— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 5, 2021
NHL Updates April Schedule
The Oilers’ game against the Senators that was set for the 9th of April is now being played a day prior at 7 p.m. ET. On top of that, their game against the Flames on May 7 is now being played Aril 10. The last schedule change sees the April 20 Sabres game against the Bruins start time moved up half an hour to 6:30 p.m. ET. With the new changes, the Oilers now play a back-to-back against the Senators before their game in Calgary Saturday night.
The Sabres and Bruins schedules aren’t changed nearly as much, only the start time. This affects the teams significantly less than moving games around the calendar.
What This Means for the Future
Schedule changes were going to happen. Everyone knew there were risks going into the season. With several games getting postponed to the end of the year, others had to be adjusted to be played sooner. The NHL still wants to have the playoffs wrapping up mid-summer so they can play a normal schedule for the 2021-22 season. If that is going to happen, it is critical that the NHL schedule runs as efficiently as possible this year.
Edmonton and Boston both had changes made to their schedules. This could hurt both teams. With a more condensed schedule, players will tire faster. Both teams are fighting for their playoff lives in their respective divisions. If they are going to make the cut, they need to win every game they can. This schedule change could damage the playoff hopes of both franchises. Hopefully, this is the last time the NHL will have to change their schedule.