NHL News: COVID postpones Bruins vs Habs, Oilers’ Nugent-Hopkins; Leafs’ Tavares and Kerfoot enter protocol

Saturday’s game between the Boston Bruins and host Montreal Canadiens has been postponed due to COVID-19 concerns, the NHL announced Friday.

Seven Bruins players are in the league’s health and safety protocols, including team captain Patrice Bergeron.

Anton Blidh, Trent Frederic, Brad Marchand, Craig Smith, Oskar Steen and Jeremy Swayman are also in the protocols.

Canadiens vs Bruins postponed due to COVID

Montreal defeated the visiting Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in a shootout in front of an empty arena on Thursday night after public health officials in Canada requested that no fans attend the game.

The announcement was made roughly two hours before puck drop in Montreal.

“Faced with the spiraling rise of COVID-19 cases in the region, late this afternoon the Montreal Canadiens organization received a request from Quebec public health officials to host tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers in a closed setting with no fans in attendance at the Bell Centre,” the team said in a statement. “We have accepted this request in order to help ensure the safety and security of our fans and fellow citizens throughout our community.”

More than 140 NHL players have been on the protocol list so far this season.

The Bruins are scheduled to face the Senators in Ottawa on Sunday. Montreal’s next game is slated for Monday at the New York Islanders.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on protocol

ryan nugent-hopkins covid
May 10, 2021; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (93) scores a goal against Montreal Canadiens goalie Jake Allen (34) during the first period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Edmonton Oilers placed star forward Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in the COVID-19 protocol Friday.

He had an assist in Thursday night’s 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The victory snapped the Oilers’ six-game losing streak.

Nugent-Hopkins, 28, has recorded 25 points (three goals, 22 assists) in 28 games this season.

He has 503 points (188 goals, 315 assists) in 684 games since Edmonton drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011.

Leafs place Tavares and Kerfoot on COVID list

Toronto Maple Leafs forwards John Tavares and Alexander Kerfoot entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol Friday.

The Maple Leafs canceled Friday’s practice in Vancouver as a precaution.

All players and traveling staff were tested Thursday and will undergo additional testing on Friday, the team said.

Toronto’s game Thursday night at Calgary was postponed due to the Flames’ COVID-19 issues. The Maple Leafs are slated to play the Canucks in Vancouver Saturday night.

Tavares ranks second on the team in goals (13), assists (19) and points (32) in 29 games this season. The 31-year-old captain has an active five-game points streak and has 16 points in the past 10 games.

Kerfoot, 27, has 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 30 games this season.

–Field Level Media