GARRIOCH: Ottawa Senators feel symptoms of COVID-19 in quarantine

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“Senators management, staff and players go to the rink daily to get tested for COVID-19. ”

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The Ottawa Senators are stuck waiting to see what happens next.

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Right now, the Senators are scheduled to skate at the Canadian Tire Center on Saturday and the original plan was to move to Colorado after the club faced the Rangers in the afternoon, but that could be postponed to Sunday depending on the schedule. back from the players. of the COVID-19 protocol.

Senators management, staff and players go to the rink daily to be tested for COVID-19. There were no players placed in protocol on Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be any more confirmed cases before everyone returns to the ice.

Coach DJ Smith previously noted that none of the Senators who tested positive were asymptomatic and all were struggling with side effects from COVID-19.

Michael Del Zotto, 31, was the guest of TSN 1050 in Toronto on Wednesday morning and gave people a taste of how the players are feeling.

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“Some guys lost their taste and smell, and I think that’s about as bad as it got, at least to my knowledge,” Del Zotto told First Up with Aaron Korolnek and Carlo Colaiacovo . “Everyone is vaccinated which certainly helps, but it’s scary how quickly it can spread and how quickly it has gone through the team.

“We have been talking about (COVID-19) for 20 months and it would be good for us to get over that.”

The NHL confirmed Monday that all three Senators games this week against the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday, the Nashville Predators on Thursday and the New York Rangers on Saturday will be postponed. The Senators are expected to resume their schedule against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Monday.

This would allow the club to have eight COVID-19 positive players – Connor Brown, Dylan Gambrell, Victor Mete, Josh Brown, Austin Watson, Nick Holden, Matt Murray and Alex Formenton – back.

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That would leave Nikita Zaitsev and Drake Batherson in protocol and they could join the squad in San Jose and Anaheim later in the week.

Del Zotto also spoke about what the past 10 days have been like for management, staff and players with the virus spreading rapidly.

“We’re closed for this week and who knows what will happen next week?” Said Del Zotto. “The last little game was like almost every day there was a guy or two giving up (positive) tests. We are tested three times a day and it’s crazy how things can change.

“You do your normal PCR test in the morning or your rapid test, and some guys are negative, then you do one before the game and the next thing you know, they are positive. The roster changes ahead of the game and there was a lot of uncertainty.

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“It was crazy, but it was a good learning experience for the youngsters, not so much on the health side which is scary, because you want everyone to be healthy, but in this game , you have to control what you can control. There are a lot of things that are beyond your control, so you kind of go with the flow. “

Many felt the NHL should have eliminated the Senators early last week.

The club contacted the league 10 days ago when they had two players and associate coach Jack Capuano in protocol to see if the game against the Boston Bruins on Nov. 9 could be rescheduled. The NHL was unwilling to do so and only determined it would postpone games when the Senators tested positive for seven straight days.

Del Zotto said he did not expect a postponement due to the NHL’s desire to go to the Olympics.

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“We would have continued to fight,” he said. “I had a feeling at the start of the year that we weren’t going to postpone games anyway, so to be honest I was a little shocked. Especially so late because we have guys coming back this week.

“They thought it was safer this way to stop the virus. I’m not a professional and it’s above my salary, but we would have continued to fight and no one apologized. We had the next man mentality and it was an opportunity for the other guys to play, to have looks and more minutes, and to play in different places. It’s similar to injuries, and when those things happen guys get a chance to step in and fill their roles. “

With the exception of going to the rink every day, sometimes twice a day, the Senators have been ordered to stay home and can only walk outside to get some fresh air. Del Zotto’s life has returned to what it was when the pandemic first began in March 2020.

He “bakes, plays the saxophone again and I start to take my real estate license.”

“It’s the return to life in quarantine,” added Del Zotto. “I’m just trying to keep busy and stay away from TV because I’ve watched too much. I’m just trying to occupy my time because it’s been hard going here. We’re closed this week and who knows what will happen next week? “

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Twitter: @sungarrioch

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