Avalanche, Stars to start series Saturday as NHL schedule adjusted

After the Colorado Avalanche closed its first round with the Arizona Coyotes in five games on Wednesday, its schedule looked clear for most of next week. But on Friday, the NHL cut that holiday short, and extended the start of its Western Conference semi-final series against the Dallas Stars to Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET.

The NHL had a hole in their broadcast schedule on Saturday night, which did not have a game on the docket because of how fast some of the quarterfinals series ran into it. Dallas vs. Colorado was the only series to close out the second round starting Friday morning in both conferences. The NHL wanted to continue the momentum of the postseason, according to an NHL source, so it started the start up to fill that gap.

Colorado coach Jared Bednar said the team was informed early Friday morning about the schedule change.

“I would like to start as soon as possible, to be honest with you,” Bednar said. “I think time in general seems pretty slow to move here in the bubble, which we found in the first few weeks when we played every third day. If we were once in the series with Arizona, time seems to go a little faster.With no travel and the ease of getting to the rink, game day is great.There is a focus on what you need to do, and the days in the games give you plenty of time to rest.

“We love the fact that we do not have too much time between games. I’m sure Dallas is the same way. Just kept playing. It’s what we all need to do here: play hockey games, not necessarily to practice or to have days off. “

The Stars have a quick turnaround after winning their tough six-game series against Calgary on Thursday night. Dallas had a mandatory day on Friday because its players were scheduled to get some recreation time at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium.

“We’re going to the football stadium here. We need to get everyone out of the hotel. We need a mental break,” Dallas coach Rick Bowness said after the win at Calgary. “Just to get outside, to get some sun, to get some fresh air.”

The timing of the second series in the Western Conference will be determined by the outcome of Game 6 between the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks on Friday night. If the Canucks eliminate the Blues, Game 1 of their second-round series will begin on Sunday. If there’s a Game 7 on Sunday between Vancouver and St. Louis. Louis, then Game 1 of the Golden Knights’ second round will be played on Tuesday – meaning Vegas has a full week between its elimination from Chicago and its next game.

“You’ll never complain about time off in the playoffs because you know that once it starts it’s going to come really fast. We’ve already been told about having one, maybe two back-to-backs per game. “We will take the rest and use it in the best way we can. We have some bumps and bruises, like everyone else does,” said Vegas coach Pete DeBoer.

Life in the bubble was put under the microscope on Thursday when Bowness complained about the difficulty of living in the NHL “hub” because of concerns about COVID-19.

“Give the league a lot of credit,” he said. “They’ve done the best job they can. Everyone treats it as best they can. But it’s hard. This bubbly life is not what you think it is. Until you live it today, you do not understand what it is. everyone goes on. “

DeBoer said he has read Bowness’ comments.

“You have good days and bad days. It’s definitely not a normal life. At the same time, we try to remember to embrace it every day. It’s a chance of a lifetime,” he said. “Even on the worst day here, there’s all the hockey you can watch and all the beer you can drink, so it’s not a bad day.”

The NHL’s Eastern Conference schedule awaits the result of the No. 1-seeded Philadelphia Flyers’ series against the No. 12-seeded Montreal Canadiens. Game 6 is Friday night. The Boston Bruins, Islanders of New York and Tampa Bay Lightning are already advanced.