San Jose Sharks goaltender Adin Hill (33) can’t stop a shot by Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat during Sat Dec 18, 2021’s game at SAP Center in San Jose which will sit empty as the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks game has been postponed on Tue Dec 21, 2021 due to Covid 19 protocols. The NHL will reopen the season on Mon Dec 27, 2021 (TSN file photo)
By Mary Walsh
Tuesday’s San Jose Sharks game against the Vancouver Canucks has joined a list of eight games postponed for COVID-19 concerns. The Sharks game against the Edmonton Oilers that was scheduled for Thursday has also been postponed. The next Sharks game on the schedule is Monday in Anaheim, against the Ducks at 7:00 PM PT.
The NHL first announced on Monday that games between Canadian and US teams would be postponed until after the holiday break. Then the postponements expanded to include all games after Tuesday night. Wednesday’s games had already been postponed because the teams are shut down under COVID-19 protocols, and the NHL and the NHLPA decided to postpone the five games scheduled for Thursday. There will be two games played Tuesday and after that, the NHL holiday break will begin.
As of Monday night, the regular season is expected to resume on Monday, December 27. Players will report back to their teams on Sunday: “for testing, practice and/or travel only. Upon return from the Holiday Break to team facilities, no individual in the team’s Traveling Party shall enter the facility (other than for testing purposes) until they have a negative test result. Any practice scheduled for Dec. 26 must begin after 2:00 p.m. local time.”
44 games have been postponed this season, 39 in past 7 days. At this time, the NHL intends to continue with the regular season. Sunday, they released a statement that read, in part:
“The NHLPA’s and NHL’s medical experts have determined that, with virtually all players and club hockey staff fully vaccinated, the need to temporarily shut down individual teams should continue to be made on a case-by-case basis. The effects of recently introduced enhanced prevention and detection measures will be evaluated daily.”
On Monday, the Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Columbus Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators were added to the list of teams shut down for COVID-19 concerns. The Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators were shut down Sunday. The Calgary Flames, with 19 players and three coaches in protocol, were shut down Saturday through the 27th.