Is it still appropriate to call a team that hasn’t played in over a week “red-hot”?
In normal times, any team who was 6-0 and had their coach dropping Cameos hyping up the fanbase
for what’s to come would be called just that, but under the current circumstances, the fact of the matter is that the Vancouver Canucks’ last game was on December 16th against the San Jose Sharks.
The Canucks, along with many other teams around the league, had multiple players test positive, prompting the NHL and NHLPA to reach an agreement suspending all team activities from December 23rd to 26th.
Well would you look at that? Today appears to be the 26th! It’s Boxing Day and the Canucks were back on the ice for practice at Rogers Arena!
Here’s how the Canucks lined up.
The big story of the day was that Alex Chiasson tested positive using a rapid test, which the Canucks have now added to their daily procedures, according to Patrick Johnston of The Province
This testing will be done on top of the league-mandated PCR tests, which teams undergo every three days.
As a result, Chiasson wasn’t on the ice. In his place was the recently-called up Phil Di Giuseppe, who rotated in and out with Tyler Motte on the fourth line during line rushes.
What was said
Tyler Myers said that when he looks at what other leagues are doing — i.e. the NFL, who are no longer testing asymptomatic players for COVID-19 the way they were before — the NHL appears to be going in the wrong direction.
“I saw Steve [Yzerman]’s comments,” said Myers. “My personal opinion is I completely agree with what he said, I think he was bang on. I completely understand there’s another side of it to where there are people that — if it’s not themselves — have family members that are more vulnerable to what’s happening around the world right now. So, you know, everybody’s in a different situation. I think as players, the most frustrating part is seeing what other sports leagues are doing, and it seems as if we’re heading in the opposite direction of that so I think it’s a little confusing for us. It seems like there’s something new happening each and every day. So, you know, I think the only thing we can do as players is focus on the things we can control.”
For context, here are the comments from Yzerman — who serves as the executive vice president and general manager of the Detroit Red Wings — that Myers is referring to:
“Players are testing positive with very little symptoms, if any symptoms at all,” said Yzerman. “I don’t see it as a threat to their health at this point, so I think you might take it a step further and question why are we even testing for guys that have no symptoms?”
“The players, I think, ultimately they want to play … none of the players have come to us and said, ‘Hey we should shut this down.’ If they feel that way, they haven’t expressed that to us,” said Yzerman. “I think our players have been very positive in that, ‘Just tell us what we need to do and we’ll do it.’ They’ve been acceptive of the protocols, whether they like them or not is irrelevant, but they’ve been willing to do them.”
Tyler Motte took a bit of a different approach when asked the same question.
“It is frustrating,” said Motte of missing time due to players testing positive. “I think a lot of people thought we were on the way out of this and you kind of get hit with it again. I know some [leagues] are taking a different approach with maybe more mild symptoms, and seemingly most people, but I’ll let the doctors and the league speak on the protocols. I’m not qualified or educated to make a heavy statement on that, but I just know the guys in the room and from what I’ve heard across the league, guys want to find a way to play as many games as we can. If that means playing down a few guys, if that means working with protocols to get more bodies in here, whatever it may be, we’re committed to playing and that’s all we want to do is get back to you on that.”
The Canucks will have plenty more time to practice and make sure nobody else tests positive ahead of their next game, as they’re not set to play again until this Wednesday against the Anaheim Ducks on the road.