NHL teams were all cleared to resume practice and COVID testing on Sunday following the Christmas holiday as the league hopes to get back to work, but the Boston Bruins won’t be among those hockey clubs getting right back to work.
The Boston Bruins had a game scheduled for Monday night at TD Garden against the Pittsburgh Penguins, but that has now been postponed along with all the rest of the NHL schedule while the league gets its COVID testing and protocols back on track. The latest postponement makes it at least five games that the Black and Gold must make up during the February Olympic break that will now be used for NHL makeup games.
The good news is that the B’s COVID picture has at least cleared to the point where they’re expected to resume practice on Sunday afternoon after being shut down by the NHL from team activity exactly a week ago.
There continues to be speculation the NHL might just postpone all games this week leading up to New Year’s Day where they could reopen with the Winter Classic outdoor game along with a fairly robust slate of regular season games as well. That has not happened as of yet even if the Dec. 27 games have already been temporarily removed from the schedule, and it probably shouldn’t all things considered.
With the NHL players fully vaccinated and most showing either zero symptoms or very mild symptoms when they are positive for COVID, there is growing sentiment among the rank-and-file to test less and play through these team outbreaks with players healthy enough to do so.
Here’s the full statement from the NHL: “The National Hockey League announced today that its regular-season schedule will not resume prior to Tuesday, Dec. 28. The League had planned to resume its schedule on Dec. 27, but in order to allow the League an adequate opportunity to analyze League-wide testing results and to assess Clubs’ readiness to play, the target date for resumption of game play will be pushed back an additional day. Teams will return to practice on Dec. 26 and it is expected that the League will provide an update on its return to play plans by the end of day on Sunday.”