One of the interesting storylines to follow when it comes to potential Olympic participation was the goaltending competition for Team Canada. The long list had six names, including Carey Price, but it’s not at all clear who will actually be selected for the final roster. Mackenzie Blackwood was one of those listed, but his status was up in the air because to participate at the Olympics, a player needs to be fully vaccinated. To this point, Blackwood had declined the COVID-19 vaccination.
That has changed now, as Mike Morreale of NHL.com confirms Blackwood received his first shot at the end of last week and is on track to be fully vaccinated before the New Jersey Devils take their first road trip to Canada in early December. Blackwood will now be eligible to play for Team Canada as well, should he be one of the goaltenders selected.
- Sidney Crosby was back practicing with the main group after some more individual work today, as the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to roll without their captain. The veteran forward is inching toward a return, though it’s not clear yet if he’ll be ready for tomorrow’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Jeff Carter and Kris Letang, who are in the COVID protocol, were both absent, while Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Rust skated before practice.
- After an embarrassing loss to the Penguins over the weekend, the Toronto Maple Leafs have overhauled their lines according to Mark Masters of TSN, splitting up Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner for the first time since the 2019-20 season. The team also had injured goaltender Petr Mrazek on the ice with the main group, as he works his way back from a groin injury. The Maple Leafs haven’t scored more than three goals in a single game yet this season, and have just 12 total in six games.