NHL News: Matthews Keeps Rolling, Trick Goals, COVID Concerns, More

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Around the NHL: Matthews Keeps Rolling, Hat Tricks, Trick Goals and the Future, COVID Concerns, More

Chicago Blackhawks

We’ve already seen the NHL postpone games this season due to COVID-19 outbreaks within clubs, most recently the Calgary Flames, who had six players and one coach test positive on Monday morning, which triggered the postponement of the Blackhawks-Flames game scheduled that evening. And now we’re seeing the Nashville Predators with a small outbreak of their own developing.

•   Nashville appears to be dealing with multiple positive tests among both players and coaches, as Frank Seravalli reported early this morning:

•   The Predators are scheduled to play the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and then the Blackhawks on Friday, and I would imagine that both of those games are in danger of being postponed at this point. That would make two games this week that the Blackhawks lost to a postponement.

•   It’s hardly surprising that the NHL is dealing with a spike in positive COVID cases right now, though, as the NBA and NFL are both fighting the same battle. The NFL recorded a record 75 positive tests in the past two days. The NBA recently paused the Chicago Bulls schedule after ten players on their active roster (and two broadcasters) were placed in the NBA’s Health & Safety Protocols.

•   According to Emily Kaplan, the NHL isn’t discussing pausing the season due to the surge in COVID cases. Still, the NHL & NHLPA had a regularly scheduled call last night in which they likely addressed whether or not there is a need to enhance protocols around the sport.

•   With the latest surge in COVID cases stateside and afar, the NHL and their players heading to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics now seems unlikely, with many players expressing their concerns for the COVID protocols in place amid this recent surge.

•   Despite their United Center co-tenants dealing with a COVID outbreak, the Blackhawks seem to be doing pretty well in following the protocols in place “to a T,” as interim head coach Derek King put it on Monday after practice.

•   Shifting gears here to a much happier topic, Blackhawks’ radio analyst Troy Murray will be in the booth tonight with John Weideman calling the Blackhawks and Capitals game on WGN Radio!

•   The former Blackhawks player and current radio voice has been sidelined for much of his ongoing battle with cancer. Still, there’s been no shortage of support and love from everyone associated with the Blackhawks and the rest of the hockey world. It’ll be nice to hear Murray’s voice on the call this evening.

•   Settlement discussions between the Chicago Blackhawks and the lawyers representing Kyle Beach will meet via video conference today to discuss the settlement. Last night, Rick Westhead of TSN reported that both sides have already presented their positions to a third-party mediator.

•   Quick, someone ask John Tortorella how horrible this goal is for hockey!

•   The former NHL coach (and let’s keep it that way) made sure to get on his old man soapbox and slam last week’s awesome ‘Michigan’ goal by Anaheim’s Sonny Milano and Trevor Zegras because he was “just not so sure it’s good for the game.”

•   To think that Tortorella was one of the first names mentioned when the Blackhawks fired Jeremy Colliton last month makes make cringe. Who the hell wants this guy and his ancient views back in an NHL rink and playing an active role in today’s game!? Not me. I don’t even want to see him spewing his gospel on ESPN. This network just paid a bazillion dollars to acquire the majority of the out-of-market rights to the NHL and has a plethora of talented and forward-thinking analysts that can replace Torts already on their payroll. Launch the dinosaur to the moon and move on. Mario had more thoughts on it here:

•   If the NHL is going to champion things like this and market them as the “future,” then maybe they should make sure that the talking heads presenting their game to their future audiences are on the same page.

•   Speaking of the future, Riley Damiani logged his first NHL goal in his debut for the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, and it was a dandy:

•   Bodies in front of the net = 🚨’s!

•   Cam Atkinson recorded his seventh career hat trick and first with the Flyers as Philadelphia crushed the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night:

•   The Leafs and the Oilers got together last night in a matchup featuring three of the most prolific scorers in hockey in Auston Matthews, Connor McDavid, and Leon Draisaitl. Matthews struck first and extended his point streak to 10 games:

• And then he added another for good measure, his 20th goal of the season as the Maple Leafs routed the Oilers in Edmonton.

•   Last but certainly not least today, Sidney Crosby made history on Tuesday night, becoming the 14th player in NHL history to record 400-plus multi-point games with a pair of assists.

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.