The National Hockey League has shut down the New Jersey Devils until at least Saturday to due the league’s COVID-19 protocol. That means their games at Pittsburgh on Tuesday and Thursday as well as their home game against the Rangers on Saturday have all been postponed, with no make up days announced yet.

According to NHL.com, four more Devils were placed on the protocol list on Monday: Andreas Johnsson, Janne Kuokkanen, Michael McLeod and Pavel Zacha; they joined the six players who were already on the list: goalies Mackenzie Blackwood and Aaron Dell, defensemen Connor Carrick and Sami Vatanen, and forwards Travis Zajac and Kyle Palmieri. Two players — Sami Vatanen and Aaron Dell — are on the list because they joined the organization and are in NHL-mandated quarantine after traveling to Newark. Connor Carrick traveled with the team to Buffalo but returned home for the birth of his first child. Blackwood has been on the list for 12 days, while the four new players added all played in the weekend games against the Sabres.

"The Devils organization has, and will continue to follow, all recommended guidelines aimed at protecting the health and safety of its Players, staff and community at large as set by the NHL, local, state and national agencies," the NHL said in a statement. The NHL has had a bumpy start to the season; since it began on Jan. 13, nine games have been postponed (not counting the Devils).

The Devils are currently 4-3-2 and fifth in the East Division. Their next scheduled game is Feb. 9 against the Penguins.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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