Well, this is where we are after the week of COVID in the NHL. Just two hours before puck drop between the Canadiens and Flyers in Montreal, it has been announced that game will not be played with fans in the Bell Centre.
Le match de ce soir au Centre Bell sera joué à huis clos.
— Alexandre Tourigny (@AlexTourignyRDS) December 16, 2021
Translated: “Tonight’s game at the Bell Center will be played behind closed doors.”
You can find the full statement from the Canadiens here.
After the Ontario government announced yesterday that Raptors, Maple Leafs, and Senators games would have fan capacity cut to 50%, we are seeing dramatic action being taken in Montreal tonight.
Important to note the Canadiens have been assured by the government "that beginning with our games in January, we will return to a partial capacity scenario and be able to host fans once more."
Natural assumption there is it will be a while before they return to full capacity.
— Arpon Basu (@ArponBasu) December 16, 2021
The NHL recently informed teams that the league would be implementing enhanced COVID protocols through at least January 7th, which include more frequent testing and masks for all players and staff, among other measures. This in response to the spike in COVID cases around the league this week that saw at least 30 players, coaches, and staff of the Calgary Flames land in league COVID protocols, as well as forcing the Carolina Hurricanes to play with a short roster tonight and have the Nashville Predators have to bring up their AHL coaching staff for the foreseeable future as well.
Not sure what tomorrow will bring, but it appears things regarding COVID in the NHL (and the entire sports world) are going to get worse before they get better, again.