Game 3 of the Flyers-Islanders best-of-seven second-round series will not be played Thursday as the NHL plans to postpone tonight’s playoff games to highlight the current issues of racism and racial injustice, according to a report by ESPN’s Emily Kaplan.
The reported postpontment comes in the wake of an incident last Sunday, when Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. According to reports, Blake is paralyzed from the waist down.
Along with the Flyers’ game, which was scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, the Golden Knights-Canucks Game 3, which was scheduled for 9:45 p.m. ET, will also be postponed, per ESPN’s report.
According to its members, including former Flyers Wayne Simmonds and Chris Stewart, the Hockey Diversity Alliance on Thursday sent a formal request to the NHL asking the league to suspend tonight’s playoff games.
— Wayne Simmonds (@Simmonds17) August 27, 2020
As news was breaking Wednesday in the NBA of its players’ strike, the Flyers were in the middle of their 4-3 overtime Game 2 win. After the victory, Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault was asked about the news but did not know of it yet and deferred comment.
Prior to the report Thursday afternoon about the NHL’s postponements, Vigneault addressed the media at noon ET. He was asked about his thoughts on the postponements around sports in response to the Blake shooting and about the NHL’s recognition of the events that have transpired outside of its two bubbles.
I’m disappointed to disappoint you again with my answer, but ever since we eliminated Montreal, the only thing that has been open in my room is my computer; two hockey games,” Vigneault said Thursday in a video interview. “I’ve been trying to prepare my team the best way I can, we played yesterday; the only thing that was open in my room after the game was my computer to get our games ready. I have really no idea what’s going on in the outside world, we’re in this bubble right now, I’m invested 24/7 on our team, I’m working 20 hours a day going through video and preparing our group. I don’t do Twitter, I haven’t read a sports article in I don’t know how long and I haven’t read any type of article in I don’t know how long. I guess I’m a hockey nerd and that’s what I’m doing right now.
“At the end of the day, I believe the NHL is a great league, I believe the NHL is doing everything that they can to obviously help in their own way with what society is going through. We all see the signs, we’re all for equality and for social justice. But right now, I think what we’re trying to do is play a game. I think players, management and coaches are really focused on that. This is the most important time of the year for us, it’s playoff hockey.
The Flyers-Islanders series is tied 1-1. It’s uncertain when the NHL plans to resume play.
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