The byes are back in town. Ugh. Sorry. Bad joke. But it’s true. Following a two-season hiatus after COVID condensed the league schedule, the NHL has officially reinstituted midseason bye weeks for 2022-23.

The bye week concept was introduced in 2016-17 as a way of giving teams a break for rest and recovery in the middle of the season grind. It was a concession made to the NHL Players’ Association in exchange for signing off on a 3-on-3 format for the NHL All-Star Game. The 2022-23 byes commenced Jan. 28 when five teams began their breaks and will be staggered across all 32 franchises through Feb. 10. The hiatuses range from eight to 11 games. Here’s a snapshot of the bye week breakdown.

The NHL has also provided data on team performance across the previous four seasons of bye weeks and, more specifically, on what happened in the games immediately following the breaks. Do bye weeks leave teams refreshed and sharp or sluggish and sloppy?

Fascinatingly, the league as a whole tends to drag its feet immediately coming out of the byes. Between 2016-17 and 2019-20, teams went a combined 48-53-22 in their first games after byes. But examining teams’ first three games following byes paints a different picture. The four years of data gave us 12 games per team with the exception of the Vegas Golden Knights, who weren’t active yet in 2016-17 and thus have three years and nine games of post-bye experience. It turns out 19 of 31 teams had points percentages of .500 or better in their first three games post-bye. Some teams have been downright dominant. A full breakdown of post-bye standings is below. The Seattle Kraken aren’t listed as they of course didn’t play in the NHL yet when byes were previously present.