NHL set to resume after six day break; three more games postponed

NHL set to resume after six day break; three more games postponed

After shutting down for a week, the NHL resumes play Tuesday with three games on the schedule amid hopes that its extended holiday break caused by a rash of positive COVID-19 test results will set the stage for the league to complete an already upended season.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning won’t have either of its top goaltenders or their coach for its game against Montreal. Coach Peter DeBoer is out for the Vegas Golden Knights’ game at Los Angeles. And there are more disquieting signs.

The league on Monday postponed three more games slated for later this week to bring the total to 70 this season. Chicago’s game at Winnipeg scheduled for Wednesday and a home-and-home series Wednesday and Friday between Dallas and Colorado are the latest to be moved because of coronavirus concerns.

As of now, the Winter Classic between the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild is still scheduled to be played at Target Field in Minneapolis on Saturday night in keeping with the league’s New Year’s Day tradition.

“We’re just happy to be playing hockey,” Blues defenceman Justin Faulk said. “I think we should be playing.”

In an effort to do just that, the league brought back “taxi squads,” a feature from the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. Each team will be able to keep up to six player on the taxi squad and can make more emergency recalls from the minors to make sure there are 18 skaters and two goaltenders available for every game.

The next Vancouver Canucks contest is slated for Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. against the Anaheim Ducks. The Canucks have yet to lose a game under new head coach Bruce Boudreau, who is now 6-0 with the franchise since taking over the reins from former coach Travis Green.

With files to the Canadian Press.


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