The NHL is just a day away from returning after a week-long hiatus. It has been pushed back by a day, however. This causes the Colorado Avalanche return to be pushed back by a couple of days, as they had been scheduled to return tonight away to the Vegas Golden Knights. They now return at home on Wednesday against the Dallas Stars.
With the postponement, the Avs now have five games to be rescheduled. For the sake of the regular season and COVID issues, the league will not be sending players to the Olympics in February. Now, the three-week long break will be used to reschedule over 50 games for the league to make up during that time.
The five games for the Avs to be made up consist of only one home game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and four road games against the Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, and said Vegas Golden Knights.
Luckily for the Avs, the Ball Arena schedule to reschedule their one game hopefully won’t be too difficult. There are four dates that stand out as options for the Avs to play their one home game around other previously scheduled events. Those dates are February 10th, February 15th, February 22nd or February 23rd.
On the road, things are looking more difficult. Of course, the Avs cannot control and plan around the events in other buildings aside from scheduling from the home team and planning travel from there. Besides, each team has to schedule their own games as well in this time. So let’s look at each teams home availability in their arena.
Vegas in T-Mobile Arena has availability February 7th-10th, February 13th-19th and February 21st-23rd.
Buffalo in KeyBank Arena has availability February 6th-February 11th, February 13th-17th and February 19th-22nd.
Detroit in Little Caesars Arena has availability February 7th, February 13th-16th and February 22nd.
Boston in TD Garden has availability February 8th-10th, February 15th, February 17th and February 21st-22nd.
With my lack of schedule making, of course I don’t know the logistics that go into planning game schedules, preparing the arena, ticketing, staffing, etc. My best guess is that the Avs schedule will look like this in February when it comes to rescheduling games:
Avalanche @ Bruins February 8th, Avalanche @ Sabres February 10th, Avalanche @ Red Wings February 13th, Avalanche @ Golden Knights February 17th and Lightning @ Avalanche February 22nd.
The league has said though that teams will play consistently in the month of February. Who knows what goes on with that, however. Regardless, the Avs may have other games in this time as well besides these five postponed games that are unpredictable at this point in time.
However, with the COVID news changing constantly, there are still rumblings about what the league does with games involving Canadian teams. There are questions about what will be done with border closures, if the Canadian Division will make another appearance, and much more.
The Avs have 11 games left against teams from Canada, having only played six games against Canadian teams up to this point. If the border is closed and no games are allowed to be played between the US and Canada, then the league would need to find 11 more games for the Avs to play against teams within the US.
Things are very unpredictable, long story short. The NHL may go to point percentage standings, try and continue to do what they’re doing, but the Omicron variant continues to wreck havoc. We will see what ends up happening with the already five postponed games, possible 11 more postponed games, and more along the way with the rise in cases in teams.