Tuesday, January 25, 2022

NHL COVID-19 tracker: Blue Jackets, Canadiens on pause due to COVID outbreaks; Devils-Penguins postponed

The NHL, like other North American sports leagues, is battling COVID-19 outbreaks across multiples teams as of Wednesday. Nearly two years into the pandemic, even with widespread vaccinations and strict protocols in place, COVID is heavily affecting hockey.

On Monday, the NHL announced that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Montreal Canadiens’ games will be postponed at least through the league’s holiday break in the schedule on Dec. 26 due to a COVID-19 outbreak. The decision was made by the NHL, the NHLPA, and each team’s medical staff.

The Canadiens will have their next four games postponed while the Blue Jackets will miss their next three games.

In addition, the NHL announced that Tuesday’s game between the New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins has been postponed after COVID-19-related issues were affecting the Devils. A make-up date has yet to be determined.

The Devils already had Thursday’s game against the Canadiens previously postponed.

Just a day earlier on Sunday, the NHL announced that it would continue the regular season as scheduled, but would continue to shut down teams experiencing COVID outbreaks on a case-by-case basis for the time being, but that all games that require cross border travel between the United States and Canada will be suspended through the beginning of the league’s holiday break. That affects 12 games that will have to be rescheduled for later in the season. 

Currently, besides the Blue Jackets and Canadiens, the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs all have their seasons postponed through the league’s holiday break due to outbreaks within their teams. 

As the situation continues to escalate, the NHL and NHLPA also announced an update to its COVID-19 protocols to be observed through at least January 7. The league will resume daily testing for players and coaches, and potentially implement additional pre-game testing “on a case-by-case basis” in the event of a COVID outbreak within a team.

Here is an updated look at the current COVID situation for teams throughout the National Hockey League and players who have been placed in protocols:

Boston Bruins

Calgary Flames

Carolina Hurricanes

Colorado Avalanche

Detroit Red Wings

Edmonton Oilers

Florida Panthers

Los Angeles Kings

Montreal Canadiens

  • Artturi Lehkonen (Dec. 18)

Nashville Predators

New York Islanders

  • Mat Barzal (Dec. 14)

Philadelphia Flyers

Toronto Maple Leafs

Vancouver Canucks

Washington Capitals

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