The first Rangers-Islanders clash at UBS may not occur due to covid

The Islanders are scheduled to play their first rivalry match at the UBS Arena on Wednesday night against the Rangers, however their ongoing covid-19 outbreak has left the team barren and raises the question of whether the competition should continue.



Defender Zdeno Chara became the seventh islander to test positive for the corona virus in the past week, general manager Lou Lamoriello announced on Tuesday. Chara joins Josh Bailey, Anders Lee, Ross Johnston, Adam Pelech, Andy Greene and Kieffer Bellows in the COVID-19 protocol.

It took a total of 11 positive tests (10 players and associate coach Jack Capuano) on the Senators to get the NHL to postpone three of Ottawa’s games, so there is speculation that the Islanders may be suspended until they get the outbreak under control.



“We had a conversation [with the league on Monday], ā€¯Lamoriello said in a Zoom call on Tuesday. “There is no decision as far as I know, we are preparing to play if we do not hear otherwise.

“I have no knowledge of what the threshold is [for postponing]. I think it’s in the hands of the doctors in both the National Hockey League and the players’ association and the people with infectious diseases. “



Islanders
Zdeno Chara is the latest member of the Islanders to test positive for covid-19.
USA TODAY Sports

Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant had not heard anything about the status of the match on Tuesday afternoon. And when Ryan Strome, who hit covid-19 earlier this season and missed four games, was asked if there were any concerns about playing against the Islanders right now, the Rangers center said outright no.

While the Islanders received some rare good news on Sunday, when Anthony Beauvillier was able to return to the lineup after registering a false positive test, the encouraging feeling did not last very long. Brock Nelson suffered a lower body injury in the second period of the Islanders’ 3-0 loss to the Maple Leafs and is expected to be out for two to four weeks, according to Lamoriello.



As a result, the Islanders, who have lost their last six games and are currently in the basement of the Metropolitan Division, recalled defender Thomas Hickey and forward Anatolii Golyshev from AHL Bridgeport.

Rangers can face a shell from the Islanders team that they went 2-6 against last season, with top defenders Ryan Pulock also on injured reserve with a lower body injury, but that does not change their attitude to the game.

“I think they are a team that they will probably play a pretty similar style no matter who is on the lineup,” said Strome, who spent the first four seasons of his NHL career with the Islanders after the organization drafted him fifth overall. 2011. “They have a good coaching staff and good structure and good veteran guys. I saw their games the other day, even though they lack their guys, they play the same way. They play hard.

“I do not think we take it differently. Our job is to go in there and just play our game. I think it’s more about what we do this season and to try to get some consistency from match to match for us, rather than worrying about other teams. “

After visiting the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle to meet the newest expansion team, Kraken, at the end of last month, Rangers are set to compete in their second new building at UBS Arena.

“I’m excited,” Gallant said. “I saw the match this evening on TV and it looks like a beautiful building and it should be fun to go in there. Every time you see such a new building, I think the players look forward to it.”

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