NHL instituting a league-wide pause from Dec. 22-26 due to spike in positive COVID-19 tests
The pause would result in the postponement of the Flyers' scheduled game for Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
One day after announcing that the 2021-22 season would continue on as scheduled while postponing select games due to COVID-19 positives, the NHL and the NHL Players’ Association announced they are instituting a league-wide shutdown starting Wednesday.
When the initial statement was made on Sunday, the league had already suspended the schedules of six teams due to COVID-19 positives. Since then, an additional five teams joined the list ― the Toronto Maple Leafs, Columbus Blue Jackets, Montréal Canadiens, Edmonton Oilers, and Ottawa Senators.
Now, games that were scheduled to be played on Wednesday and Thursday before the holiday break are postponed and will be rescheduled. In total, the league will be forced to find new dates for roughly 50 games that have been postponed over the course of the season, the majority of which have come in the past week.
This decision to institute a shutdown beginning Wednesday impacts the Flyers, who were scheduled to play the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road on Thursday.
However, as of Monday night, the Flyers are still scheduled to face off against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. The game is one of two still scheduled for Tuesday. Prior to COVID-19-related postponements, the game was one of 10 scheduled across the league.
After Tuesday’s game against the Caps, the Flyers will begin their holiday break two days early, starting Wednesday. They’ll be off through Dec. 25 and are expected to return to the team’s practice facility on Dec. 26, one day earlier than usual, to resume COVID-19 testing and practicing.
The league will resume games on Dec. 27. The Flyers, however, aren’t scheduled to play until Dec. 29 against the Seattle Kraken, marking the start of their weeklong West Coast trip.
On Saturday, the league announced that it would adopt enhanced measures to combat a spike in COVID-19 cases through Jan. 7 at the earliest.