The Sabres added two more players to their COVID-19 list since Sunday evening with forward Casey Mittlestadt and defenseman Rasmus Dahlin entering the protocol. That brings their total number to nine players, as they join Taylor Hall, Tobias Rieder, Dylan Cozens, Curtis Lazar, Rasmus Ristolainen, Brandon Montour and Jake McCabe.
Head coach Ralph Krueger is also in the COVID protocol following a positive test result last week.
The Sabres’ outbreak started more than a week ago following a game against the Devils. That was the last game Buffalo played (same for the Devils) as they have continued to have players enter the protocol. On Saturday the NHL announced that 12 adjustments have been made to the Sabres’ schedule due to game postponements.
Their next scheduled game is on Thursday when they are supposed to host the Capitals.
Guerin offers update on Wild
The Wild is one of the other teams currently shut down, and on Monday GM Bill Guerin offered an update on their situation.
He said that they have nine players and one staff member have tested positive, and that it seems possible that more positive tests could be coming.
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The Wild’s facility has been shut down all week due to their outbreak, while the team has not played since Feb. 2. Their next scheduled game is Feb. 11 against the Blues, but that seems to be in jeopardy given the fact they could still have more positives.
Guerin said on Monday that he has a conference call with the league scheduled to discuss their options, and that they will “resume playing hockey when it’s safe to do so.”
Even before this outbreak the Wild was impacted by a COVID issue involving top draft pick Marco Rossi. He tested positive for the virus in November and will not play this season due to complications that came from it.
Guerin said that some of the players are currently dealing with symptoms that include aches and a loss of taste and smell.
Kuznetsov and Samsonov skate with Capitals
Kuznetsov skated on the fourth line during the practice session and it is not yet known if he will be able to play in Tuesday’s game against the Flyers.
Samsonov, meanwhile, said through an interpretor (via the Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir) that he had days where he had trouble walking and breathing, but that he is feeling better now.
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Kuznetsov said he also had symptoms and admitted they were not easy days. When asked if he was scared, he responded with “No, I’m from Russia there is not a lot that can scare me.”
Both players have missed the Capitals’ past eight games.
Along with the Sabres and Wild, the Devils and Avalanche have also been dealing with game postponements, while the Golden Knights went through a similar issue earlier this season.
For the season the NHL has had nearly 100 players enter the COVID protocol for one reason or another (positive test, close contact, quarantine with new team, etc.). The league claims less than half of those situations have been because of a positive test.