Originally, the New Jersey Devils were to play the Ottawa Senators on November 16. That game and two other Senators games this week were postponed by the National Hockey League due to the sheer number of Senators players and staff in the COVID-19 protocol. This afternoon, the National Hockey League announced that they have found a new date for the Devils’ home game against Ottawa, and it is really soon. This game has been officially re-scheduled for Monday, December 6 at 7 PM ET.
I do have to give the league and the schedule-makers credit for being able to find a nearby date for this game. This is never an easy thing to do as it has to consider the teams involved as well as the arena’s availability. They could have found some date later in the season where it could have been problematic from a travel or game-congestion standpoint. I can appreciate being able to get this game to happen earlier rather than later.
It is a favorable date for the Devils. They were originally scheduled to have no games after playing in Winnipeg on Friday, December 3 until they were to host Philadelphia on Wednesday, December 9. Now, they will have one extra game that weekend. They still have the weekend to travel, practice/rest a bit, and still have a day off before hosting a rival team while getting this game done. It is not a bad situation for New Jersey, all things considered.
I could see the Senators having an issue with this new date. Instead of just hosting the Islanders on Tuesday, December 7 after hosting Colorado on Saturday, December 4, they now need to travel to New Jersey in between those games and play the Islanders right after the Devils. The Isles will be idle on December 7, so the Sens will have a potential disadvantage from a fatigue standpoint. It is not an ideal situation for them. However, that is a real possibility in re-scheduling games. Perhaps the NHL can make it up with the other two.
Yes, there are two other games yet to be re-scheduled: a Senators-Predators game and a Senators-Rangers game. The NHL was able to take care of one game within a week. These two remain unknown. We shall see where those will end up. Remember: this postponement now means the NHL could choose to opt out of the Winter Olympics as they need a full season to be played and if the break has to be sacrificed to do it, they will. That it is down to two games to re-schedule means the league is actively working to find a solution that will not interrupt that break. For now, at least.
Lastly, the Devils’ website did confirm that if you had a ticket for this game through the Devils or Ticketmaster, then you should have received notice that your November 16 ticket will be valid for this new date. If you got your tickets through a secondary re-seller, then you will need to contact them to confirm.
What do you think of the new date? Do you think this will make the Devils’ December schedule much harder or not really move the proverbial needle? Are you pleased the NHL took care of this as quickly as it did? Please leave your answers and other reactions to the re-scheduled date in the comments.