Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov is unhappy to miss the first three games of his career, unhappy that he wasn’t able to help his team, unhappy that he was forced to sit because he tested positive for COVID-19, which he called a “regular flu.”
After coming off the COVID protocol list Wednesday, Provorov, who turns 25 on Thursday, expressed his frustration following the team’s practice session in Voorhees.
“I don’t think there’s a way to keep your mind off of it,” he said. “You’re sitting at home and your team’s playing. I mean, is it tough? Yeah. I mean, you’re willing to play through anything, any injury, any illness. And then you get maybe a regular flu. I mean, not even. And then somebody tells you that you can’t come back when you feel fine. You know? You’re trying to go out there and help your team win and take pride in that.”
Provorov had played in 403 straight games since entering the league in 2016-17.
“You know, if it’s a broken bone or a broken leg or something like that, then at least you can say, ‘OK, I can’t play through that, and I can live with that,’ ” he said.
The more he talked, the more his frustration level came to the surface.
“But if it’s just the flu that has a 99.9% survival rate, then everyone should play,” he added. “Because when other teams play against us with the stomach flu, for some reason they’re not cancelling games, So why are they cancelling them now or not letting us play or cancelling games? I don’t know. Something’s got to change, and hopefully it’s going to change soon.”
Provorov, a physical-fitness addict, added: ” You can’t live in fear all the time. You can’t trap yourself. If you keep trapping yourself, your immune system will go down naturally. We have to find a way to get over this and live a normal life and get back to what it was two years ago.”
The Flyers have had as many as six players on the COVID list at one time; they now have one player (Rasmus Ristolainen) on it. Most of the players have had little or no symptoms, and were surprised they tested positive, which caused them to sit out games under the NHL’s protocol.
Provorov and teammates Travis Konecny and Justin Braun came off the COVID list Wednesday, and they all are slated to play Thursday in Boston.
The Flyers have said all their players have received COVID vaccines.