Well it’s Groundhog’s Day … again.
This season of Chicago Blackhawks hockey has definitely not been the same every day. From a terrible start, to emerging rookies, to dealing with COVID, this NHL season has given us something every day that can seemingly not be duplicated … until it is. I’m not sure what seeing a shadow or not means in hockey, but I’ve already used up all of my Groundhog’s Day knowledge and references, so … Ok, joke landed. On to hockey.
• Awesome news to start the day: Alex DeBrincat and Nicolas Beaudin are officially off the NHL COVID-19 Protocol list.
Forward Alex DeBrincat and defenseman Nicolas Beaudin have been removed from COVID-19 Protocol.#Blackhawks
— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) February 2, 2021
• It’s unclear if either will be placed into the lineup for tonight’s game against the Hurricanes at this point, but I’m just glad to see them back on the ice.
Colliton says neither DeBrincat nor Beaudin tested positive for COVID.
Didn't specify when he thinks he'll be able to get them back in the lineup.
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 2, 2021
• The Blackhawks have been doing much better over their past six games (3-1-2), compared to their first four out of the gate (0-3-1). Not that the odds have been as optimistic.
• If we’re getting into numbers, let’s look at the season Duncan Keith is having analytically. He leads the Blackhawks in Corsi-For (on-ice all shot attempts) and on-ice shots on goal with 225 and 141 respectably. That said, he ranks 13th among Blackhawks, who’ve played at least 20 minutes this season in Corsi-For percentage (all shot attempts for/all shot attempts against) at 48.60% and 11th in Shots-For percentage at 47.32%. Basically, when Keith is on the ice, things are happening.
Duncan Keith on his many shot attempts the past 2 games: "Getting the Corsi up so you guys think I'm good."
— Ben Pope (@BenPopeCST) February 1, 2021
• Speaking of ranks, The Athletic published their fan vote for the best arenas in the NHL. The United Center finished respectfully in the top-third of the league. Best thing working for them, the anthem and the atmosphere of games.
Not all NHL arenas are created equal.
As we reminisce about being back in the building for hockey and look forward to returning, we asked you, the fans, to rate the best and worst places to see a game.
Here are the results ⤵️https://t.co/aJIiTRdDAr
— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) February 1, 2021
• Not to circle too far back to COVID, but the New Jersey Devils got it bad.
The #NJDevils now have 10 players on the NHL's COVID Protocol list: Mackenzie Blackwood, Connor Carrick, Aaron Dell, Andreas Johnsson, Janne Kuokkanen, Michael McLeod, Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, Pavel Zacha and Travis Zajac.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) February 1, 2021
• Leading to another NHL team having to shut its doors for a while.
The NHL will have more on this, but, the New Jersey Devils shutdown is likely going to cover the next week.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 1, 2021
• Due to contact tracing from the Devils and Islanders game, the league had to postpone the Islanders-Sabres game, which was slated to be on NBCSN tonight ….
• Good luck with all that. Don’t envy NHL schedule-makers.
• Who I do envy is anyone who has a good reason to buy a Pittsburgh Penguins reverse retro jersey. These are AWESOME.
Reverse Retro sweaters = 🔥 pic.twitter.com/brqDOhJQYB
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) February 2, 2021
• There was a lot of misses and mehs in the Adidas Hockey reverse retro releases, but I really liked Pittsburgh’s right from the start.
• Maybe inspired by the new look, Sidney Crosby tried to get a bit fancy last night…
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 2, 2021
• Although he didn’t pull it off, Crosby trying the “gimmick” goal is awesome. The move is loved by many and lauded by some, but if Crosby pulled it off last night, on the backhand no less, it would’ve broken Hockey Twitter.
• Another unconventional way to score a goal…
From downtown … Calgary 😎 pic.twitter.com/8XBzCeYpps
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) February 2, 2021
• That puck is bouncing every which way. Wow.