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Jets Tasked with Five Games in Seven Days in Revamped Schedule

Photo by Jonathan Kozub

Jets Tasked with Five Games in Seven Days in Revamped Schedule

Fans of the Winnipeg Jets are rejoicing. The players, coaches, medical team and venue/event staff… not so much.

Midway through the week, the National Hockey League announced its long-awaited revised schedule that will see a significant number of game additions to the previously empty February.

With the NHL going on break from February 7-22 due to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing – which had previously been expected to feature NHL stars – the 32 teams were supposed to sit through three weeks of inactivity, while their fellow stars competed for their countries at the international level.

That all changed with the fast-spreading COVID variant, Omicron.

The NHL opted to pull the plug on sending its players overseas, and has since tossed in 95 games over the month of February, which will serve as make-up dates for previously postponed contests. These cancelled games were either due to COVID-19 breakouts amongst clubs, international travel restrictions or localized public health restrictions limiting spectator attendance at large venues, such as Winnipeg’s Canada Life Centre.

Having had nine games postponed through January 16, the Jets learned their February fate. With the exception of one late-March matchup against Ottawa, Winnipeg will now see eight new contests scheduled in the month of February, including five home dates.

Winnipeg will now host Minnesota on Tuesday, February 8, before travelling south for a two-game road trip in Dallas and Nashville starting on Friday, February 11. That begins a gruelling five-game-in-seven-day stretch for the Jets. Luckily all games will be in the central time zone, but travel will occur from Winnipeg to Dallas, to Nashville and back to Winnipeg again.

Chicago will roll into town on Monday, February 14, before Minnesota, Seattle and Edmonton each show up for road contests in Manitoba. After concluding the four-game homestand, the Jets will hit the road for Calgary on Monday, February 21, before getting back to regularly scheduled programming on February 23 in Dallas.

Unless further COVID cancellations arise, this will sort out the remainder of Winnipeg’s 82-game regular season schedule. It will also allow the league to complete its full comprehensive schedule by the originally planned closing date of Friday, April 29.

“We are profoundly grateful to our fans for their support and understanding during a challenging time and to our Clubs, the NHL Players’ Association and the Players for their cooperation in a rescheduling of unprecedented logistical complexity,” said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.

The Jets travel to Nashville on Thursday for a Central Division matchup with one of the league’s top dogs. Without forward Nikolaj Ehlers due to a lower-body injury suffered on an illegal check from Washington’s Dmitry Orlov, the Jets will see a number of lineup changes. Following his recovery from COVID, Paul Stastny will slot back into the forward group in Ehlers’ spot, while Evgeny Svechnikov will also return from injury, bumping Kristian Reichel from the lineup.

Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM central time in Nashville. The game can be viewed live on TSN. The Jets will then move east to Boston for a 2:00 PM showing against the Bruins on Saturday, before wrapping up the lengthy eight-game road trip in Pittsburgh on Sunday with another afternoon clash against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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