Can't stop. Won't stop. That's basically the COVID slogan if there was one. Yesterday the New York Islanders COVID protocol list added four new names as players returned to the practice facility. (They all had to test negative before they practiced).
Anthony Beauvillier, Zach Parise, Cal Clutterbuck, and Oliver Wahlstrom were all added to the COVID protocol list yesterday alongside Robin Salo and Matt Martin. Mathew Barzal was removed from the list and practiced yesterday.
That's six players on the list now. And today that was pushed up to seven with Brock Nelson being added to COVID protocol.
New York Islanders: Covid continues it's spread
It feels like November all over again with seven players out. Sure, two are supposed to exit protocol by the time the Isles play Detroit on Wednesday. According to Barry Trotz and Lou Lamoriello, both Robin Salo and Matt Martin will leave COVID protocol on Wednesday.
But still, the five players on the list would be the team's second-line center (Brock Nelson), their second line LW (Anthony Beauvillier), their top-line right-wing (Oliver Wahlstrom), and their third-line left-wing (Zach Parise).
Those are some big gaps in the lineup. Nelson and Wahlstrom rank 2-3 in terms of points on the team. For a group devoid of offense like the Isles, losing them for ~10 days is a huge blow.
A playoff berth was already looking dicey for the team. They currently sit eleven points back of the Red Wings for the final Wild Card spot in the East but hold five games in hand. But losing these and now Brock Nelson players makes that uphill climb even harder.
Nelson is third in scoring for the Isles with 13 points (10 goals and three assists). He already missed five games with injury and had just returned on December 11. He only played four games - recording a goal and an assist - before going on the COVID protocol list.