The NHL postponements have reached beyond the holiday break. These affect the Chicago Blackhawks vs Winnipeg Jets matchup, as well as the two Colorado Avalanche vs Dallas Stars games that were supposed to happen this week. In addition, the NHL also postponed the Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins games.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) December 27, 2021
NHL Postponements Affect Games In the Coming Week
“COVID – related issues” is what the NHL cites as their reasoning for postponing these games. Everyone knows the league has been busy trying to calm the COVID storm that swept through the league the last few weeks. However, with players travelling home for the holidays during the extended break, it seemed likely that a few of them would end up with COVID, due to the fast-spreading variant. Unfortunately, that means that those players will have to quarantine and the games are postponed.
The league is trying its best to keep games competitive and not give a team an advantage by playing a COVID-weakened opponent. However, the sacrifice is that dozens of games have been postponed.
The season is still early enough where the league has time to make up these postponed games. However, as the season wears on and we pass the “Olympic” break, the league will run out of time to make up these games. What will their plan be then? Could we see another expanded playoff format? Obviously, that’s very far in the future, but the league is certainly thinking about it now.
As for the here and now, we could see some changes being made to how the league approaches COVID. They could end up not testing asymptomatic players like the NBA is planning on doing. Or, they could go the other route and shut down any teams with COVID to try to stop the spread. Whichever direction they choose will be met with criticism no doubt. That being said, there will always be the health and safety of the player put above anything else.