The Buffalo Sabres won't be playing any games until next week. That's because the National Hockey League has started its holiday break early, due to the recent spike in COVID cases leaguewide as more players enter COVID protocols.

On Tuesday, the Sabres revealed that three players in total have been placed in the league's COVID protocols.

Those players are forwards Vinnie Hinostroza (placed in protocol on Monday), Jeff Skinner and Zemgus Girgensons.

Hinostroza and Skinner are asymptomatic, while Girgensons is symptomatic.

Forward Tage Thompson would have been a game-time decision if Monday's postponed game against Columbus had been played, but General Manager Kevyn Adams says that the week-long break will allow Thompson to heal some "nagging" things he's been dealing with this season.

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The Sabres are currently eight points back of a wild card playoff position. It's unclear how the rest of the NHL season will go and how many more games will be cancelled or postponed, due to the pandemic.

The NHL won't be sending players to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and it's also unclear if the Olympics will be pushed back a year.

The National Football League is also going through many positive COVID cases with its players and coaches, as the Omicron variant sweeps across North America.

The sports landscape is vastly different than what it was just two months ago. For now, these leagues are going to have to make tough decisions regarding games and situations in order to get their seasons in.

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