Photo Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Canucks @ Oilers on Saturday scheduled for 1:30 PM MT

The final game of the Oilers’ 2021 regular season will now be played in the afternoon. Adjust your calendars accordingly!

The Oilers were scheduled to host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday with the start time listed as To Be Announced. This, of course, was one of the make-up games from earlier in the season when the Canucks were dealing with their COVID-19 outbreak.

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The American NHL teams will all be finished their seasons on Thursday and Edmonton and Vancouver is the only regular-season game scheduled for Saturday. My guess is that the NHL has opted to move this game to the afternoon in order to open up prime-time slots to begin the 2021 playoffs for the American teams.

There’s no official word yet on when the playoffs will start, but the final game of the 2021 regular season is scheduled to be played between Vancouver and Calgary on Wednesday, May 19. Given television and radio deals and sponsorships, I can’t imagine the NHL will cancel those remaining Calgary and Vancouver games no matter how pointless they are, so the Canadian Division playoffs will likely start a few days later than the American divisions.

The Flames and Canucks are still mathematically alive in the playoff race. If Edmonton sweeps their two-game series against the Canadiens this week in regulation, both teams have the ability to win out and grab the fourth and final playoff spot in Canada. Calgary sits eight points back of Montreal with four games left to play and Vancouver is 14 points back with seven games left to play.