The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the NHL season. After a 7-4 victory over the Washington Capitals Sunday, the Philadelphia Flyers were preparing for a rematch in D.C. tonight. However, the game is being called off due to COVID complications within the Flyers dressing room. TSN’s Frank Seravalli had it first.
Why is This Happening?
Sunday’s game was reportedly in jeopardy as well. Philadelphia defenseman Travis Sanheim missed the game with officially an undisclosed illness. After the game, Sanheim joined the league’s COVID-19 list. That does not necessarily mean Sanheim has tested positive for the disease; in fact, The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor reported he hadn’t tested positive as of Sunday evening. But the Flyers had to undergo rapid testing early Sunday morning; after all players and coaches tested negative, the game went on as scheduled.
The Flyers did practice as scheduled Monday, with only Sanheim absent. However, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported “another” Flyers player tested positive Monday night (implying that Sanheim has tested positive, which has not been confirmed by the league). And so the league decided to suspend tonight’s game. There is currently no make-up date.
Philadelphia is unfortunately no exception when it comes to COVID. Every American team except the St. Louis Blues has had a player on the NHL’s COVID-list during the season. The New Jersey Devils, Buffalo Sabres, and Minnesota Wild’s seasons are temporarily shut-down as the result of multiple positive tests. The Dallas Stars started their season over a week later than planned. Several other teams like the Vegas Golden Knights have briefly shut down. In fact, the Flyers already had two games on Thursday and Saturday against the Devils canceled due to NJ’s COVID situation.
So, what happens next? Well, Philadelphia probably won’t practice for the next few days, perhaps longer if more players or coaches test positive. Obviously, hopefully that isn’t the case and everyone that does test positive recovers fully and quickly. The Flyers next game is currently Sunday night against the New York Rangers.