NHL Resumes Play Tuesday After Extended Break Caused By COVID-19 | The Canadian News

After shutting down for a week, the NHL resumes play Tuesday with three games on the schedule amid hopes that its extended vacation caused by a series of positive COVID-19 test results will set the stage for the league. complete a season already invested.

Two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning won’t have his best goalkeepers or coach for his game against Montreal. Coach Peter DeBoer is out for the Vegas Golden Knights game in Los Angeles. And there are more disturbing signs.

On Monday, the league postponed three more games scheduled for later this week to bring the total to 70 this season. Chicago’s game in Winnipeg scheduled for Wednesday and a home and home series Wednesday and Friday between Dallas and Colorado are the latest to be moved due to coronavirus concerns.

As of now, the Winter Classic between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild is still scheduled to be played at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday night in keeping with the league’s New Years Day tradition.

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NHL Returns To Taxi Squads To Protect Season From COVID-19 Outages

“We are happy to play hockey,” said Blues defender Justin Faulk. “I think we should be playing.”

In an effort to do just that, the league brought back “taxi squads,” a feature of the 2020 season shortened by the pandemic. Each team will be able to keep up to six players in the taxi squad and will be able to make more emergency calls to the minors to make sure there are 18 skaters and two goalkeepers available for each game.

“It’s what had to happen,” Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “Obviously, with what’s going on, you’re going to have a lot of these problems, so that’s one way to fix it: have enough players around you so you can keep playing. I think at the end of the day that’s what we’re trying to do: have a system in place that can get the guys into the lineup quickly. “

The league closed for the annual Christmas vacation two days earlier than usual and extended it until Monday due to COVID-19 cases and the spread of the delta and omicron variants.

© 2021 The Canadian Press


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