Still in a 11-day game-postponement stretch, the New York Islanders have welcomed Barry Trotz back to practice after he spent personal leave time with family following his mom’s death, and the team continues to prepare for the resumption of its game schedule this week.
This being the Pandemic Era, however, everything comes with an asterisk.
The Islanders will* host the Devils Thursday, but tonight’s Devils game in Newark vs. the Lightning has been postponed due to COVID issues. (Must be nice!) As many as seven Devils are out in virus protocol.
So, we’ll see! The Islanders also scheduled to host the Capitals on Saturday afternoon, and the Caps are returning from a winless two-game Midwestern trip where they actually played the games. The Capitals are home to the Bruins tonight.
- It’s been a weird season for every Islander, perhaps none moreso than one-time Olympic hopeful, hip-injury and COVID guy Brock Nelson. [Newsday | Post]
- Trotz reflected on the impact of his mother, the support of the Isles community, and pride in the work the team did in his absence. It’s his first loss of a parent, and he spoke about how now he knows what others have been through. If you’ve been there, you know. [Isles | Newsday | Post]
- Meanwhile, Trotz’s message to the team is just keep climbing. Lots of ground to make up but lots of games to do it with. [Newsday]
- NHL-dot-com writers pick Ilya Sorokin as the Islanders’ representative at the All-Star Game that still might happen in Vegas. [NHL]
- Cory Schenider returned and Bridegport lost in a shootout, but here’s the nasty conversion from Simon Holmstrom:
ask and you shall receive (as long as our digital marketing manager still has her laptop out) pic.twitter.com/zigQdkHcRH— Bridgeport Islanders (@AHLIslanders) January 10, 2022
- The Stars led 1-0 before giving up two power play goals in the final minute to lose 2-1 in St. Louis. Ol’ friend Rick Bowness was irate — but at the refs, not his team. [ESPN]
- Key Stars defenseman John Klingberg is pretty blunt about not being happy with where contract negotiations are as he approaches UFA. [NHL]
- The Evander Kane saga has reached its newest (and inevitable?) chapter as the Sharks cleared him through waivers with the purpose of terminating his contract for allegedly breaching his contract and/by violating AHL COVID protocols. His agent and the NHLPA will contest that. [TSN]
- Marc Bergevin has landed in LA as a special advisor, where he’ll no doubt share insider secrets on how he made the Canadiens a dominant success for the last decade. [NHL | TSN]
- Speaking of whom, Jake Allen has returned to health and was really up front about how wins and losses don’t matter right now, but the Habs can use the rest of the schedule to build strong habits and opportunities for youngsters. [Sportsnet | TSN]
- The Rangers got Artemi Panarin back from COVID Protocol yesterday, but lost coach Gerard Gallant to the same. [TSN]
- Facing goalie issues and always ready to treat the position as a turnstile, the Hurricanes have yanked NCAA goalie of the year Jack LaFontaine out of college to start his pro career. [NHL]
- The Oilers lost two more players to protocol, so their game against the Senators gets to be postponed. Must be nice! [TSN]