The NHL schedule looks a lot different today than it did yesterday.
On Wednesday afternoon, the NHL announced a comprehensive update to the league's scheduling moving forward, revealing new dates for the 98 games that were postponed due to COVID-19 during the two-month period from Nov. 18-Jan. 18.
A whopping 95 of those games are now slotted to be held during the 16-day window between Feb. 7-22 that was previously reserved for the NHL's Olympic break. Of course, with the league withdrawing its participation from the upcoming Games in Beijing back in December, that stretch of schedule became open.
The NHL has also announced date changes to 23 other previously scheduled games in order to accommodate the newly-approved slate mentioned above.
To the league's credit, this is quite the balancing act that they've appeared to have successfully maneuvered.
According to a report from DailyFaceOff's Frank Seravalli, approximately 73 percent of all NHLers have tested positive for COVID-19 this season, with approximately 60 percent testing positive during the Omicron surge beginning in mid-November. With those cases decimating the league's schedule, it's remarkable that they've been able to find dates for the nearly 100 games that were previously postponed as a result.
Of course, this has condensed teams' schedules for the month of February to a significant degree. The Toronto Maple Leafs, for example, play a total of 10 games in 18 days from Feb. 10-28.
But these are the sacrifices teams must make when operating in the midst of a pandemic. With these games now set, the NHL's regular season is expected to conclude on Apr. 29.
Just under the wire.