The NHL regular season will continue despite several postponements due to the omicron variant of COVID-19, the league announced Sunday. However, no team travel across the Canadian border will be allowed through Dec. 23.
“Although there has been a recent increase in positive COVID test results among Players, coaches and hockey staff, there have been a low number of positive cases that have resulted in concerning symptoms or serious illness,” the league press release read. “Therefore…the need to temporarily shut down individual teams should continue to be made on a case-by-case basis.”
The joint NHL and NHL Players Association announcement means that no Capitals games will be affected as of now. But Washington does host the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 27 in the first game back from the Christmas break and that game would potentially be at risk if the cross-border postponements are extended. The Caps won’t have another game vs. a Canadian opponent until Jan. 4 when they are scheduled to travel to Montreal for a game against the Canadiens.
Barring international travel means that at least twelve games involving Canadian teams through Dec. 23 will be postponed and rescheduled. Also, the NHL is set to make an announcement in the coming days about NHL players participating in the Winter Olympic games in Beijing which begin Feb. 4.
COVID is not just effecting NHL scheduling. The Washington Football Team and Wizards have both had games postponed this week.
While COVID hasn’t affected the Caps' schedule yet, several players have missed time after going into the NHL's COVID-19 protocol. Washington will face the Los Angeles Kings tonight without the services of Evgeny Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. All were placed into protocol within the last five days. The Capitals do welcome back forward Garnet Hathaway.