The Philadelphia Flyers are making the trek to Lake Tahoe for the outdoor game on Sunday against the Bruins. At least those on the current roster, that is.
Alain Vigneault confirmed that all of the Flyers players on the NHL’s COVID Protocol list will remain unavailable for Sunday. That means that Justin Braun, Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, and Jakub Voracek will not play in the Flyers’ outdoor game.
While this is a disappointing development, it’s not exactly surprising. It has been less than two weeks since the Flyers’ initial quarantine. On top of that, most of these players have been on the COVID Protocol list for around a week. That is not nearly long enough to expect them to be able to come back and play.
It’s still curious that the Flyers returned to game action last night without six of their regulars, including three top-six forwards. With the way the Flyers’ schedule is, they would’ve only had to postpone last night’s game and Sunday’s game before the Flyers’ next scheduled game on Wednesday the 24th.
But the Lake Tahoe game is a big deal. Having the two teams scheduled to play in the game actually play in the game is important, even if it means one of those teams is missing a few pieces.
It’s unfortunate for those six Flyers, Flyers fans, and all hockey fans, really. Instead of two Stanley Cup contenders clashing at Lake Tahoe, it’s going to be a mixed Flyers-Phantoms squad against the Bruins, who have already frustrated the Flyers more than enough times this season.
It’s also going to be weird having the Flyers play an outdoor game without their captain, Claude Giroux. Giroux has played in all four of the Flyers’ outdoor games. From the 2010 Winter Classic to the 2019 Stadium Series when he scored the overtime winner. In fact, without Giroux and Voracek, the Flyers will be missing the players that scored the game-tying and game-winning goals in that 2019 Stadium Series game against the Penguins.
Start time moved up
The Flyers and Bruins were originally scheduled to play at 3 p.m. EST, 12 p.m. local time, but the start time has been moved up an hour due to the weather forecast.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 19, 2021
Photo Credit: Heather Barry Images