Topic of Discussion: The NHL Moves Out Of Typical Hours To Allow For Doubleheaders

This is the schedule for the two games on Tuesday, May 3rd:

6:30 p.m. ET Washington vs. Tampa Bay, Game 3
9:00 p.m. ET Vancouver vs. Nashville, Game 3

I’d like to start a discussion in the comments on this one. Do you feel the NHL is smart to finally figure out what the NBA’s been doing for years, that you can avoid the typical 7/7:30 local time start to create more doubleheaders? Should Vancouver/Nashville have moved to 9:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. CT instead? If you’re a fan of the Predators, Caps or Lightning, what’s your opinion? If you aren’t, how would you feel as either a ticket holder or a viewer about this being done to your team? I’m a little burnt out on the week, so I felt like just starting a conversation for the rest of the day.

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Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

13 Responses to Topic of Discussion: The NHL Moves Out Of Typical Hours To Allow For Doubleheaders

  1. Josh says:

    One thing to note is that HNIC has been doing this on a limited basis for years. When the second-half of the doubleheader is played in Edmonton or Calgary (or, occasionally in an American city like say Denver), the games start at 8pm local time.

  2. Frank Doyle says:

    Anything to eliminate the VERSUS JIP BS.

  3. Mike in Idaho says:

    I agree Steve, it is good to see the league finally start taking this kind of stuff into account. Doubleheaders are good!

  4. leafsfan1967 says:

    I think this is a good idea.

    At the same time it’s worth noting that the way that they handled the two game sevens on Tuesday was excellent. The fact that the Versus Alternative feed was open so people could watch the excellent TSN feed of the Pens Lightening game was great or you could even watch the dreadful Pens broadcast on the NHL Network or you could watch Habs Bruins.

    • nosferatu says:

      Hey leafsfan,

      I forgot to pay attention to this: do you know if the NHL Network continued airing the PIT/TB game even after the Bruins won on Versus? Or did they stop it and just go to NHL on the Fly?

  5. nosferatu says:

    And while I love the fact that the NBC Sports group intends to televise all playoff games going forward, it will only matter so much if all these games are overlapping still. I know part of it’s the dearth of Pacific Time Zone teams, but there are certainly small ways in which the league could adjust for this, especially in the 2nd round. So kudos to them for this move, at least.

  6. Sean says:

    “Do you feel the NHL is smart to finally figure out what the NBA’s been doing for years, that you can avoid the typical 7/7:30 local time start to create more doubleheaders?”

    The NBA doesn’t start playoff games before 7pm local time. They would keep the Washington game at 7pm and moved the Nashville game to 930, which is what they usually do for Western Conference teams in the central timezone (San Antonio/Dallas/Oklahoma City).

    And that’s what the NHL should do. It’s pretty stupid to start a playoff game at 330pm pacific time. They’re basically telling the whole western part of the country….don’t watch this game.

    • nosferatu says:

      True, although I guess the difference is that for local fans, starting a game at 8:30 p.m. local time is a riskier proposition for hockey than it is for basketball. Basketball games are pretty much always done within 2:30-3 hours, while an OT hockey game could push things deep into the night, which is bad for local TV and fans in the arena, except maybe on a Friday or Saturday night.

    • Robert says:

      Sean, it is rare but the NBA has started playoff games before 7:00 local time Mon.-Fri.

      • Robert says:

        Just to clarify, the NBA weeknight playoff games that start before 7:00 locally are normal for the 3rd and 4th rounds of the playoffs since they are the only games on.

        It is rare for 1st and 2nd round games to be early unless they are the only games available.

  7. Robert says:

    The same scheduled times for game 3 will happen on Monday, May 9 if both of these series goes to game 6.

    It is a good move even though it is early in the PT and MT. It does allow to see more of the 1st period of the second game. To balance the early start for PT and MT viewers, some of the eastern games are starting at 8:00 which is 5:00 PT, 6:00 MT. That is another good decision by the NHL.

  8. Wade says:

    Based on my previous comments made on this site, I’m obviously happy with this decision. It makes sense to maximize their product by having double headers for the US viewers. 6:30 ET is not really a change from 7:00 ET. I don’t see why people would be upset about this. It’s the best for the fans, therefore making it the best decision for the league.

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