Because we are still very much in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHL won’t be operating like it normally does. Of course, there won’t be fans at many games because of local ordinances, at least early in the season, but there are a few other things that are different about the upcoming season as well.
A shortened season was almost a given once the NHL announced its plans to return to play last summer. After all, the playoffs stretched into the fall, which is when a new season typically starts. What we’re left with is a 56-game regular season. In total, there are 868 games scheduled, down from the usual 1,271 in an 82-game campaign.