NHL Postpones Buffalo Sabres Games Due To COVID-19
Just when ice hockey games are heating up, the NHL announced that all games from the Buffalo Sabres are postponed this week due to the league’s new COVID-19 protocol. A total of four games, including their respective NHL odds, will be on pause through February 8, Monday.
Taylor Hall, the team’s left-winger, and Rasmus Ristolainen, the hockey defenceman, were added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list after their two home games over the weekend (January 30, 31) against the New Jersey Devils. This led to the postponements of Sabres’ games.
The Devil’s Travis Zajac also missed Saturday’s game after being added to the COVID protocol list. Forward Kyle Palmieri did not play Sunday and was added too. The NHL canceled the Devils’ games through Saturday when four more players were put in the protocol. As of today, the Devils have 14 players in the protocol, including the eight players added since Tuesday.
Sabre’s training facilities have been closed until further notice, so players who are not on the COVID list aren’t allowed to train and interact with staff temporarily. They remain in quarantine until February 8.
The protocol was recently imposed by the league for transparency. Players like Hall and Ristolainen are marked unavailable if they have an initial positive test, contact with positive or symptomatic individuals, and travel history.
The Sabres immediately followed the NHL’s decision and advice after their last two games. In a statement, the team said:
“Sabres players and staff have been closely following and will continue to follow the COVID protocols as outlined by the NHL and the team’s medical staff. Our organization will continue to work with the league and our medical team to ensure the health and safety of our players and staff.”
Buffalo Sabres’ two games against the New York Islanders and Boston Bruins are part of the list with postponed matches. The Sabres are next scheduled to host the Washington Capitals on February 11.
All in all, the NHL has postponed a total of sixteen games since this season began, all due to its new COVID-19 protocols. Two more games were also postponed prior to the opening day.