The NHL has been hard at work juggling the schedule every time there’s a COVID-19 outbreak on a team and for the first time, that juggle is going to impact the Flyers.
Because of outbreaks with both the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres, the Flyers had four road games rescheduled on Saturday, and it created a situation where the Flyers now have a more condensed schedule than was already the case when those four games were moved.
The four games that have been rescheduled are:
- @ New York Rangers – originally scheduled Tuesday, 2/16 has been rescheduled for Sunday 2/14 at 6pm
- @ Buffalo – originally scheduled for Friday 2/26 is now Saturday 2/27 at 1pm
- @ Buffalo – originally scheduled for Tuesday 3/30 is now Wednesday 3/31 at 7:30pm
- @ New Jersey – originally scheduled for Tuesday 4/20 is now Thursday 4/1 at 7pm
The moving of the Rangers game forces the Flyers to play three games in four nights over Valentine’s Day weekend, including travelling to New York immediately after a Saturday night home game against the Devils.
The benefit of this move, though, is the Flyers get some extended time off the third week in February.
After the rescheduled Rangers game, the Flyers will have three days off before a rematch with the Rangers in Philly, and then two more days off before playing the Bruins at Lake Tahoe.
Moving the first Sabres game now creates a back-to-back situation on the two games in Buffalo and sets up another 3-in-4 scenario as the Flyers immediately travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins after just one day off.
Moving the second Buffalo game and the New Jersey game creates another 3-in-4, a back-to-back with travel and some more travel headaches as part of a road trip.
The Flyers were originally slated to play on back-to-back nights in Buffalo, but were then going to have a few days off to come home before a quick jaunt to Long Island to play the Islanders on Saturday, April 3.
Now, they have a day off between the Buffalo games, but they now have a back to back on the 31st (in Buffalo) and April 1 (in New Jersey), which means a flight (albeit a short one) from Buffalo to Newark after the game on the 31st.
In addition, the Flyers will likely now stay on the road and go straight from New Jersey to Long Island, rather than have those extra few days at home.
The one benefit is the Flyers will now have four consecutive off days in mid-April right before the final nine games of the season, which could be hugely beneficial in terms of rest and critical practice time that otherwise wouldn’t have been available.
Keep in mind that more changes are possible if other Covid-related issues crop up in the East Division.
As such, when you are adjusting your calendars, please only do so in pencil…
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