The St. Louis Blues safely reached the city of Edmonton to prepare for the playoffs. There were no hitches with the Blues or the other teams.
The St. Louis Blues players, coaches and staff can all sleep soundly during their first few nights in Edmonton. The NHL got things right in their response to covid-19, while other sports have not been so lucky.
The biggest problem in the sports world, regarding the virus, has been in Major League Baseball. Just three days into their season, MLB had several positive tests, most of which came from one team.
The Miami Marlins had the biggest outbreak. According to most reports, the Marlins knew they had several infected players on Sunday, July 26 and played anyway.
They delayed their trip out of Philadelphia after that game. It was then reported that their total number of positive cases has risen to, at least, 13 while others say 14.
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Regardless, Major League Baseball got things wrong. Too many things were left in the hands of teams and the players refused the idea of a bubble right from the start.
It should be noted that MLB and NHL/NBA started from two completely different points. The two winter sports merely had to decide whether to finish their regular season and compete in playoffs, while baseball was trying to figure out how to start their season.
Nevertheless, involving travel in the entire thing, plus having lax procedures while tests were up in the air, has compounded the situation. Now, the Marlins are basically stuck in Philadelphia and the Phillies have to undergo extra testing while also postponing/canceling their games with the New York Yankees.
Meanwhile, even with all the chatter about things being equally difficult for the NHL, they have made it to the end of Phase 3. The league reported 0 positive tests as the teams reported to their various hub cities.
As long as players and workers adhere to the rules, and don’t pop the bubble so to speak, they should stay at 0 cases.
The only stress the Blues, or any team in the NHL playoffs, have now is whether anyone breaks quarantine. Given all the amenities they have available, many of which are not available to the general public right now, there is no reason to leave.
The NHL has handled their business the right way from the start. Nothing is ever going to be perfect, but the NHL has been smooth sailing for the most part.
The Blues had a few positive cases when Phase 2 began, but they got everyone healthy and now it’s all good to go.
The funny thing is, sadly, the league just can’t win a PR battle. Because of where the NHL is in the sporting landscape, outside of Canada, nobody cares they did everything right.
There were no quarrels over money, or at least very few past a discussion over escrow. There was public unification by the players on wanting to play. Now, they have advanced to their bubble with no players testing positive.
Yet, this doesn’t make news. That’s the time we live in, however. Positive news is not “news” any longer.
Regardless, the Blues and the NHL got it right. Now, they can play for the Stanley Cup in peace.