On his weekly radio show Wednesday, Jared Bednar had some good medical news: Nathan MacKinnon, Devon Toews and (surprise) P.E. Bellemare will be back at practice Thursday morning, assuming they are cleared by the medical staff.
As far as MacKinnon and Toews go, their return to the ice fits with what Colorado Hockey Now reported last week on each of their conditions/prognoses for a return. There was initially a lot of doom and gloom from some segments of the media about Bednar proclaiming all his injured players as “week to week”, but the injuries to MacKinnon and Toews were never that serious and we said so.
Bednar had hinted that Bellemare’s injury wasn’t as bad as the team initially feared, and his being back on the ice tomorrow would be proof of that. That’s really good news for the team, despite some good play from the players who have helped replace him on the fourth line.
Bednar also said that the guys currently on the Covid-19 protocol list – Tyson Jost, Sam Girard and Gabe Landeskog – won’t be able to resume hockey activities until “early next week”, which would mean they’d miss Sunday’s scheduled game in Las Vegas, and probably the one after.
The games in Vegas are starting to look iffy, by the way. The Golden Knights had to cancel practice for today because of Covid protocol. Nobody knows what comes next. Just have to hope there isn’t an outbreak with them. Today’s “Covid list”, released by the NHL, could be a pivotal moment for those games, at least.
I think we’re headed to something like this: In the U.S., anyway, the league is going to order teams to be in a bubble, even for home games. This is just my own opinion anyway. They’ve tried to let players go their own way off the ice, when at home, but clearly it’s not working. If players gripe about not being able to be with their families, well, the alternative is not being paid to play hockey for who knows how long again. That won’t be good for their families either. Last I checked, players have had a lot of quality family time in the last 11 months, too.