The NHL has restructured its season schedule following a slew of postponements due to COVID-19 cases on various teams and fan restrictions in Canadian markets. The Montreal Canadiens have 12 new dates, mainly for games that were originally scrubbed for the docket between mid-December and mid-January.
The @NHL announces a comprehensive update to the 2021-22 regular-season schedule. All teams will complete the full season by original April 29 closing date.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 19, 2022
Full details: https://t.co/TCWYALt2aj pic.twitter.com/f33KcmEBYZ
A decision not to send NHL players to the Olympics opened up a nearly month-long break in February to make such rescheduling easier, and that is when most of these games in question will now be played. The league also announced new COVID protocols, keeping its five-day isolation period and also plans to stop the testing of asymptomatic players following the All-Star break in early February. Those changes, combined with the fact that many players have already overcome COVID-19 this season, will result in lower odds of future cancellations.
They also moved other games around due to games changing.
The new dates on the schedule are:
- Tuesday, February 8 vs. New Jersey Devils (originally scheduled for January 15)
- Thursday, February 10 vs. Washington Capitals (originally scheduled for January 4)
- Saturday, February 12 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (originally scheduled for January 10)
- Sunday, February 13 vs. Buffalo Sabres (originally scheduled for January 8)
- Thursday, February 17 vs St. Louis Blues (originally scheduled for February 1)
- Sunday, February 20 @ New York Islanders (originally scheduled for December 20)
- Monday, February 21 vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (originally scheduled for January 6)
- Wednesday, February 23 vs Buffalo Sabres (originally scheduled for April 26)
- Monday, March 21 vs Boston Bruins (originally scheduled for January 12)
- Thursday, April 7 @ New Jersey Devils (originally scheduled for December 23)
- Sunday, April 24 vs. Boston Bruins (originally scheduled for December 18)
- Wednesday April 27 @ New York Rangers (originally scheduled for December 22)
The league had also previously shifted a game versus the Bruins that was set to be played at the Bell Centre on January 12 to Boston’s TD Garden on that date instead. To restore the balance of home and away games, a contest between the clubs on March 22 that was to be played in Boston will now take place in Montreal on March 21, becoming part of a six-game homestand.