“Let’s just deal with it,” Penguins staff, fans react to COVID-19 schedule changes

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins hit the ice for practice Tuesday, just one day removed from having their fourth game of the season postponed due to COVID-19.

The game was originally set for Wednesday in Toronto.

“The whole world is in flux, not just our small hockey world,” said Coach Mike Sullivan after practice. “We’re just a microcosm, I think, of the pandemic.”

The team is trying to keep their attention on the ice, not the revolving door of players in the league’s COVID-19 protocol and their ever-changing schedule.

“Our message to the team is, control what we can and there’s no sense getting frustrated over it because it doesn’t change the circumstance,” said Sullivan. “Let’s just deal with it.”

Fan Leo Zappa had a slightly different reaction to the cancellations.

“As a fan and somebody who enjoys going to games, it is a bit frustrating,” he said. Zappa had tickets to last week’s home games versus the Devils and the Flyers that got postponed. He also has tickets to a handful of future games that he hopes get played.

“There’s probably a pretty good chance that the season could be put into jeopardy just like last season,” said Zappa.

What happens if you have tickets to a postponed game?

The team’s FAQ page says original tickets will be honored on rescheduled game days.

If you bought your tickets through Ticketmaster, you should be able to apply for a refund if you are no longer able to attend. If you purchased through a third party, you are subject to their postponement policy.

Time is running out for the league to reschedule games, though. With existing games on the schedule and other events at PPG Paints Arena, the Pens might have to play during the break previously scheduled for the Olympics.

“We certainly appreciate the patience that everyone involved has shown to this point, the fans in particular, they’re such a big part of it,” said Sullivan.