The NHL has postponed the Ottawa Senators' next three games this season due to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak amongst the team.
The games postponed include Tuesday in New Jersey against the Devils and home games Thursday against the Predators and Saturday against the Rangers. These are the first three games of the season to be postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
"As an appropriate precaution, the team’s training facilities have been closed, effective immediately, and will remain closed for Players until further notice. The League is in the process of reviewing and revising the Senators’ regular season schedule," the NHL said in a statement. "The Senators organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its Players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, provincial and national agencies."
As of Sunday, the Senators had 10 players and one assistant coach in COVID protocols. The team has lost seven of its eight games so far in the month of November and is last in the Atlantic Division with a 4-10-1 record.
The Senators have cancelled practices while reorganizing the dressing room for more physical distancing while some members of the organization have moved into hotels to protect their families.
The players that remain are physically and mentally exhausted, as Wayne Scanlan detailed in a column, so this three-game pause will help more than just the players recovering from COVID-19.
“You’re almost crossing your fingers every single day hoping that you get through with a negative (test),” said veteran defenceman Michael Del Zotto. “It is a learning experience, with the different tests we’re doing, and trying to keep everyone safe, not just the players but their families and staff as well. It’s a great opportunity for guys to learn the mental side of the game.”