From hockey to soccer, curling and even bowling, nearly all adult sports have been suspended in B.C.
“A lot of these adult team sports are as much social gatherings as they are sport,” said provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday. “It’s the going for a coffee or a beer after a game that has been the most (common) source of transmission. But sometimes it’s very difficult, because a lot of that is built into the culture of many of the adult team sports.”
Henry says kids’ sports don’t have the same history of COVID-19 transmission, so they’re allowed to continue, but players can only practice with their teams. No games are being held and there is no travel between jurisdictions.
“We are hoping we can preserve, safely, those opportunities for young people without the riskier parts of what they’re doing around playing games and travel,” said Henry.
The Adult Safe Hockey League is one of the largest organizations impacted by the adult sports shutdown. Its 400 teams play out of three Canlan Ice Sports facilities in Burnaby, Langley and North Vancouver, and they just resumed full-game play last week.
“It’s frustrating for our hockey players, those that come to play, they need an outlet,” said Canlan Ice Sports executive vice president Mike Gellard.
He said Canlan facilities have done everything they can can to keep players and staff safe, including plexiglass dividers on the bench and strict time limits in dressing rooms. But he recognizes pre-and post game gatherings can be an issue.
“It’s not the on ice where the risk is,” said Gellard. “The biggest part of an adult hockey game was having a beer after the game in a room. Well, obviously that doesn’t happen anymore. Where they go after the game, we really can’t control that.”
The owner of Scottsdale Lanes is disappointed bowling is included in the adult sports ban. Families can still drop in to play with the members of their household bubble, but adult league games have been suspended.
“Our leagues are totally our bread and butter,” Ken Clarke said. “If we don’t have our leagues, it’s questionable whether it’s even worth being open. I would say 80 per cent of our revenue is league-based revenue.”
Children’s bowling leagues can continue, and kids can keep practicing with their sports teams. Dance studios have also been allowed to reopen, but again, for children’s programs only.
With all adult hockey programs now cancelled, Canlan Ice Sports facilities will be nearly empty at what is normally a very busy time of year.
“We’re going to have a lot of open ice, so if you want to buy some ice, give us a call,” Gellard said.
As for when the adult teams could return?
“The only way we’re going to be able to reopen is if COVID numbers get better and the vaccine starts to get distributed,” he said. “So I think we are in this for a little bit longer.”
In the Habs' Room: Allen makes a statement in debut 3-1 win over Oilers – Montreal Gazette
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“The goal for me coming in this season was to make Carey be the best goalie he can be,” Allen said. “When he’s on his game, he’s the best in the world. My job is to come in here and collect points as well. Points are crucial. My mindset coming into this year is no exhibition games is no excuse, it was just to build my game, keep building and find pieces of my game that are going to continue to get better. I thought it was a good start, but still a long way to go.”
Allen said the biggest challenge was dealing with the traffic in front of his net.
“That’s something you don’t get in practice,” he said.
Allen had to share the spotlight with the penalty-killing unit. The Oilers, led by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, had the best power play in the NHL last season but they went 0-for-7 Monday and 0-for-10 over the two games.
Player grades: Vaunted powerplay lays a rotten egg as Edmonton Oilers again fall meekly to Habs – Edmonton Journal
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#6 Adam Larsson, 4. Took a pair of penalties against his own end boards, one for mauling Phillip Danault, one for a late hit on Jake Evans that was deemed interference. Had 0 legal hits. Beyond those two powerplay opps, he didn’t give up a whole lot.
#8 Kyle Turris, 4. Another game chasing the play. Through 4 games and 44 minutes of 5v5 play, the Oilers have mustered barely 30% of the shot attempts (27 for, 59 against) and under 35% of the shots on goal (16 for, 30 against) with Turris on the ice. Oh yeah, and 0% of the goals (0 for, 4 against). On Monday those counts were 5-9, 3-6, and 0-0 respectively, so at least no damage on the scoreboard this time. 1 shot, 0 hits, and 6/15=40% on the dot.
#10 Joakim Nygard, 4. One of the more industrious Oilers, won a few puck battles but generated 0 shot attempts. Drew a penalty, but took a late one of his own for an aggressive backcheck. Celebrated Shore’s goal from the penalty box.
#13 Jesse Puljujarvi, 4. A couple of brief flashes including an early jam attempt, but had very little impact on this game.
#14 Devin Shore, 5. A culprit on Shea Weber’s game winning powerplay goal when he bowled over Koskinen. Made up for it by scoring Edmonton’s lone goal on a fine individual effort, also while killing a penalty, stealing the puck from Jonathan Drouin, waltzing in alone, and firing a perfect shot off the post and in to ruin Allen’s shutout bid with 2 minutes to play.
#15 Josh Archibald, 4. An industrious effort which included 5 hits, but generated nothing offensively. Screened Koskinen on the opening goal, which may have caught a piece of him on the way by.
How the Maple Leafs spread the wealth of Hyman-Tavares-Marner line – Sportsnet.ca
TORONTO – Way back in the summer of 2018, when free agents got paid and backyard barbecues didn’t require headcounts, the Toronto Maple Leafs quietly filmed a secret video to help lure John Tavares home.
A 21-year-old Mitchell Marner was asked to buzz around a near-empty barn, flashing his stickwork and spin moves for the cameras. A custom-made sizzle reel of skill served as the cherry on top of the 77 million other reasons for Tavares to take the Leafs seriously. This is the calibre of winger we’ll provide you with, John. Just imagine the possibilities.
It wasn’t so long after Tavares posted his infamous boyhood bedsheets pic that he, Marner and Zach Hyman were tearing up the league, turning that teaser video into a full-length feature that rocked the box office in 2018-19.
Tavares erupted for a career-best 47 goals and 88 points. Marner a career-best 26 and 94. Hyman a career-best 21 and 41. Not only did they compose the Maple Leafs’ best offensive line at the time, but Hyman-Tavares-Marner was also the most — and, some nights, only — trio trusted to shut down the enemy’s best forwards.
Outside of Boston’s Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak trio, one would be hard-pressed to name a more dominant triumvirate in the East that season. A recurring debate on Toronto sports radio: Who’s really driving the line, Tavares or Marner?
Then 2019-20 happened.
A combination of injuries, role experimentation and a coaching change conspired to break up the band. Everything got chucked in the blender. Nothing tasted right.
Marner and Tavares saw their production dip from elite to excellent. Hyman rehabbed a torn ACL and ping-ponged between centremen, providing a boost wherever he landed. And Toronto’s other No. 1 pivot, Auston Matthews, began carving out a reputation as a two-way force.
So often we talk about the action of hockey as a series of moving parts, but what Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe has done this season, after months of poring over video, is completely dismantle that 2018-19 engine, repurpose the parts and rebuilt his top nine with the goal of achieving a more specialized and consistent performance.
Tavares, Marner and Hyman — so dangerous as one tight unit just 20 months ago — are now standout drivers on three separate lines.
And Monday’s performance, a decisive 3-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets, was a fine example of how this sucker can hum when all pistons are pumping.
Let’s start with the captain.
Tavares — my pick to have a serious bounce-back campaign — woke up Tuesday to see his name atop the NHL’s (extremely early) leaderboard in goals (three) and points (six).
Leading wingmen William Nylander and Jimmy Vesey, Tavares has been a silent beast through four games. In addition to working closely with Vesey behind the scenes to help the new Leaf adjust to the top six, Tavares ramped up his conditioning and has become a focal point of assistant coach Manny Malhotra’s new 1B power-play unit.
“He looks quicker to me than he did at any point last season,” Keefe said. “He has an extra step, whether that’s on the rush, or whether that’s coming out of the corners in the offensive zone and attacking the net, or whether that comes back into our zone.”
For all the talk of the Leafs’ influx of leadership and splashy personalities, the understated Tavares has maintained a gold standard of positioning and dependability.
“His work ethic every day has been great. He’s come ready to play and being very competitive, every puck he’s out there against. I mean, that’s what you want out of your leaders. You want them to show and be an example for everyone else,” Marner said.
Even more interesting than Monday’s utter dominance of Tavares’s line, which out-attempted the Jets 13-1 at even-strength, was Keefe’s deployment. One hundred per cent of Tavares’s even-strength draws (all eight) were in the O-zone, meaning he’s being set up for offensive success.
Charged with giving Alexander Kerfoot’s checking third line a boost of credibility and identity, Hyman has been the staff’s Swiss Army knife, providing a jolt of energy further down the lineup while getting tapped for critical shifts in the top six when needed.
On Monday, Hyman led all skaters with 10(!) shots on net despite starting a team-low 14.3 per cent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone. He hasn’t had a poor night yet.
Keefe’s fresh disbursement of responsibility means separate but (so far) successful power-play group. It also means entrusting Matthews and Marner with more defensive responsibility and ice time. They appear ready for it in their fifth season.
Each has averaged more than 23 minutes per game in the early going here, and Marner responded from Friday’s dismal zero-shot performance in Ottawa with a pair of standout games.
Marner slammed the winner plus the empty-net insurance marker Monday, tallying five points over the past two games. Just as spicy was his response to Jets’ defenceman Neal Pionk’s attempt to run him during the final shot and Mark Scheifele’s words for him after the lamp illuminated:
“Who cares. We won the game,” Marner said. “That’s all I care about.”
Same goes for Keefe.
The aim is to win the game, and he’ll rearrange the pieces and sprinkle the trust as he sees fit.
Hyman-Tavares-Marner has been remixed, fresh for 2021, and it’s sounding pretty good upon first listen.
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