It’s been more than two weeks since the Dallas Stars performed that satisfying beatdown on the Minnesota Wild, and the NHL’s holiday break was only partially responsible. A rash of breakthrough COVID infections has disproportionately impacted the Victory Green Gang yet again, and even yesterday’s scheduled contest with the Arizona Coyotes will have to be rescheduled.
Will the Stars finally return to the ice on Thursday? The Florida Panthers are due in town, and the current disruption is already on track to be one of the longest in team history, writes The Dallas Morning News’ Matthew DeFranks:
Dallas has had six straight games postponed by the NHL, the last three as a direct result of its outbreak. As of early Friday afternoon and pending Friday’s test results, the Stars had 11 players and four staff members in COVID-19 protocol at the NHL level. In the AHL, the Stars have 15 players (12 on NHL contracts) and two staff members in COVID-19 protocol.
The Stars are next scheduled to play against Florida on Jan. 6, which would be 17 days after beating the Wild on Dec. 20. The break is the fifth disruption of at least 17 days in franchise history, and all of the other four were because of the Winter Olympics.
This time, at least, the Stars probably won’t be playing the most condensed schedule in the league. Probably. Maybe:
Instead of cramming the postponed games into an already tight schedule, the NHL will use its Olympic break to play postponed games. The NHL and NHLPA announced Dec. 22 that NHL players would not participate in the Olympics in February and the three-week break would instead be used to make up postponed games.
The Stars are slated to be off from Feb. 5, the scheduled date for the All-Star Game, to Feb. 23. It should be easy for the NHL to slip in their six games during that time period, and it could actually result in more rest later in the season if the league moves games from March and April up to February.
Matt has more. [SportsDayDFW]
Hockey on Thursday? Again? Finally? The Stars have made moves that point toward the possibility.
Ahh, remember this? From the days before COVID, when we were but saplings, still green in youth?
Around The Leagues
#Murder Was The Case
- The Chicago Blackhawks are starting 2022 on the same unfortunate note that ended their 2021, losing to the Calgary Flames 5-1. [Second City Hockey]
- Gabriel Landeskog scored in his comeback from injury as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Anaheim Ducks, 4-2. [Mile High Hockey]
- And the Winnipeg Jets emerged from a COVID shutdown to best the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime, 5-4. [NHL]
The U.S. women’s Olympic team is as loaded as ever – ranging from four-time veteran Hilary Knight to rookie Jesse Compher, whose brother J.T. also plays hockey.
We do, of course, presume that the Winter Olympics will actually happen. Is the sudden cessation of the 2022 World Junior Championships a sign of things to come?
Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park – And Beautiful Boise
We have added four players from the @Steelheads. Dallas has recalled forward Yauheni Aksiantsiuk from Idaho and reassigned him to Texas. Additionally, we have recalled goaltender Matt Jurusik from loan and signed Will Merchant and Evan Wardley to PTO's.— Texas Stars (@TexasStars) January 2, 2022
Who ya got? Tell us in the comments. Enjoy.