The 2020-21 regular season is slated to finish May 10. It was originally scheduled to conclude May 8 with the Stanley Cup Playoffs beginning May 11.
The NHL was already on a time crunch from the onset of this coronavirus-impacted season because the league is hoping to return to more of its traditional cycle for the 2021-22 campaign.
With one of the Flyers' postponed games now scheduled for May 10, the team could play one of the final games in the NHL's 2020-21 regular season. If the Flyers don't play a regular-season game any later than May 10, they're set for 43 games in 82 days.
For the sake of comparison, the Flyers' first 43 games last season were played in 96 days. Aside from the three-day holiday break, that was a relatively normal stretch without any extended time off before the January All-Star festivities and NHL-mandated bye week.
Following a seven-day shutdown and four postponed games last week because of COVID protocols, the Flyers are set to pick back up their game schedule Thursday when they host the Rangers (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP). The team is then scheduled to travel to Stateline, Nevada, to play the Bruins on Sunday in one of the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe games this weekend.
The organization has a slogan of "Anytime. Anywhere." It'll have to play with anyone, as well.
The Flyers don't have any time to feel sorry for themselves. They were back on the ice Tuesday with 16 players and will have only one full practice Wednesday before taking on the Rangers without Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, Jakub Voracek, Oskar Lindblom, Scott Laughton and Justin Braun.
"We've got four games that we've got to make up and a very condensed schedule already," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Tuesday. "We’ve got basically very limited practice time to get ourselves ready for Thursday and then we’ve got to fly five hours to Lake Tahoe to go play a noon game (3 p.m. ET). So not a lot of time but it is what it is. We’ve got to deal with it and we’ve got to deal with it head-on."
The atypical 2020-21 schedule saw more changes Tuesday for the Flyers. Right now, the team's focus is taking on the Rangers for its first game in 11 days.
"It shouldn’t be difficult to be competitive; it’s just the next-man-up mentality," Kevin Hayes said Tuesday of being undermanned against New York. "We’re obviously down some important players, but I think everyone’s going to compete whether you’re a regular in this lineup or you just got called up and you’re playing your first game. There’s no questions asked whether you’re supposed to compete or not. Everyone in this locker room is going to compete their hardest and give it their all and I think we’ll be fine."
The Flyers on Tuesday had five games rescheduled. The makeup dates for the Flyers' postponed games from last Tuesday (at Capitals) and Sunday (at Rangers) are to be determined. The Flyers' road game against the Bruins originally scheduled for March 7 will be moved because of one of the changes below:
• Flyers vs. Capitals on April 27 has been moved to Sunday, March 7 (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP)
• Flyers vs. Islanders on April 25 has been moved to Monday, March 22 (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP)
• Flyers vs. Devils on Feb. 11 (postponed) has been moved to Sunday, April 25 (6 p.m. ET/NBCSP)
• Flyers at Devils on April 1 has been moved to Tuesday, April 27 (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP)
• Flyers vs. Devils on Feb. 13 (postponed) has been moved to Monday, May 10 (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP)
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