The New York Islanders centreman Jean-Gabriel Pageau was a late addition to the NHL COVID Protocol List on Sunday. The Islanders are set to face the New Jersey Devils for the third time in a row. Pageau’s absence was not explained until the puck drop, when Elliotte Friedman made it public it was COVID related.
Islanders’ Jean-Gabriel Pageau Added to COVID Protocol List
The Islanders’ weekend did not start the way they wanted. Anders Lee was injured during their fourth game against the Devils. The Islanders’ captain didn’t play on Saturday and was put on LTIR earlier on Sunday, as the team announced via Twitter.
However, that was not the only tough blow for the Long Island team. The news on Pageau came right before the game and the fans panicked a little wondering what was going on. Right before puck drop, it was made known that his absence is COVID related and he’s on the protocol list.
To put the cherry on top of the mess-cake, Noah Dobson was absent from the bench once the game started. The reason remains unknown. Sebastian Aho took his place and the late scratch delayed the start of the game by a few minutes. Austin Czarnik is currently replacing Pageau on the third line.
The Islanders have had only Josh Bailey added to the list prior to Pageau, but he was quickly taken off the day after.
What This Means To The Future
The Islanders seem to have found their salvation on their youngsters. Oliver Wahlstrom has been solid next to Pageau and the rotating Michael Dal Colle/Leo Komarov. Now Kieffer Bellows stepped up to his captain’s spot and scored twice during the game against the Devils on Saturday.
Aho assisted on Bellows’ third goal of the season during his first shift on Sunday. So maybe it’s not time to go on full desperation mode just yet. Of course, not having two of their most present players is not ideal but the rookies are holding the fort where they need to. Hopefully, Aho and Czarnik will only be temporary but Bellows might stay in the lineup for longer than his fellow teammates.