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Litter plague

MASKS have saved countless lives worldwide since the pandemic struck.

???? Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates

3Masks have saved countless lives since Covid but let's stop them fuelling a new environmental disasterCredit: Alamy

It was always crazy that our scientists initially dismissed them.

New research shows they cut Covid transmission in the air by 99 per cent, giving enormous weight to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s demands for theatres to reopen to masked audiences on June 21.

Boris should listen.

But single-use masks, as vital as they have been, have become an environmental menace. We’ve all seen them ­littering our streets and countryside.

Some 53million a week are chucked away in the UK, harming birds and animals and even washing into the sea. They will take 250 years to biodegrade, giving off deadly microplastics as they do so.

Today The Sun launches a new campaign, Mask Force, to help Britain recycle our single-use PPE at 488 Morrisons stores.

They can’t be recycled by normal facilities. Instead a specialist firm intends to turn them into more PPE, as well as building materials and benches.

Find out more here.

Masks have helped us through this catastrophe. Let’s stop them fuelling a new environmental disaster.

Peace posers

BORIS Johnson must once again stand firm against the EU — and against US pressure on him to buckle to Brussels.

Both claim that the protocol governing new post-Brexit arrangements in Northern Ireland is the key to keeping the peace there. That’s rubbish.

3Boris Johnson must stand firm against US pressure on him to buckle to BrusselsCredit: Andrew Parsons / No10 Downing St

It is itself the biggest threat to peace — as David Trimble, author of the Good Friday Agreement, points out.

The US listens to Brussels and voices in Ireland on only one side of the argument . . . not those of unionists.

The EU is desperate for us to adopt its food standards, a last-gasp victory from the jaws of its Brexit defeat. And the US apparently believes we should submit to demands it would never entertain itself.

Without a compromise, the EU may trigger its trade war. But so be it.

Boris must not surrender to avoid it. That way lies grave danger for Northern Ireland.

Her mask slips

NO wonder Matt Hancock regrets following Sage’s advice too slavishly last year.

Especially when you listen to members like psychologist Susan Michie.

3Matt Hancock regrets following Sage’s advice too slavishly last yearCredit: PA

It’s not just that she has been a member of the Communist Party for 40 years — although backing that failed, ruinous, murderous ideology ought to disqualify her from getting a hearing anywhere.

It’s that Michie now reckons we should all wear masks and socially-distance FOREVER.

She even laughed at the prospect.

But then nothing brings Communists greater joy than imposing restrictions on a free people.

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Theres never been anything like Ryan Pulocks miraculous Islanders stop

More from: Larry Brooks Blackhawks enter the Jack Eichel trade sweepstakes Referee helps doom Islanders with phantom Adam Pelech penalty Islanders have go-to duo in Adam Pelech-Ryan Pulock pair Islanders facing daunting task you had to see coming Gerard Gallant is ideal choice to solve star issue that haunted Rangers

Bob Nystrom scored in overtime at the Coliseum and so did Ken Morrow. Mike Bossy once struck twice late in the third period to get his 50-in-50. Bryan Trottier had a five-goal night. There was Double Chili. John Tonelli scored late in a Game 5 against the Penguins and then again in overtime to save it all. The Dynasty did victory laps at Nassau Coliseum in three of their four Stanley Cup victories.

But there had never been anything like this at the Old Barn.

I’d venture to say there has never been anything like this, anywhere.

Hockey, ladies and gentlemen.

Playoff hockey.

There were seconds remaining in Saturday’s pulsating Game 4 of the Stanley Cup semifinals. The Islanders were desperately attempting to preserve a 3-2 lead over the Lightning, the teams were five-on-five with Tampa Bay’s goaltender pulled while shorthanded, killing a penalty.

The game had been frantic from the start, the Islanders scoring three times within a second-period span of 12:27 to take a 3-0 lead, the Lightning scoring twice within the first 6:43 of the third, and there we were.

The Islanders played keepaway on their power play, going into a four-corners prevent offense. Finally, the puck came out. Finally, the puck was deep in the Islanders zone. Finally, Nikita Kucherov found Ryan McDonagh all alone in the left circle.

Ryan Pulock make a game-saving stop in the Islanders’ Game 4 win on Saturday.Getty Images

There were about four seconds to go.

Brock Nelson took a desperate lunge at McDonagh, who is having himself a great, throwback series as if it were 2014 and he were wearing Rangers Blue. McDonagh pulled a Denis Savard, eluding Nelson with a spin-o-rama. Netminder Semyon Varlamov charged out. The net was empty behind him.

McDonagh sent a backhander toward that empty net. There was about a second left. Time stood still. The deafening roar of the crowd crawled into every spectator’s throat and was swallowed up in fearful anticipation. The game was about to be tied. The game was about to go into overtime.

And then … and then … the game was over.

GAME SAVER, RYAN PULOCK!!! ???? #StanleyCup

— NHL (@NHL) June 20, 2021

The game was over because Ryan Pulock, materializing out of nowhere like a superhero, somehow came across the crease and got his right glove on the puck before it could cross the goal line and then managed to swat it aside where it harmlessly spun. The Islanders pounded and surrounded No. 6 with glee and celebrated as if there were no tomorrow.

But of course, there are at least two more tomorrows coming for the Islanders, now 2-2 in the series with Game 5 set for Monday night in Tampa. And there is at least one more tomorrow for the Old Barn, which will host Game 6 on Wednesday.

History meeting the present. History becoming history of its own.

“I think everybody’s breath was kind of taken away when that puck was coming,” said Mathew Barzal, who had scored the 2-0 goal and was watching from the bench. “I thought they … I thought it was going in and then just a miraculous play by Poolie, so I’m not going to be forgetting that one.”

A Miracle on Ice.

“McDonagh made a heck of a play with the spin-o-rama, the net was open and I just tried to make myself big and take it away and I was able to [make the play],” Pulock said. “You hear the sound of the clock going and the boys jump on you. It’s a good feeling.”

Understatement, anyone?

see also
Islanders ride huge second period to critical Game 4 win over Lightning The Islanders are in a much better position this time...

“It’s playoffs. Nothing should surprise anybody, really,” said head coach Barry Trotz, whose Islanders played with verve, confidence and to their Identity in building the 3-0 lead and then settled back in after the Lightning closed to 3-2. “That’s the great thing about our game.

“We can bring you out of your seats right ’til the last minute. What a save by Poolie. That will be remembered.”

Trotz, who stands 5-foot-9, couldn’t see the madness to his right that was unfolding. So the coach looked up at the scoreboard video screen.

“Everyone was standing up and I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’m not that tall,” he said. “I tried to take a peek up at the scoreboard real quick and all I saw was Nellie sliding, McDonagh turned, Varly came out to challenge and it looked like it was going in the net.

“Then obviously Poolie came through and slid across and saved the day for us.”

The coach then made a little joke.

“I would never it was never in doubt,” he said.

The final moment overshadowed what had been a fantastic game. This had pace. This had tempo. This would have been a classic befitting the Barn and its heritage, regardless.

But then came the final second. Then came history. More history at the Coliseum.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

Filed under 2021 nhl playoffs ,  new york islanders ,  ryan pulock ,  6/20/21

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