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From the Branches: Schrödinger’s injury

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As of this morning, Auston Matthews both is and is not injured.

Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

As if Wednesday night’s game wasn’t enough pain and suffering and general irritation for us, collectively, yesterday’s practice brought even more unpleasant news:

Only in hockey could a phrase like “wasn’t feeling great” strike terror into the hearts of an entire fanbase. It’s one of the most irritating idiosyncrasies of this sport that a hockey player would describe anything from a mild hangover to a partial dismemberment as “not feeling great.” I’m mostly sitting over here hoping he ate a bad clam or something and today’s announcement will be that he’s fine.

We also got updates on Joe Thornton and Nick Robertson:

Katya wrote up a piece on the implications of those injuries and the resulting roster moves, if you want more details.

ICYMI

Maple Leafs Practice Update: injuries, absences and cap machinations - Pension Plan Puppets
Today’s post-loss practice had all of that and Michael Hutchinson too.

COVID-19 News

As you’ve probably heard, the Capitals have ended up in a pretty significant amount of trouble, with Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov, Ilya Samsonov, and Evgeny Kuznetsov all landing on the covid protocol list and the team themselves getting fined $100,000. Meanwhile, the Canes are still shut down for the time being, and the Red Wings are also adding players to the protocol list.

Canes’ season paused, while Caps play on without 4 regulars | The Star
Rod Brind'Amour lamented Carolina's season coming to a screeching halt despite doing “a great job” adhering to pandemic protocols.

Red Wings place Sam Gagner, Jon Merrill on COVID-19 protocol list - Winging It In Motown
The Red Wings are going to be without some key players when they hit the ice to take on the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night.

What COVID protocols the Capitals broke, and why the NHL had to step in
The Washington Capitals were fined $100,000 for violating the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. Four players, including Alex Ovechkin, were placed on the league's COVID-Related Absences List, and now will miss at least four games. Elliotte Friedman explains what happened, and why the NHL had to step in.

Other News

Sheldon Keefe: “Last night was a great example of how we were able to not get frustrated and not crack defensively” | Maple Leafs Hotstove

Down Goes Brown: The Athletic Hockey Show: Wake me when it’s over

Artemiy Panarin Speaks Out in Support of Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny - Blueshirt Banter
The Rangers forward is using his voice and platform for a good cause

Alexis Lafreniere boosted to top line in recent lineup change
Alexis Lafreniere will be on the top line for the next NY Rangers game. He moved up to play with Zibanejad and Kreider at today's practice.

Lithuania offers to replace Belarus as hockey worlds co-host | The Star
VILNIUS, Lithuania - Lithuania offered to replace ousted Belarus as co-host of this year's hockey world championships on Thursday.

Flyers provide injury updates for Phil Myers, Morgan Frost - Broad Street Hockey
Two of the Flyers’ youngsters will be out some time with substantial injuries.

The Canadiens resilience will serve them well - Eyes On The Prize
The ability to bounce back in games is something missing from past years.

What it's like for NHL PA announcers to work in empty arenas – The Athletic
NHL public address announcers are learning to work even as most of their public watches from home.