GARRIOCH: The Ottawa Senators COVID-19 list grows, with Chabot and Tierney likely additions

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There’s no sign that the spread of COVID-19 will stop in the Ottawa Senators’ locker room.

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Also, the club’s first visit to Seattle to confront the Kraken expansion to begin a five-game tour on Thursday is seriously in doubt.

After a terrible 6-0 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Battle of Ontario Saturday night in an almost empty Scotiabank Arena, the senators had only 17 skaters on the ice Sunday for practice at the Canadian Tire Center.

Alternate captain Thomas Chabot was not there, as was center Chris Tierney or assistant coach Bob Jones. None of the trio has been officially added to the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, but it looks like it will only be a matter of time.

The senators are scheduled to begin a five-game tour against the Seattle Kraken, but the club would be without eight regulars because of COVID-19, if that is the case.

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With Colin White and Shane Pinto already injured, the club would be without all four of the centers with which it was aiming to die this season, if Tierney could not play. Josh Norris was placed in protocol Friday and will also not be available.

“I’m just frustrated that we do not have the players at our disposal to play,” Smith said on Sunday. “Unfortunately, White and Pinto get hurt at the beginning of the year, which makes boys going out (with COVID-19) much worse for us.

“Especially if you lose a guy like Norris or Tierney, you’re without all four centers. It makes it difficult. The league is doing its best. This is unknown territory, unknown water for everyone.

Sure, the senators were not good at all against the Leafs, but you wonder if the game itself had been played. The club put five players on record in less than 24 hours before the puck was dropped on Hockey Night in Canada.

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First, Senators Norris and winger Tyler Ennis lost Friday before moving to Toronto. Then on Saturday, defenders Jacob Bernard-Docker and Dillon Heatherington along with winger Nick Paul were placed on the COVID-19 list.

Under the new five-day quarantine rules, Norris, Ennis, Heathington, Bernard-Docker, Paul and goalkeeper Anton Forsberg will all be available later this week. They could not accompany the team to Seattle because they were not allowed to return to Canada and therefore had to meet the senators in Vancouver on Friday.

There’s no rhyme or reason for how the NHL postpones games where a COVID-19 is concerned. The Montreal Canadiens played with 16 skaters in a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers Saturday, which undermined the integrity of the game.

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The Habs were given the choice not to play, but they postponed so many games that they chose to continue just to get over it. Montreal has now suspended all its activities until next Thursday to try to stop the spread.

When the senators had an epidemic with 10 players and associate coach Jack Capuano in November, it took a call from Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk to NHL headquarters to set the wheels in motion to reschedule three games.

“Unfortunately, we were one of the first teams to get it in November and there were new protocols and teams were quickly shut down because they saw how fast it was spreading,” Smith said. “The league is doing absolutely well, it’s just a tough situation.”

Only six players have not been in the COVID-19 protocol this season: Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stuetzle, Zach Sanford, Artem Zub, Erik Brannstrom and Adam Gaudette have all eluded the list this season.

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Smith sounds resigned to the fact that this group of players will sooner or later test positive.

“If you dig into it, there are a bunch of guys who did not test for 90 days because they had COVID-19, so there are only a handful of guys left who have not had it , “said Smith. “Those are the guys we test every day and from what we’ve seen, it keeps coming up one after the other guys.

“Guys do what they can with masks, and what do you have, but it’s hard when you’re sitting on the couch right next to the guy or when you’re practicing right next to the guy. We probably expect more, but there are only a few left. about. ”

The senators are happy that Monday’s visit by the Minnesota Wild was already postponed due to capacity limits in Ontario. You would expect that there is no way the club will travel to Seattle on Tuesday, but we’ll have to see where this goes.

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The club will be prepared for whatever route the league takes.

“I do not know it weighs on us, but it’s just the randomness of everything that’s happening right now,” said veteran winger Connor Brown. “It’s sometimes nice to be able to go down in a schedule and be mentally prepared. It can be no excuse and that is the bottom line.

“You have to be ready to play, regardless of when the next game is or what is postponed and what is not. You have to stay focused and that’s why it’s called a pro, because you have to stay ready.”

Stay tuned as the schedule will likely change again.

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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