The Boston Bruins returned to the ice Sunday but COVID continues to back up the 2021-22 NHL regular season as the league will resume games now next Wednesday, instead of Tuesday.
The holiday break usually begins on December 24 and ends on December 27 but after a league-wide COVID outbreak that had over 60 NHLers in COVID protocol last Tuesday, the league and the NHLPA felt it would be best to break early. More players have entered COVID protocol since then and throughout the break, so the puck – as of now – will drop again on Wednesday. COVID-permitting, NHLers were set to return to the rinks and practice tomorrow.
The Boston Bruins were originally slated to resume play on Monday and host the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden but will now start the post-Christmas slate of their schedule against the Senators in Ottawa on Wednesday night. As for the Boston Bruins games that were postponed, the plan now is to get as many of them played as possible during what would have been the two-week February Winter Olympics break.
“We’ve sent out communication with clubs and we’re trying to confirm their open building dates, which we have a sense of from earlier communications earlier in the season,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said Thursday. “We obviously will work very close with the Players’ Association. I do think we’ll have to build in some off time during that three-week period for the players as they had anticipated previously. There are a lot of boxes to check there, but I expect that we’ll be able to portion some portion of that break period to various clubs to get their players rested, and I hope to make full utilization of the period so that we can make up the games that we’ve missed.”
Now onto the rest of your Boxing Day BHN Links:
The Boston Bruins were scheduled to reconvene for practice at Warrior Arena at 3 PM ET with head coach Bruce Cassidy slotted to address the media after. Here’s more on how another postponement affects your Boston Bruins. (BHN)
As they always do – and not just at the holidays – hockey players give back to the community, especially kids. Not surprising that the Boston Bruins and their wives and girlfriends stepped it up for Tony’s Place, a vacation home for kids fighting cancer and their families in Falmouth, MA on Cape Cod.
Decking the halls. 🎄
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) December 24, 2021
Now, not to be The Grinch Who Stole Christmas from Boston Bruins fans, but I was sitting at home in isolation on Christmas and watching plenty of TV. I stumbled upon a replay of the 2017 World Juniors Gold medal game between USA and Canada. That was one of the first moments where Boston Bruins fans got a glimpse of the Norris Trophy candidate that Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy has become.
That was also a game that showcased what they could’ve been if they didn’t absolutely botch the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That’s the draft where the Bruins picked 13th, 14th and 15th overall and passed on Canada defenseman Thomas Chabot and forwards Mathew Barzal and Anthony Cirelli. Imagine a Boston Bruins blue line with Chabot and McAvoy the last four seasons?
What could’ve been for the #NHLBruins?
— Boston Hockey Now (@BOSHockeyNow) December 25, 2021
Instead, the Boston Bruins drafted defenseman Jakub Zboril, who has struggled to stick in the NHL, and forwards Jake DeBrusk and Zach Senyshyn, who in the last month, both requested trades.
Speaking of the World Juniors, they kicked off today and you can watch Boston Bruins prospect Fabian Lysell (Sweden) at 4:30 PM ET today. The sad thing is, that’s the only Boston Bruins prospect you’ll see in this tournament. (NHL)
National Hockey Now
Speaking of Barzal, since being placed in COVID Protocol on Dec. 14, the New York Islanders star has been MIA but was found recently. (NYI Hockey Now)
DeBrusk cracked the Top 5 of our man in Pitt, Dan Kingerski’s Top 5 Trade Bait list but what players could the Boston Bruins acquire in exchange for DeBrusk or in another trade? (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
Pretty cool piece by our man in San Jose, Sheng Peng who got to go one-on-one with Sharks prospect William Eklund while Eklund critiqued his own game film. (San Jose Hockey Now)
The NHL is working on providing some roster and cap relief for teams given the predicament COVID has once put them in again. (Sportsnet)