3 Bruins East Division Opponents Having COVID Issues

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 23: A detail of the Bruins logo on the sweater of Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins during the first period of the preseason game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on September 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 23: A detail of the Bruins logo on the sweater of Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins during the first period of the preseason game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on September 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Over the past week, the Boston Bruins have had three games postponed because of the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols. Two games this past weekend with the Buffalo Sabres were not played as the Sabres had their head coach and nine players on the league’s COVID-19 list.

New Jersey is in the middle of their second week without a game and has not played since Jan. 31 at Buffalo. The Devils were scheduled to visit the TD Garden next Monday night, but the league has postponed all their games through Monday night. Next Thursday’s game with New Jersey is also in jeopardy.

With COVID-19 causing issues throughout the league, the East Divison had their third team postpone games because of COVID-19 issues and the concern is growing that more games are going to be postponed.

Bruins’ last opponent the Philadelphia Flyers is the latest team having coronavirus issues.

Tuesday afternoon, the Flyers, the Bruins’ last opponent last week in Philadelphia, added two more players, Claude Giroux and Justin Braun, to the COVID-19 list, joining teammate Travis Sanheim. Philly’s game at the Washington Capitals that night was postponed.

The Bruins and Flyers are scheduled to play their outdoor game at Lake Tahoe, Nevada a week from Sunday. That game is another on the Black and Gold’s schedule that is in jeopardy. Wednesday night the NHL announced that the Flyers game at the New York Rangers Sunday night is also postponed, but Philadelphia hopes to be back at practice Monday.

As of Wednesday, the Devils, Sabres, Flyers, Minnesota Wild, and Colorado Avalanche are having their season paused because of COVID. That’s three teams in the Bruins’ newly realigned East Division that is out of action at least through the weekend. While the rest is good for the Bruins, this is going to cause a scheduling issue later in the season.

Will each team play 56 games by the end of the year? If not, then the league’s point system to determine who makes the playoffs and who misses the playoffs would not be a fair way to determine the four teams in that division.

If some teams are not able to play their 56 games, what does the league do? Do they determine seeding for the playoffs by winning percentage? That might be the best way for the league to go.

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It’s the second week in February and the league is already finding out how hard it is to navigate their way through a season without a bubble. Even limited travel is not helping the spread of the virus.