The February 14th game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers has been postponed today due to COVID protocol. The National Hockey League has announced the latest postponement via their Public Relations team on Twitter.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 11, 2021
Philadelphia Flyers Game Postponed vs. Rangers
This is the fourth consecutive Philadelphia Flyers’ game that has been postponed. Previously, Philadelphia had games against both the Washington Capitals and the New Jersey Devils (twice) rescheduled. These postponements were due to COVID issues on the Flyers’ and Devils’ rosters, respectively.
On Tuesday, February 9th, multiple Flyers’ players entered the protocol which has forced the league to pause their season. Currently, Justin Braun, Claude Giroux and Travis Sanheim are all on the COVID protocol list in Philadelphia. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers have none of their players in the protocol. Their schedule is only affected because of the issues on their opponents’ rosters.
The COVID-19 protocol has ravaged the East Division of late. There are currently 49 players in the COVID protocol throughout the NHL; 29 of those players play in the East Division. As a result, the league has now postponed 13 games in the East Division over the past two weeks. In total, the NHL has rearranged 34 games because of the pandemic.
What This Means Going Forward
The National Hockey League has added new measures and protocols recently in an attempt to curb the continual postponements. These include removing the glass behind the team benches to improve air circulation in the arena and requesting that players do not arrive at the rink more than one hour and 45 minutes before puck drop.
Furthermore, TSN’s Bob Mackenzie announced tonight before the game between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs that the league was also exploring further protocols including rapid testing for players.
The Philadelphia Flyers’ next scheduled game is on February 18th against the New York Rangers. Meanwhile, the New York Rangers are due to play twice more before that game against the Boston Bruins on Friday, February 12th and the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, February 16th. However, given that the Devils themselves have 17 players on the COVID protocol, the likelihood that this game will go ahead is in the balance.
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