On Sunday the NHL and NHLPA have agreed to postpone all cross-border games. This has caused the Edmonton Oilers to not play their next 3 games on the originally scheduled day. The Anaheim Ducks were scheduled to be in town on the 20th, after that the Oilers were going on a California road trip, taking on the Los Angeles Kings on the 22nd and the San Jose Sharks on the 23rd.
COVID has affected 40 games so far this season. Every team has had at least on game postponed except 4 teams. With all these postponements it seems unlikely to see NHL players making up these games without altering the length of the season or playing through the Olympic break.
The outbreaks in a few teams have started to raise the postponed game count. I have put a list of games postponed by the team below. It is fairly easy to reschedule up to 3 games into the existing schedule, but when you start getting to more than 4, that really will start make a dense schedule.
Toronto Maple Leafs-4
New York Rangers-3
Detroit Red Wings-2
New Jersey Devils-2
New York Islanders-2
San Jose Sharks-2
St Louis Blues-2
Columbus Blue Jackets-1
Los Angeles Kings-1
Tampa Bay Lightning-0
Vegas Golden Knights-0
The Edmonton Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers are in the midst of a two-game winning streak, after losing 6 in a row. The team was playing good and I was hoping to see them keep this streak going till Christmas. Now with the postponement, the Oilers may lose the momentum they were building up.
As much as it would be nice to see them keep playing, a one-week break could be just what the Oilers needed. The Edmonton Oilers have 5 players out with injuries and 5 players in COVID-19 protocol. This week can be used to help the injured players recover.
One player the Edmonton Oilers are likely to have back once this break ends is Mike Smith. Smith has been out of the line-up since October 18. Mikko Koskinen and Stuart Skinner have been doing a good job holding his spot, but Mike Smith is an upgrade on both of these two.
As much as I would rather be watching the Edmonton Oilers playing games, my first concern is the health of the players and coaches. Hopefully, once the Oilers get back to playing games they can keep their current winning streak going.