It’s not the news either of these teams need right now, and for the struggling Edmonton Oilers, it’s absolutely dire as both Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews have tested positive for COVID. Matthews tested positive on Monday, but a PCR test Tuesday came back negative. He’ll be retested today and if it’s negative he should be cleared to play. McDavid and Oilers C Derek Ryan both tested positive and are being re-tested this morning. The Oilers, who have won just two of their last twelve games, can hardly afford to have the best player in the game out of their lineup, let alone another one at the same position.
There’ll be no fans in attendance at Scotiabank Arena again tonight as Ontario has moved back into stricter controls on public gatherings in the hopes of getting a handle on the exploding number of cases of the Omicron variant. There have been more postponements of games because of this, including tonight’s contest between the Vancouver Canucks and New York Islanders.
The next scheduled game for the Canucks is set for Saturday night when the Ottawa Senators come to town. Ottawa’s games against Minnesota on Monday night and Thursday in Seattle have already been postponed, and we should likely be prepared for this one to get shuffled as well. The Canucks haven’t played since Saturday night, a 5-2 win in Seattle over the Kraken.
One of the latest teams struggling with COVID and injuries is the New Jersey Devils. In addition to Yegor Sharangovich and Pavel Zacha being placed in COVID protocol, the Devils have suffered some devastating key injuries. D Dougie Hamilton is undergoing surgery today for a broken jaw suffered Sunday in their 4-3 OT win over the Washington Capitals. No word yet on a timeline for his return.
They’re also losing G Jonathan Bernier for the season, after undergoing surgery to repair his injured hip on Monday, and Nico Hischier is on the IR with a lower body injury.
The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics is still going ahead for the time being, and we’re still awaiting the official announcement of who will be representing Canada at the tournament, but one name has come out.
With a World Championship Gold Medal and the first hat trick by a Canadian defenceman at this year’s IIHF WJC (before it was shut down) on his resume, Power is going to be front and center for a Canadian team looking to medal again. And while we’re stoked to see Power’s name, a list of potential additions has a couple let’s say, controversial names on it.
Sources: The following players are on Team Canada’s long list for consideration for the Olympics (2/2):— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) January 5, 2022
Michael Del Zotto
Yeah, I am fairly certain that we can all agree the last two names on this list should not even be entering into the conversation, given the circumstances around their departures from the NHL. No word yet on the official announcement date, but we’ll keep you up to date on any further additions to the roster.