The NHL has announced the postponement of all Buffalo Sabres games through at least February 8.
This came after two players, Taylor Hall and Rasmus Ristolainen, were added to the COVID-19 Protocol list.
The announcement was made Tuesday, a day after the NHL announced the postponement of the New Jersey Devils’ games through at least February 6.
The Devils played back-to-back games against the Sabres in Buffalo on Saturday and Sunday.
By Tuesday, New Jersey had 14 players added to the COVID-19 Protocol list.
The league has postponed a total of 16 games since the commencement of the 2020-2021 NHL season, with two postponed prior to the start of the campaign.
Buffalo was scheduled to travel to New York on Tuesday to face the Islanders. That plan was altered due to weather.
The game set for Tuesday was rescheduled to allow for the completion of COVID-19 tracing protocols, which in turn led to the subsequent postponing of other games until at least Monday. Those other games included another against the Islanders set for Thursday and two against the Bruins that were set for Saturday and Monday.
According to reports, the Sabres are “livid” about this situation. They were not too impressed, to put it mildly, that Sundays’ game against New Jersey was played because of the rising number of COVID-19 Protocol cases coming out of the Devils. On January 30, New Jersey had two players on the list.
By Sunday, the Devils added Kyle Palmieri to the list. And he skated 18 minutes during the Saturday game against Buffalo.
“Sabres players and staff have been closely following and will continue to follow the COVID protocols as outlined by the NHL and the team’s medical staff,” Buffalo said in a statement. “Our organization will continue to work with the league and our medical team to ensure the health and safety of our players and staff.”
By Monday, there were 10 Devils players on the list. By Tuesday, Mackenzie Blackwood was removed from the list but four more were added.
As Buffalo continues to go through screening protocols, time will tell if more Sabres are also added to the COVID-19 list and if more games will be postponed.
Pic: Associated Press/Jeffrey T. Barnes