NHL playoff rescheduling a reminder of league’s amateur operation

Photo credit:Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Noah Strang
1 year ago
Out of all the second round NHL playoff matchups, the battle between the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers might be the most intriguing. The two teams finished near the top of the Western Conference standings and were separated by a measly two points. It’s also a matchup of the top two picks from the 2015 NHL Draft in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel.
Understandably, there was a lot of excitement for these games, and with the Golden Knights playing in Vegas, plenty of Oilers fans were determined to go down south to catch a game in the desert. The NHL announced that the first two games would happen on Wednesday, May 3rd and Friday, May 5th, featuring the typical one-day break between games.
However, just a few days before the series was planned to start, the NHL announced a rescheduling of Game 2, pushing it back a day to Saturday night.
Advertising the game as being on Friday and then switching the schedule just a few days before is yet another example of the NHL’s amateur-hour operation.

Travelling fans hurt by last minute switch up

For fans, the last minute schedule change is a slap in the face. Vegas has become a hot destination to see a hockey game and while some may find it hard to be sympathetic towards fans having to spend an extra night in Sin City, the costs associated with doing so can quickly climb into the thousands.
“As we arrived in Vegas, there was talk that it was gonna be changed to Saturday so we got working on that right away and it ended up costing us quite a bit of money to get the changes made,” Oilers fan Kevin North said in a CTV News Edmonton article about the topic. “It’s costing a fair penny now. It was very frustrating.”

“The big four” major professional sports leagues

It’s common to hear people discuss “the big four” when it comes to professional sports leagues in North America. Included in that group is  the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. No matter which way you cut it, the NHL is the little brother of the group and incidents like this are a constant reminder to that fact.
When the Atlanta Hawks had a scheduling conflict with a Janet Jackson concert in the first round, the concert was rescheduled. While the NHL does take priority in its own buildings — the Oilers are pushing out a concert for Game 3 of this series on Saturday night — it does feel like they might cave if they had to go up against a mega star, especially in a major American market.
With baseball falling off in popularity, there is an opportunity for hockey to grow the game and close the gap in terms of revenue and viewership. However, it’s the MLS that has done a better job at marketing itself and now seems poised to become a huge league across the USA over the next few decades, already surpassing the NHL in a few key metrics.

NHL round two playoff schedule

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the NHL playoff games yet to happen in round two.

Oilers vs Golden Knights

  • Game 1: Wednesday, May 3, 7:30 p.m. MT
  • Game 2: Saturday, May 6, 5 p.m. MT
  • Game 3: Monday, May 8, 6:30 p.m. MT
  • Game 4: Wednesday, May 10, 8 p.m. MT
  • Game 5: Friday, May 12, time TBD
  • Game 6: Sunday, May 14, time TBD
  • Game 7: Tuesday, May 16, time TBD

Kraken vs Stars

  • Game 1: Tuesday, May 2nd, 6:30 p.m. PST – Kraken 5, Stars 4
  • Game 2: Thursday, May 4th, 6:30 p.m. PST
  • Game 3: Sunday, May 7th, 6:30 p.m. PST
  • Game 4: Tuesday, May 9,, 6:30 p.m. PST
  • Game 5: Thursday, time TBD
  • Game 6: Saturday, time TBD
  • Game 7: Monday, May 15, time TBD

Devils vs Hurricanes

  • Game 1: Wednesday, May 3, 7 p.m. ET
  • Game 2: Friday, May 5, 8 p.m. ET
  • Game 3: Sunday, May 7, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Game 4: Tuesday, May 9, 7 p.m. ET
  • Game 5: Thursday, May 11, TBD
  • Game 6: Saturday, May 13, TBD
  • Game 7: Monday, May 15, TBD

Leafs vs Panthers

  • Game 1: Tuesday, May 2 — 7 p.m. ET – Panthers 4, Leafs 2
  • Game 2: Thursday, May 4 — 7 p.m. ET
  • Game 3: Sunday, May 7 — 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Game 4: Wednesday, May 10 — 7 p.m. ET
  • Game 5: Friday, May 12, TBD
  • Game 6: Sunday, May 14, TBD
  • Game 7: Tuesday, May 16, TBD

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