Conference Final Schedule Could Be a Mess

From Douglas Flynn of NESN:

The Lightning’s home rink, the St. Pete Times Forum, is booked from Thursday, May 19 through Sunday, May 22 for Disney on Ice Presents Toy Story 3.

And to think, Wayne Gretzky once called the New Jersey Devils a Mickey Mouse organization. What would the Great One think of the Lightning’s own building having so little faith that Tampa Bay would still be playing in late May that it booked Disney’s ice dancers for seven shows over four consecutive days?

If the Sharks and Wings need to settle things in a Game 7 on Thursday, the Bruins won’t be able to start their series until Saturday. That pushes Game 2 to Monday and the series won’t shift to Tampa until Wednesday for Game 3, with no available ice for Game 4 until the following Monday, May 23. That’s a heck of a long wait in the middle of a series, especially a series that followed a break of more than a week from the previous round.

The other option would be to squeeze in the first four games before Thursday, but playing back-to-back games on both Saturday and Sunday in Boston and Tuesday and Wednesday in Tampa is far from ideal, especially with Versus and NBC looking to alternate days between the Eastern and Western Conference finals.


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15 Responses to Conference Final Schedule Could Be a Mess

  1. jkrdevil says:

    League rules say you can’ go more than 3 days between games. The Lightning will probably have to buyout one of the Disney on ice days

  2. kevin says:

    They will probably do Fri/Sun in Boston Tues/Wed in Tampa assuming the Celtics get eliminated Weds. This way they can have game 5 May 21 or 22 in Boston for NBC

  3. Wade says:

    In the 2000 playoffs, there were major scheduling conflicts in the Washington/Pittsburgh series. This lead to the NHL adjusting te scheule and it was game 1 @ WSH, games 2-3 @ PIT, game 4 @ WSH. The rest of the scheule was right with Washington hosting games 5, 7. Pittsburgg hosting game 6. It only went 5 games, with the lower seeded pittsburgh winning. I wonder if the NHL would think about doing something like this to avoid 2 back to backs in the first 5 days of the series. I doubt they would do what they did in the WSH/PIT series, but it’s something they should at least look at.

    • Caps Nut says:

      Ah yes, the old “Burn the Floor” fiasco. It should be noted that the other factor in that FUBAR schedule was ABC insisting on having Jagr (who was with the Penguin Scum at that time) in their Saturday timeslot for Game 2. The teams had to play in Pittsburgh on Saturday in order for that to happen so Washington had either play Games 1 and 2 back-to-back in DC on Wednesday and Thursday and then head to Pittsburgh for Game 3 on Saturday afternoon, or accept a trade of Games 2 and 4.

      ABC however only broadcasted Game 3 in the D.C. and Pittsburgh markets as they had two other games that day get wider nationwide coverage. Finally, the final insult was a day or two after this schedule was set and released the Latin Dance Exhibition “Burn the Floor” was canceled due to poor advance ticket sales. (Because lets face it, when you think of Pittsburgh, you think of Latin Dance Exhibitions…)

      Washington pitched an unholy fit through official channels and as a result of the “Burn the Floor” fiasco, the NHL required all arenas to put in opt-out clauses in booking contracts during the Stanley Cup Playoffs to prevent this from happening again. Disney on Ice is going to be forced to cancel a performance (or two) in Tampa to accomodate the Eastern Conference Finals.

    • marv935 says:

      It sounds like the most feasible arrangement would be for Disney On Ice to be forced to pull out of their shows. Another scenario would have Tampa Bay hosting the first two games, Boston hosting games 3,4,5, Tampa Bay hosting game 6 and Boston hosting game 7.

  4. Tim says:

    The league just released the schedule a few minutes ago. Looks like Tampa was forced to buy Disney out:

    Saturday, May 14 at Boston, 8:00 p.m. VERSUS
    Tuesday, May 17 at Boston, 8:00 p.m. VERSUS
    Thursday, May 19 at Tampa Bay, 8:00 p.m. VERSUS
    Saturday, May 21 at Tampa Bay, 1:30 p.m. NBC
    *Monday, May 23 at Boston, 8:00 p.m. VERSUS
    *Wednesday, May 25 at Tampa Bay, 8:00 p.m. VERSUS
    *Friday, May 27 at Boston, 8:00 p.m. VERSUS

    • Jason says:

      Given the wait times, why the NHL never even considered a Thursday/Saturday/Monday/Wednesday arrangement leading into a Saturday Game 5 in Tampa Bay amazes me. NBC must REALLY want at least one guaranteed game after being shut out of an entire week especially since it’d keep Vancouver from having the logical Saturday night home game.

      Another hitch about scheduling anything this weekend in Boston: This weekend is a Yankees/Red Sox series and even though it’s being played in the Bronx, the Bruins would be slaughtered if they went up against them.

      • Chief says:

        I don’t think you’ve been paying attention to the ratings. The Red Sox are getting whipped by both the Celtics and the Bruins.

        Last night’s Celtics game did a 17
        Bruins on Friday did a 14.

        Red sox are around 6 or 7.

  5. Mike in Idaho says:

    Why are they waiting until after round 2 is done in the west before starting round 3 in the east? There is no reason that I can see that they couldn’t have games 1/2 on Thu/Sat in Boston and then Mon/Wed in Tampa for games 3/4.

    • Jason says:

      I think the NHL is caving into TV considering that this weekend is a Yankees/Red Sox series and starting on a Friday/playing on a Sunday night would slaughter them in the ratings in the Boston market.

  6. Mike in Idaho says:

    Doh, I didn’t see that game 7 of Sharks/Red Wings might be Thursday. You could have a doubleheader since it would be in San Jose to accomadate this though.

    • nosferatu says:

      Already scheduled at 9 ET, and best to give focus to a Game 7, if it comes to that. Plus, could you imagine the fiasco that would occur if the early game went to OT? I doubt the league wants to worry about that.

  7. kevin says:

    The Bruins will outdraw the Red Sox this weekend……..

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