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FTB: what now?

Leafs now have four players in COVID protocol.

NHL: DEC 14 Maple Leafs at Oilers
EDMONTON, AB - DECEMBER 14: Toronto Maple Leafs Center John Tavares (91) and Edmonton Oilers Left Wing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) battle for position in the first period during the Edmonton Oilers game versus the Toronto Maple Leafs on December 14, 2021 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, AB. Both players tested COVID positive the following day.
Photo by Curtis Comeau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

So, the Toronto Maple Leafs have had four positive COVID cases during their trip through Western Canada within the last 24 hours. Now, the rest of the team, who may still have carriers, are scheduled to play the Vancouver Canucks, who also have positive cases, tonight. And then a back-to-back across the border with Seattle.

We’ve seen in the past two weeks how quickly COVID can run through the NHL, jumping from team to team, with the League just letting them happen with no more than a shrug — there’s no intention from them to shut down Leafs games at all.

What scares me the most about this is that of the four players who tested positive — Tavares, Kerfoot, Spezza, Simmonds — two of them (Tavares, Simmonds) have kids under the ages of 5 years old who can’t be vaccinated yet and Spezza’s youngest is only just over that age now.

And I can’t help but look at the following tweet and understand why they want to just plough through.

Various Leafs and Branches

Jason Spezza’s suspension reduced to 4 games | by: Katya

(wait for it)

UPDATED: 4 Leafs in COVID protocol, weekend games against Vancouver and Seattle unaffected | by: Hardev

Toronto Marlies news: a 4-2 to loss to Syracuse before a road trip to Michigan | by: Species

(wait for it)

3 Marlies games postponed | by: Katya

This has become commonplace in the NHL this week, as teams “valiantly” play with less players, but are still likely to spread the virus to their opponents.

And lastly, unrelated to the NHL, Marie Philip-Poulin scored her second overtime winner on Team USA in as many meetings as Canada beat the Americans 3-2 in a Rivalry Series ahead of the Olympics.