It was a newsy kind of day on Thursday for followers of the Edmonton Oilers, and not all of that news was welcome. In a Cult of Hockeypost earlier today we discussed a number of breaking items, including the postponement of this weekend’s series involving the Oilers’ AHL affiliate Bakersfield Condors, while intimating the Oilers’ own Saturday night tilt against the Vancouver Canucks might be jeopardy.
That educated guess turned into reality later Thursday afternoon when the NHL announced all Canucks games would be cancelled through next Tuesday, Apr 06, with a target return to action of Apr 08 for the west coast club. In all four games will have to be rescheduled, including the one scheduled in Edmonton this Saturday, Apr 03. It’s the second time in two weeks that the Oilers will have had their schedule upended due to COVID issues with their opponents, and this time a home game… not that that detail overly inconveniences fans who are unable to attend games at the best of times.
This time around it involves just one game, not the three that were postponed in Montreal last week, moreover there is a fairly obvious make-up date. The Canucks are scheduled to be back in Edmonton for a two-game set Apr 12 and 14, with both teams currently set to have the 15-16 off before resuming play on Apr 17. So it would be a straightforward solution to tack on a third game to that set on Apr 15, giving both teams the 16th to travel to their next destination.
In the short term it will shorten the Oilers brief home stand from a scheduled two games this Fri-Sat to just the one, Friday night vs. the Calgary Flames. Then it’s back on the plane for another flight out east, starting on Monday Apr 05 with the Oilers fourth visit of the season to Montreal in order to play their third game in the North Division’s easternmost city. So much for the idea of multiple-game sets to reduce travel to far-flung destinations. Good in theory, but reality had other plans.
All that said, it’s been a weird season and rescheduling of games has become the norm. Reminds this observer of the old World Hockey Association which would often see a team or two fold during the season, their unplayed games wreaking sheer havoc on the schedule. At least the NHL still has all of its member teams, they’re just not always available to fulfil their obligations in these troubled, troubling times.
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