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Three Things We Learned in Week 11 of the NHL Season

The Christmas break was a little longer than usual with the rise of the omicron variant, with a large percentage of the league getting placed on COVID-19 protocol. Although the league may have halted games, there were still a few stories worth getting into.
Gritty

The Christmas break was a little longer than usual with the rise of the omicron variant, with a large percentage of the league getting placed on COVID-19 protocol. Although the league may have halted games, there were still a few stories worth getting into: 

Team practices have been anything but smooth post-Christmas 

NHL teams have been returning to practices after extended Christmas breaks, but the process has been a challenge. The rise of players entering COVID-19 protocols has resulted in more call-ups from the AHL, and teams most will likely will have shorter benches once games resume.

THN's own David Alter got into the impact that COVID has had on the Maple Leafs with a large portion of the team missing practices over the past few days.

The extended break may have been intended to handle COVID outbreaks on top of already existing protocol but so far it appears the league is in a similar spot. 

Twitter discovered Elf had a deleted hockey scene 

Will Ferrell has been in many classic comedies and Elf is one of his shining gems. This week, a large portion of Hockey Twitter users rediscovered that there was a deleted scene in which Ferrell's character "Buddy" took part in a hockey game at the North Pole. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the clip in all of its glory. 

There was no word on if Ferrell was forced to have a meeting with Santa for his high elbows before scoring on this play. But, hey! With teams needing so many replacement players, maybe one will come calling.

Gritty played the role of hero before Christmas

The league's extended break didn't stop one of the Gritty from having an impact.

Gritty visited a South Philadelphia couple who had their wreath dedicated to him stolen -- but not before putting a call out himself to demand its return. He ultimately gave them a replacement, showing just how good of a guy he is -- but don't tell let the Pittsburgh Penguins know.

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