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Islanders News: Barzal evolution, NHL protocol winds of change

With more (non-Islanders) games postponed, the NHL introduces new Covid protocols

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New York Islanders v Philadelphia Flyers
Doing our stretches to stay fresh.
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

While the NHL deals with the latest spate of Covid postponements, the Islanders wait at home and sure hope they get to play the Penguins on Saturday.

The latest interruptions: The Wild are shut down till Feb. 9 and the Avalanche will suspend play until Feb. 11. Two of the teams the Avs were set to play in that time, the Blues and Coyotes, will instead play each other (the Coyotes were about to play the Wild) for the third and fourth time in a row.

The latest modification: Four new protocols, including reducing the amount of time in the arena and removing the glass behind the benches in the hopes of increasing airflow, and with an eye toward new Covid variants that are more transmittable. The top of that story has two Jets discussing how they really don’t like being barred from the arena until 1:45 before a game.

(At this time, I am reminded that I show up 15 minutes before my rec league games, which causes some teammate angst, but I hate sitting around and we don’t have things like power play meetings or habitually taping 10 sticks.)

Islanders News

  • This postponement came at a bad time for the Islanders, who really need to string together some wins. [Newsday]
  • Mathew Barzal continues to evolve but his deep hunger for a Cup remains. [Athletic]
  • Are you (or your dog) in a fan cutout at the Coliseum? Many photos here. [Isles]


Last night’s NHL scores include the Rangers spoiling Ovechkin’s milestone night, as well as a bunch of postponed games.

  • Patrik Laine scored his first goal as a Blue Jacket. [NHL]
  • Jason Spezza Hat Trick Alert. [TSN] The Senators snapped a nine-game winless streak. [TSN]
  • Jim Benning’s “ran out of time” explanation for not re-signing Tyler Toffoli, who has already scored eight goals against his old team, is...not well received. [Vancouver Is Awesome]
  • Sam Bennett, who recently requested a trade, was a healthy scratch by the Flames. Is this the end? [Sportsnet]
  • Sabres coach Ralph Krueger, whom the Isles were supposed to see twice this week, has tested positive. [Die By The Blade | NHL | TSN]