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Rangers get day off as players get COVID-19 vaccines

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The Rangers did not hold practice Wednesday, ahead of their rematch with the Penguins, in order to make time for players and staff to be vaccinated for the coronavirus.

“With the COVID-19 vaccine now extended to anyone over 16, we’re excited that many of our players and staff opted to get vaccinated,” the team said in a statement. “We applaud New York’s efforts to expand eligibility and encourage our fans to get vaccinated.”

Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev posted part of his vaccination card to his Instagram story that showed he got the Johnson & Johnson jab.

The Post’s Larry Brooks reported Saturday that the NHL and NHL Players Association have not engaged in discussions to reduce COVID-19 protocol restrictions as incentives for individuals who get vaccinated. This is because hockey players, according to the report, are more amenable to getting the vaccine than their counterparts in baseball and basketball.

Therefore, the league and union believe there is no reason to make revisions to protocols.

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As of Wednesday, 25 individuals on the Canucks have tested positive for COVID-19 — 21 players (three from the taxi squad) and four staff members. Vancouver is currently experiencing an outbreak of the more infectious P.1 variant of the coronavirus, which was first found in Brazil, according to an ESPN report. In a team release Wednesday, the Canucks said a full genome sequencing by BCCDC will be required to determine which specific type of variant is causing the outbreak. 

The ESPN report details how several players have received IV treatments for severe dehydration. Additionally, many family members of players have tested positive and are experiencing symptoms.


The Canucks are just the second Canada-based team to be affected by the coronavirus. The Canadiens had four games postponed in late March due to a minor outbreak, but have since returned to action.

The NHL has now postponed 46 games because of COVID-19, with the first 37 postponements all coming for United States-based teams.

The NHL and NHLPA sent out a memo this past weekend to remind teams to stay “vigilant” in adhering to the coronavirus protocols put in place for this season, according to ESPN. Coaches were also instructed not to pull down their masks to talk to players or officials while on the bench during games.  

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With 41 saves on Tuesday, Igor Shesterkin earned his 10th win of the 2020-21 season and his 20th career NHL win. After winning 10 games last season, Shesterkin is the second goaltender in Rangers history who has earned 10 or more wins in two different seasons as an NHL rookie. He joins Mike Richter, who did so in 1989-90 and 1990-91.

Igor Shesterkin makes a save against the Penguins.
Igor Shesterkin makes a save against the Penguins.
Getty Images

Shesterkin is also just the ninth rookie goaltender who has earned 20 or more career wins with the Rangers in franchise history. His 40-plus save performance Tuesday was the sixth of his NHL career, and he has posted a 6-0-0 record in those six contests.

In Tuesday’s win, the Rangers had eight different players tally a goal, while 11 players registered at least one point.

It marked the first time since Jan. 19, 2010 (vs. the Lightning) that eight different Blueshirts recorded a goal in the same game.


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