Ramblings: Letang, Kane to COVID Protocol, But No Problem for Pens; Kraken Debut at Home (Oct 24)

Ian Gooding

2021-10-24

You're probably had enough of COVID by now. Yet judging by the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths still happening around the world, COVID hasn't had enough of you. Or your fantasy team, given the number of key players that have spent time in COVID protocol this season.

Last season was exceptional in the fact that teams were forced to cancel games due to breakouts. Although vaccinations will likely prevent entire teams from being shut down and spreading illness again (case in point the Vancouver Canucks), fantasy managers will still need to be nimble in adjusting lineups. Hopefully you have ample bench/IR+ slots for substitutions. Hanging onto fringe options that end up sidelined probably isn't the best use of your roster resources.

Some more prominent names were added to the list on Saturday. Kris Letang's positive test meant that he was forced to miss Saturday's game, as if the Penguins don't already have enough key players sidelined. And as if the Blackhawks' season couldn't get any more difficult, Patrick Kane, Erik Gustafsson, and Ryan Carpenter were placed into COVID protocol. Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele also remain in COVID protocol, missing Saturday's game as well.

The injury situation didn't seem to bother the Penguins on Saturday. Or maybe the 7-1 win was more indicative of the dysfunction within the Toronto Maple Leafs. Regardless, if there was one outcome of Saturday's games that I never would have predicted, that would be the one. In case you need a refresher of who was out of the lineup for Pittsburgh:

You may have never heard of Drew O'Connor, but he is currently tied for the rookie scoring lead with five points (with Anton Lundell). O'Connor scored two goals and finished the game with a plus-3 and six shots. Because of the Penguins' current situation, O'Connor played on a line with