The Dallas Stars have avoided the Omicron variant and other COVID-related woes this season, so far. But injury and illness have still thrown a few spanners in the works.
Now, though, they’re on the mend and nearly at full strength. Tanner Kero, who’s in concussion protocol at home, was the only Star who didn’t skate at Monday practice as Joel Kiviranta returned to the ice for the first time since December 11.
The non-COVID illness that felled so many Stars was a different coronavirus: a common cold, as The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks reports:
As for the cold that made its way through the Stars’ dressing room, Bowness believes the Stars are nearly through it. The non-COVID-related illness forced six different players to miss games in the last month: Andrej Sekera (Nov. 20), John Klingberg (Dec. 2), Michael Raffl (Dec. 6), Roope Hintz (Dec. 11 and 14), Alexander Radulov (Dec. 14) and Miro Heiskanen (Dec. 18).
“That cold knocked the heck out of us for a week to 10 days,” Bowness said. “It went through the room and then it came back. There’s no question that hurts. Right now, we’re feeling better. There’s more energy, I can see it. When the players are coming off the ice after shifts, they’re recovering quicker. I can see that.
The Victory Green Gang still has to deal with the persistent pandemic in the form of postponements and travel restrictions, with Wednesday’s Winnipeg Jets game the first casualty:
Canadiens-Islanders and Ducks-Oilers were postponed on Sunday as the NHL paused cross-border travel. Colorado’s shutdown pushed back Avalanche-Red Wings, and Columbus’ shutdown did the same for Blue Jackets-Sabres.
The Stars do not have any players in COVID-19 protocol. Only one player all season has been placed in COVID-19 protocol, as Jani Hakanpää was sidelined for three days in late October for a false positive.
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
You can’t outrun a pandemic (and you can’t fake your way out of it, either).
In better news, Tanner Kero is now recovering at home.
Around The Leagues
In On The #Kill Taker
It was a big night for Paul Stastny as the Winnipeg Jets beat the St. Louis Blues, 4-2.
The Hurricanes were scheduled to play against the Predators on Sunday, and at Boston on Tuesday. Both of those games have been postponed due to COVID protocols. https://t.co/LOT7FDV5hI— The News & Observer (@newsobserver) December 18, 2021
The Associated Press has more on the cross-border travel situation, as well as the postponements that have hit the Detroit Red Wings.
NHL won't let teams cross the U.S.-Canada border to play for a few days due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The league also shut down the Detroit Red Wings, making them the sixth to stop action right now. https://t.co/xjivygyQ4a— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) December 19, 2021
With a formal announcement expected soon, the stage is set for NHL administration to cancel the Winter Olympics participation it didn’t really want in the first place.
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park – And Beautiful Boise
Curtis McKenzie netted two goals for Texas and Tye Felhaber scored his first of the season Saturday night, earning the 3-2 win in the final game of a weekend series against Rockford.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) December 19, 2021
Winter break time is ice hockey time. Enjoy.