The hockey world is still a mess. The NHL and hockey news reflects the wild time we’re still having with COVID. The Calgary Flames are at full strength, set to play for the first time on Thursday since Dec. 11. Meanwhile, NHL is discussing shortening the protocol but Canada complicates things. And all of this has made Boston Bruins winger Brad Marchand angry. He shredded the NHL over its decision to pull out of the Olympics.
The Flames skated for the third time since their COVID-19 shutdown and even injured forward Tyler Pitlick returned, putting them at full strength for the first time all year. They mixed up their forward lines and we’ll see if they stick with them for Thursday: Gaudreau-Lindholm-Tkachuk; Lucic-Backlund-Coleman; Mangiapane-Dube-Ritchie; Lewis-Monahan-Richardson.
On defence, they stuck with the same pairs they’ve been rolling with regularly: Hanifin-Andersson; Kylington-Tanev; Zadorov-Gudbranson.
NHL News & National Hockey Now
Boston: Brad Marchand was just a bit peeved about missing the Olympics. It may have been his last chance to go. Same for teammate Patrice Bergeron, and league superstars Alex Ovechkin, and Sidney Crosby. Marchand called the situation “Bullsh*t” a few times, as the Boston Bruins winger wanted a choice.
I get the hurt feelings, but using the taxi squads to fill in for star players in Beijing? That would cost a team or two a playoff spot, and then the doo-doo would really hit the fan.
Sportsnet: Wild day at the WJCs. Team USA had to forfeit to Switzerland after two positive COVID tests.
However, 16-year-old Canadian future-phenom Connor Bedard became the first 16-year-old to score a hat trick since…Wayne Gretzky.
Calgary Flames fans on Twitter are already asking the team to tank next year.
Vegas: Some actual hockey was played on Tuesday. The Vegas Golden Knights returned to the ice with a big win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Vancouver: Some blame the Vancouver media for harming the Canucks. Some blame poor play. Our media vet and beat writer Rob Simpson writes, Hooey! The media did not hurt the Vancouver Canucks.
Washington: The Capitals also have a long COVID list, including Justin Schultz and Daniel Sprong. Hold your breath for their third pairing. Prospect defenseman Alex Alexeyev could make his NHL debut beside Matt Irwin on Wednesday for the Washington Capitals.
Philly: The Flyers have a five-game point streak and are getting their act together. Wednesday night, the Seattle Kraken host the Philadelphia Flyers.