3–0 lead before scoring five unanswered goals to win 5–3.

  • After clearing waivers, Tony DeAngelo went home to await a trade. Rangers GM Jeff Gorton declared that DeAngelo has played his last game with the club. [ESPN]
  • New Jersey’s games this week have been postponed because of COVID-19. And they may not be able to play games next week, either. [NHL]
  • Due to the Golden Knights’ issues with COVID-19, the NHL announced that some of their games have been rescheduled. [NHL]
  • Long Island man Charlie McAvoy looks poised to be the next great Bruins defenseman. [ESPN]
  • The Connecticut Whale forfeited their game against the Minnesota Whitecaps and withdrew from the NWHL’s bubble tournament in Lake Placid, NY. Apparently, this is not related to COVID-19 and everyone tested negative. We hope everything is okay. [Sportsnet]
  • That loss to Boston last night, embarrassing though it may have been, was the Capitals’ first regulation loss of the season. Under new coach Peter Laviolette, they look like a force. [ESPN]