Ramblings: More Postponements, Maurice Resigns, Tarasenko, Keller (Dec 18)

Ian Gooding

2021-12-18

COVID continues to rear its ugly head over both sports and the world in general. The NHL announced that games involving the Flames, Panthers, and Avalanche have all been postponed until after Christmas, while Saturday's Bruins/Canadiens tilt has also been postponed. Here's a list of the games being affected (not including Boston/Montreal).

Postponing games can't be an easy decision. There are the business reasons, which are obvious (no gate revenue). Perhaps a pause is needed until after Christmas in order to stop the COVID spread, but will the COVID situation be any better after the holidays? It's possible that we could be looking at an even longer layoff, if the graphs showing the rapid spread of the omicron variant in other parts of the world play out in North America. Either way, just be prepared for an early holiday break from everything NHL. It sucks, but that's the situation that we are in.

Early in the day, John Tavares and Alex Kerfoot were added to the COVID protocol list. The Leafs thought they were getting good news when Jason Spezza's suspension was reduced from six to four games and he'd be able to return on Saturday, but then Spezza and Wayne Simmonds were also added to the list. That will definitely create problems for the Leafs for their game in Vancouver.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nicklas Backstrom were also added to the ever-growing COVID protocol list on Friday.  

Friday had no shortage of news, as Paul Maurice suddenly announced his resignation as the Jets' coach. Earlier in the day I wrote the Fantasy Take. We didn't have to wait very long for the Dave Lowry era to begin, as the Jets faced Washington on Friday. Here are the even-strength and power-play line combinations that Lowry used for this game, from