The New York Islanders have had another player enter this COVID protocol, as general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters including Arthur Staple of The Athletic that Zdeno Chara tested positive. The rest of the team has tested negative so far, and they are preparing to play tomorrow night.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the bad news for the Islanders. Lamoriello also explained that Brock Nelson will be out two to four weeks with a lower-body injury. To fill out the roster, Thomas Hickey and Anatolii Golyshev have been recalled from the AHL.
Chara joins Adam Pelech, Andy Greene, Anders Lee, Josh Bailey, Kieffer Bellows, and Ross Johnston in the protocol, all of whom are not expected back in time for tomorrow. That means the Islanders will continue to play extremely short-handed unless the league steps in to postpone some games. The team is scheduled to take on the New York Rangers tomorrow night and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.
It’s not even just COVID-related absences hurting the team though, as Ryan Pulock is also out long-term with an injury and now Nelson also finds himself on the shelf. The team has now lost six games in a row and finds themselves slipping completely out of the playoff picture in the Metropolitan Division.