Photo: Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images
The NHL announced on Friday night that the 2021-22 regular-season will not resume on Monday as originally planned, and will begin no earlier than Tuesday. The Washington Capitals’ game against the Ottawa Senators at Capital One Arena on Monday will be postponed. The league said that medical experts need additional time to analyze testing that will be done on Sunday, when teams return to practice.
The league began their holiday break after Tuesday’s game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena with COVID-19 raging across North America.
The total now adds up to 64 NHL games postponed this season as more than 100 players have entered COVID-19 protocol.
The Calgary Flames, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, Nashville Predators, Seattle Kraken and Colorado Avalanche were all been shut down through Christmas due to the virus. The NHL also postponed all games where a team is required to cross the United States-Canada border through the holiday.
Only one out of four games originally scheduled for Monday were played (five out of 10 on Saturday, four out of eight on Sunday). All four games that were slated for Wednesday were postponed and just five out of 15 on Thursday were left standing before the NHL decided to pause the schedule.
The league has yet to announce make-up dates for any games postponed due to COVID-19 this month.
Before the pause, the Capitals placed centers Evgeny Kuznetsov (missed three games) and Nicklas Backstrom (two) in addition to right-wing T.J. Oshie (one) on COVID-19 protocol.
In addition to Monday’s game, the NHL will have to reschedule a Capitals-Philadelphia Flyers game at Wells Fargo Center (originally scheduled for this past Tuesday) and a Capitals-New York Islanders game at UBS Arena (Thursday).
The league already called off plans to send their players to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China with COVID-19 raging.
The Capitals last played on Sunday, when they lost 3-2 to the Los Angeles Kings at Capital One Arena, and are scheduled to host the Nashville Predators on Wednesday (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market).
Photo: NHL PR
By Harrison Brown