There are two main things going on in the hockey world these days: the World Junior Hockey Championship and the COVID outburst that continues among NHL teams.
For the former, Team Finland played with the Leafs’ prospects Topi Niemelä and Roni Hirvonen their second match yesterday against Austria. They won in a round where Niemelä scored his first goal of the tournament late in the match while leading Finland in ice age.
Matthew Knies and Team USA play their second match in the tournament against Switzerland today at 16:30 EST.
On the NHL front, there were several teams that added at least a few players to the COVID protocol. Even with some of the first players going on protocol before the holidays now being approved to return to team activities, this led to more postponements. For the Leafs, they got a couple of their attackers off the protocol, but the situation is still serious in the net and in the defense. How terrible? They have an ECHL / AHL defender who is not even on an NHL contract and is training with them.
Hellickson is not officially on the Leafs list or the taxi team, the league gave him permission to train today so Toronto could have six D.
– Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) December 27, 2021
So far, three more matches have been postponed and three matches are still set to take place tomorrow. One of them is Tampa vs. Montreal, but both have recently had more players added to the COVID protocol, so … we’ll see if that happens at all.
Maple Leafs Takes Captain John Tavares Out Of The COVID-19 Protocol | of Sportsnet. John Tavares joined Alex Kerfoot, Jason Spezza and Wayne Simmonds on a list of Leafs who are now out of the COVID protocol.
Can the Leafs continue strong play after the break? | of TSN
Leafs Prospect Roundup: Knies, Hirvonen and Niemelä in action at World Juniors, Amirov back in action | of TLN
Kevin Papetti discusses need for trade deadlines, impressions of Maple Leafs’ first 30 games on Sportsnet Tonight | printout of MLHS
HOCKEY WORLD AROUND
Jared Keeso’s Road to ‘Letterkenny’: How an Ex-Junior Hockey ‘Grinder’ Became a Streaming Star | by The Athletic
Five ideas to correct Canada’s declining minor hockey statistics, from Colorado to Nova Scotia | by The Athletic
Lawsuit dismissed against Blackhawks in Aldrich case | of Sportsnet
Flyers place Hart, Brassard and Laughton in the COVID-19 protocol | of Sportsnet
Predators places Josi, two others in the COVID protocol | of TSN
Kraken F Tanev our for season with torn ACL | of TSN