Well, well, well would you look at that. The NHL can postpone Philly games.
On January 6th, the Philadelphia Flyers, who were down 6 of their top players due to a small COVID outbreak on the team, were forced to play against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who were on a 9-game win streak. Earlier that same day, the NHL canceled a game between the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks for COVID-related issues but for some odd reason they didn’t cancel the Philadelphia/Pittsburgh game. Understandably, this bonehead call by the NHL left people (one of which was me) scratching their heads and a little irritated with the league because Philadelphia didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell at winning this game. They are currently being held up by a mostly AHL roster but they had to face the full force Penguins while the Ducks and Red Wings got to wait a few days. As I blogged about, the Flyers got steamrolled 6-2.
The Flyers did go on to face and lose to San Jose two days later with no intervention from the league. Now with COVID numbers (4) going down for the Flyers, the league has postponed their game that was scheduled for tomorrow against Carolina. I honestly don’t really know what to make of this.
As I said in the blog I wrote following the game on January 6th, the only reason the Penguins vs Flyers game was played was so the NHL could make money off the Battle of Pennsylvania rivalry. Then when the Flyers went on to play San Jose and it was like “okay, maybe they’ll just have to play like this”. But now the league is stepping in and postponing games? On January 6th, the Flyers had 6 players in the protocol, today they have 4. If their numbers have gone down, then why are they postponing tomorrow’s game? If it turns out more players have tested positive then okay this makes sense. But as far as we can see, the numbers have gone down finally, why do we need to cancel this game because Philly is having COVID issues? They’ve been having COVID Issues and the league hasn’t done shit really.
It makes the calls for postpning a game for “COVID reasons” feel biased. They’re choosing which games get postponed based more so on the viewership and income they’ll make rather than the actual COVID numbers and how teams are fairing with that. We’ve seen other leagues (*cough* the University of Michigan *cough*) take advantage of the postponements, I’m not putting it past the NHL to do the same. They’re a league that fines you for calling out some of their bullshit officiating. Also like I said in the last blog, it feels like the league’s protocol is nonsensical at times. It feels like a coin flip some days.
The next time we’re supposed to see Philly play will be Thursday against the Bruins in Boston. Like I mentioned earlier, if it turns out more players have tested positive but they just haven’t announced it yet then okay postponing this game makes sense and I resend my statement. But if no one else tests positive then why the hell are we postponing this game? Why now and not when their roster was really going through it? Make it make sense Bettman.
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