The Colorado Avalanche’s exciting Game 7 against the Dallas Stars will be obscured by an early start time.
The Colorado Avalanche were down 3-1 in their second round series with the Dallas Stars. They’ve now won two straight to tie the series and force a Game 7.
A Game 7 playoff game is the most exciting NHL game possible. You expect both teams to come out like warriors of yesteryear, ready to do battle to the death. Because for one team, it will be death — death of their Stanley Cup dreams for that year.
Well, the Avalanche are about to embark on their own Game 7 against the Central Division rival Dallas Stars. And I mean “about” literally. The game will take place just a few hours after this post publishes.
The NHL decided to schedule the game for 2:00 PM MDT. That start would be fine for most fans on a Saturday or Sunday. However, today is Friday, and most people are presumed to be still in their work week.
Fans are not happy about that start time, needless to say. All diehard fans will find a way to watch the game, whether it’s a sudden development of an illness (and in the COVID world, no boss is going to take that lightly) or a frank admittance that they’re leaving early or watching while at work.
However, such an early game on a weekday will detract from the game’s ratings. Your average sports fan won’t jump through hoops to catch the game.
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So, why would the NHL shoot themselves in the foot like that? Well, the general consensus is that the league wants to showcase the Vegas-Vancouver game that’s scheduled for later in the same day on the same ice.
What idiocy. We all know the NHL is trying to forge through these playoffs, but why force the remaining two Western Conference matchups to be played in the same day? Especially since Vegas and Vancouver just played last night. The third round doesn’t start the following day because Philadelphia and New York are playing their game 7 on Saturday. The Vegas-Vancouver game could easily have been a Saturday afternoon game.
Well, I will be watching the game. I’m still in the UAE, so the game starts at midnight Friday for me. That’s not too shabby.
If I were back in Denver, though, I’d be very angry.
Both Conor Timmins and captain Gabriel Landeskog were injured in Wednesday’s game. Timmins took a bad hit from Andrew Cogliano that made his head bounce against the glass. Landeskog suffered a laceration on his leg from a teammate. (Turns out it was Cale Makar‘s. Poor kid. He’s probably beside himself, but it was an accident.)
The good news is that both are officially listed as “game-time” decisions. So, that means their unfitness shouldn’t be too dire.
However, the coaching staff isn’t particularly optimistic.
Indeed, they put goalie Philipp Grubauer and defenseman Erik Johnson in the “game-time decision” category, and we all know they’re not returning. For what it’s worth, the mysteriously unfit Matt Calvert, Joonas Donskoi and Pavel Francouz are also officially game-time decisions.
The Colorado Avalanche game starts at 2:00 PM MDT. It’s being broadcast on USA, TVAS, and SN. You can also listen to it on Altitude Radio, which I recommend because the national announcers are annoying.