The Chicago Blackhawks have largely avoided any significant COVID-related issues to this point in the 2021-22 NHL season, but it appears those fortunes are starting to turn against them.
During Friday’s practice, the team announced that goaltender Kevin Lankinen was placed in COVID-19 protocol:
MEDICAL UPDATE: Goaltender Kevin Lankinen will not participate in practice today (COVID-19 Protocol).— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) December 31, 2021
Youngster Arvid Soderblom was added to the taxi squad this week and now appears to be the backup to Collin Delia. With the Blackhawks playing on Saturday against Nashville and then at home on Sunday night against the Calgary Flames, it’s possible that Soderblom could make his NHL debut this weekend.
Collin Delia and Arvid Soderblom are the two goalies on the ice for practice.— Scott Powers (@ByScottPowers) December 31, 2021
Catching up on a few other roster moves from the week: on Thursday, defenseman Alec Regula and forward Josiah Slavin were each added to the taxi squad while two other players were activated from injured reserve and should be available for the weekend slate:
MEDICAL UPDATE: Henrik Borgstrom (non-COVID related illness) and Jujhar Khaira (concussion protocol) have been activated from injured reserve. pic.twitter.com/0VsWtWWgkd— Chicago Blackhawks (@NHLBlackhawks) December 30, 2021
The Khaira news is especially welcome after the scary scene that unfolded on the ice when he was hit up high by New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba.
It also appears that Borgstrom will be back in the lineup for Saturday, as he was part of the second power-play unit during Friday’s practice:
As of this writing, the Blackhawks are scheduled to play their first game in two weeks on Saturday against the Nashvilled Predators. Fingers crossed.