Three Avs games postponed; North Division schedule update

The NHL has postponed the next three Avalanche games after a third player entered the NHL’s COVID-19 protocols.

Colorado was scheduled to play games against the Kings Friday and Sunday and then travel to St. Louis to play the Blues on Tuesday. The league expects the Avalanche will be able to resume activities on Wednesday and re-start their schedule with next Thursday’s game against the Blues.

As of the latest update, Joonas Donskoi joined Bowen Byram and Philipp Grubauer as the Avalanche players on the NHL COVID-19 protocol list. Byram was added last Friday, while Grubauer was placed there before Wednesday’s win over the Blues.

For the second straight game day the Avalanche canceled their morning skate due to a positive test. According to the team, the player is in isolation and there have been no other positive tests between players and staff.

Canucks resume season on Sunday

The NHL is already dealing with resuming the Canucks’ schedule after an outbreak sidelined the team since the end of March. A season restart originally scheduled for Friday was delayed as the league has given them extra time to recover after over 25 players and staff were affected.

The delay comes a day after candid comments from Canucks forward J.T. Miller, who was bewildered the team would start playing again so soon after getting back on the ice after a few weeks away.

“We’re dealing with a different kind of COVID, the P1 variant is different. We didn’t know what to expect,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said Friday. “As our players started coming back and working out, then the constant communication, they were having some symptoms that were different than regular COVID, and it took them a little longer to get up and going. I think that was relayed in [J.T. Miller’s] message.”

A revised North Division schedule was announced by the league on Friday. This update sees the Canucks finish the regular season with 19 games in 32 days.

• Toronto at Vancouver, scheduled for April 17, is now Sun., April 18 at 7 p.m. ET
• Toronto at Vancouver, scheduled for April 19, is now Tues., April 20 at 9 p.m. ET
• Toronto at Winnipeg, scheduled for April 21, is now Thur., April 22 at 7 p.m. ET
• Edmonton at Vancouver, scheduled for April 16, is now Mon., May 3 at 10 p.m. ET
• Edmonton at Vancouver, scheduled for May 6, is now Tues., May 4 at 10 p.m. ET
• Vancouver at Edmonton, scheduled for May 4, is now Thur., May 6 at 9 p.m. ET
• Edmonton at Montreal, scheduled for May 11, is now Wed., May 12 at 5 p.m. ET
• Vancouver at Calgary, scheduled for May 3, is now Thur., May 13 at 9 p.m. ET
• Toronto at Winnipeg, scheduled for April 23, is now Fri., May 14 at 8 p.m. ET
• Vancouver at Edmonton, scheduled for May 13, is now Sat., May 15 at TBD
• Calgary at Vancouver, scheduled for April 21, is now Sun., May 16 at TBD
• Calgary at Vancouver, scheduled for May 15, is now Tues, May 18 at TBD
• Vancouver at Calgary, scheduled for May 16, is now Wed, May 19 at TBD

• Edmonton at Winnipeg, scheduled for 10 p.m. ET on Sat., April 17, will now begin at 7 p.m. ET
• Toronto at Ottawa, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET on Wed., May 12, will now begin at 8 p.m. ET

[Your 2020-21 NHL on NBC TV schedule]

Nate Schmidt and Jake Virtanen are the remaining two Canucks on the COVID-19 protocol list.

May 8 was the original end date for the 2020-21 NHL regular season, but that has been pushed back to May 19. The “TBD” listed next to those final three Canucks-Flames games on the North Division schedule might indicate that they might not be played should they not have an affect on the playoff picture.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

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