Rumors began circling on Tuesday morning when Team USA head coach Nate Leaman’s Zoom call with the media did not start on time and was then canceled. First, there were “COVID issues inside the Swiss locker room”, then TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that two USA players had tested positive for the virus, postponing the USA/Swiss game.
The IIHF later deemed it a forfeit for Team USA, marking their first “loss” ever to the Swiss in this tournament.
— IIHF (@IIHFHockey) December 28, 2021
- There were plenty of opinions on the forfeiture of this game, mostly questioning the decision, given Team USA has a roster chock-full of players ready to step in. Especially for two players that tested positive.
Not really sure the validity/point of this tournament when teams are forced to forfeit due to circumstances beyond their control. Also, this tourney with silly rules is allowed but Women’s U18 isn’t at all? Weird @IIHFHockey https://t.co/6IOp3Mo2J6
— Scott Mayfield (@scottmayfield2) December 28, 2021
Why the forfeiture though? Team USA followed the protocols set forth by the IIHF. Seems like a force majeure event https://t.co/HHoAaiMQ9b
— Sabremetrix🎄 (@Sabremetrix) December 28, 2021
Team USA will enter a mandated quarantine after two of its players tested poisitive.
Switzerland has been awarded a 1-0 win for today’s game in accordance with the IIHF Rule Book.
Per IIHF, USA's quarantine status will be re-evaluated before tomorrow’s game agaisnt Sweden.
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 28, 2021
This muppetry has gone on long enough. These kids are statistically at ZERO risk from covid, have always been at zero risk and will most likely always be at zero risk. Time to end this testing healthy people charade. https://t.co/oXKP5r8uJV
— Paul Thacker (@paulthacker11) December 28, 2021
We surrendered … to the Swiss? https://t.co/jsoh2noctC
— Jon Gabriel (@exjon) December 28, 2021
A forfeit for USA. Hope they are able to play their next game. https://t.co/8fEr0CBy9f
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) December 28, 2021
- With the NHL opting not to send any of its players to Beijing for the Winter Olympics in February, Team USA is looking elsewhere for players to compete, including…LA Kings 2020 second-rounder Brock Faber:
Speculation already beginning that three current @GopherHockey players could be selected for Team USA and head to Beijing, thereby missing much of the February schedule. Thinking Brock Faber, Ryan Johnson and Ben Meyers are the most likely candidates to wear red, white & blue.
— Jess Myers (@JessRMyers) December 28, 2021
- Back on the LA Kings front, 2019 fifth overall pick Alex Turcotte made his highly anticipated debut against the Golden Knights.
Turcotte ahead of his debut:
"My grandpa was a big part of my life, but he's not here with us anymore. I know he's proud. He's a major part of this, a lot of this is for him."#GoKingsGo
— Ryan Sikes (@ryan_sikes10) December 29, 2021
- Turcotte won the game’s opening faceoff and won his first three faceoffs. He finished with three shots on goal, 2 PIM, one blocked shot, one takeaway, 50% faceoff percentage, 12:08 TOI, and a -1 on the night.
“Tough game for the kid to play in,” Kings head coach Todd McLellan admitted after the game. “By the time he gathers his wits about him, it’s 5-1 or whatever it was and then you get into that situation, there’s half a night left and you’re a little bit anxious, you probably don’t want to make the next mistake and have it pile on, so you play a backed off game a little bit. Now, I thought Turc handled himself extremely well, we’ve seen improvements in his game and as he gets more confident, he’ll get more aggressive, his shift length will get a little bit longer, he won’t be afraid of making mistakes. He certainly wasn’t our problem tonight.”
- Let’s see if there are any lineup changes in advance of Thursday’s scheduled game against Vancouver:
- If you blinked in the first period, you might have missed four goals. Per NHL Public Relations – The Golden Knights and Kings also joined forces in accomplishment Tuesday, becoming the seventh set of teams since 2000-01 to score four goals in a span of 76 seconds or fewer.
- Do you think Jonathan Marchessault likes playing the LA Kings? He had two goals in Tuesday’s contest and has six goals with 19 points in 26 career games against Los Angeles, the second-most points of any team he’s faced (Sharks).
- Around the league, there were three games played on Tuesday; all of them had at least nine goals. The Sharks/Coyotes game had 14 goals, with the Sharks prevailing 8-7 in the shootout. Rust, anyone?
- Former LA King Kale Clague and the Montreal Canadiens fell 5-4 in Tampa, but Clague notched his first NHL goal on this wicked slap shot. Good to see him put in a position to succeed.
— Ryan Sikes (@ryan_sikes10) December 29, 2021
- A couple of OHL teams, including the Barrie Colts, have been hit hard by the ongoing pandemic. LA Kings 2021 eighth overall pick Brandt Clarke and the Colts will be idle well into the new year:
#OHL announces Barrie team activities suspended, 5 games postponed. Also, 3 Peterborough games postponed.
Barrie postponed through January 8, Petes postponed through January 1.
— Terry Doyle (@Terry_Doyle) December 28, 2021