I’m not going to lie, the past two days have felt eerily like the start of the week of the first COVID lockdown. Cases spiking, tons of worrisome tweets from health experts, news that government officials were meeting to discuss tightening restrictions to travel, social gatherings, and so on.

The same is happening right now in the NHL.

That’s because since the start of Monday, more than a full NHL team’s roster has been put on COVID protocol.

It was bad enough that some games, which were allowed to happen, included two players being pulled from the game due to a positive test or being allowed to play through some kind of illness.

You get the point.

As a response to all of this, the NHL and NHLPA met to talk about tightening their COVID protocols, per Dreger:

According to an article by Pierre LeBrun, that will include:

  • Increasing the frequency with which players are tested from every three days to every day.
  • Expanding their protocols for wearing masks.
  • They will also likely push players to get their boosters as soon as possible. /

This is happening so fast, with the new variant leading to increased cases everywhere, not just among the NHL for professional leagues and not just in North America. The way things are progressing, I’m not so sure that those new protocols will do much. Not in time. At this rate, the All Star break and Olympics break can’t come too soon, and it remains to be seen if any of the players will actually go.

Maple Leafs game recap: Soups on! | by elseldo, recapping the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers last night. Who knows, maybe that will be their last game for a while.

Maple Leafs game postponed | by Katya, as the Leafs’ game against the Flames scheduled later this week has been postponed due to the Flames’ many players put on COVID protocol.

Has Maple Leafs prospect Topi Niemela’s production this season changed his NHL timeline? | by The Athletic

Marlies sign Joe Blandisi to a PTO | by Katya

Poor Seney gets his first opportunity with the Leafs and then will probably immediately land on injured reserve.

In much cooler news...

Stay safe everyone!