I’m going to get right to it this morning, because information could change throughout the day leading up to tonight’s scheduled game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets.
• As far as we are know right now, tonight’s game is scheduled as planned at the United Center for a 6 p.m. CT start.
• But of course, the Blackhawks canceled yesterday’s morning practice due to possible COVID-19 exposure.
Andrew Shaw on canceled practice: "It’s a little adversity but we still prepare like we’re going to play today, and guys got out and did what they needed to do and we went home, relaxed. You’re going to see a couple of days like that this year, so think we better get used to it."
— Brandon Cain (@brandonmcain) January 31, 2021
• Later in the afternoon yesterday, Ryan Carpenter and Nicolas Beaudin were added to the NHL COVID-19 Protocol list. They joined Alex DeBrincat, Adam Boqvist, and Lucas Wallmark on the list of Blackhawks players to be placed in COVID-19 Protocol.
On having 5 teammates on the COVID list: "Just worrying about the individual and making sure he's OK. You send them a text to make sure they're feeling well and hopefully symptomatic… You always care for your teammates."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) January 31, 2021
• This morning, the Blackhawks heled their morning skate, but it was closed to the media.
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) January 31, 2021
• It is possible that tonight’s game status could change, but again, it is set to go off at 6 p.m. as planned.
• The Blue Jackets did not have any players added to the COVID-19 Protocol list as of Sunday morning. In training camp, Columbus had to cancel a day of practice after holding out 17 players due to precaution, but the next day 15 of those players returned to the ice. So scares like these can happen without complete postponements.
• COVID is a problem that leagues are just trying to deal with as best as they can to continue to operate and it’s not just in the major leagues. The NWHL and AHL have had COVID-related issues in the past week, including the Metropolitan Riveters pulling out the the NWHL season, and a preseason game between the San Jose Barracuda and Henderson Silver Knights suspended in the second intermission.
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Barracuda-Silver Knights game has been suspended. Henderson led 1-0 through two periods. Strange doesn't come close to describing the scene here.
— Steve Carp (@stevecarp56) January 31, 2021
• This is exhausting.
• Ok, here’s some fun stuff.
• Connor McDavid continues to be a human highlight reel:
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 31, 2021
• That wouldn’t be his only goal of the night, either. In fact, McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Alex Ovechkin all scored overtime-winners within a ten minute span last night. It marked the first time in NHL history that three former No. 1 overall draft picks scored an overtime goal on the same day.
The stars aligned tonight. #NHLStats
9:35 p.m. ET – Sidney Crosby OT goal
9:36 p.m. ET – Alex Ovechkin OT goal
9:47 p.m. ET – Connor McDavid OT goal pic.twitter.com/65vfjrYzlz
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 31, 2021
• In fact, there were five overtime goals scored last night in a matter of 30 minutes. Wouldn’t it be cool if the NHL had a channel dedicated to following every game’s big moments and could jump from game to game when those moments occurred, so you’d never miss big goals and overtime winners and highlight plays all in real-time? Does anything like that exist in sports broadcasting and entertainment? I wonder…
• Finally, a Happy 34th Birthday to former Blackhawk and 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Brandon Bollig!
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) January 31, 2021
• Enjoy your Sunday, everyone!