Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2021-22 season, NHL.com will bring you the latest news.
Kyle Connor and Nate Schmidt were placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol on Wednesday will miss the Jets’ next three games.
Connor, a forward, and Schmidt, a defenseman have each tested positive and will need to quarantine for five days, meaning they won’t play the Buffalo Sabers on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, MSG -B, ESPN+, NHL LIVE), against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday or against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
“We’ve had other top players,” Jets coach Dave Lowry said. “And yes, you just pointed out that [Connor is] will not be available to play but someone else will have to step in. And what he’s doing now is he’s creating an opportunity for someone else to come in and take advantage of it.”
Connor leads the Jets in goals (41) and points (82) in 67 games and hasn’t missed a game this season.
Schmidt, a defenseman, had 31 points (four goals, 27 assists) in 66 games.
Nathan MacKinnon did not play for the Avalanche in a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday due to an upper body injury.
Colorado coach Jared Bednar said the injury could have resulted from MacKinnon’s fight with the Minnesota Wild defenseman. Matt Dumba in the third period of a 3-2 overtime loss on Sunday.
“He got out. He went back to Denver for an evaluation,” Bednar said Tuesday. “He’ll land in Denver and then he’ll start seeing our doctors.”
Bednar said there was no timeline for MacKinnon’s return.
“I haven’t spoken to Nate yet, it was pretty quick for him,” the Avalanche defenseman said. Cale Makar noted. “I hope it’s not something super serious, but at the end of the day when you lose a key guy from our team like that, it’s not going to be easy to fill the role.”
MacKinnon has been limited to 51 games this season due to injuries. He scored 70 points (22 goals, 48 assists) and was fourth on the Avalanche in points and first in points per game (1.37).
‘Everyone has to step in’, Colorado forward Logan O’Connor noted. “He obviously plays a huge role in our attack and our team leadership and everything, but everyone has to contribute in that way, and he would want to too. Just go ahead and try to keep going. from there.” –Aaron Vickers
New York Rangers
Ryan Strome could miss its second straight game with a lower-body injury when the Rangers visit the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. ET; TNT, NHL LIVE).
The forward didn’t play in a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. He left after the first period of a 5-4 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabers on Sunday.
“Like I said, the coach tells me day to day,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said on Tuesday. “So possible for tomorrow [at the Detroit Red Wings], I imagine. But I do not know. One at a time.”
Strome has 45 points (15 goals, 30 assists) in 62 games this season. –Wes Croby