It’s Saturday, February 23rd and it game day for the NHL Stadium Series featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins against their rival Philadelphia Flyers at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. However, the number one thing everyone is talking about is the fact that the weather is going to look very problematic tonight for the game.
With the Philadelphia forecast predicting rain for the area tonight the NHL released the following statement:
“PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Feb. 23, 2019) – The National Hockey League announced today that the start time of tonight’s 2019 Coors Light NHLStadium Series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field will remain at 8 p.m. ET. While we are expecting a chance of a relatively light amount of precipitation in and around the game window, current forecasts are indicating that we will have playable conditions. We will continue to monitor weather conditions throughout the day and if a different determination becomes necessary due to the weather conditions being worse than anticipated, we will adjust accordingly.”
Now how does the league plan to “adjust accordingly”? Well we’ll tell you, and let’s be honest, it’s very radical.
The following are the weather-related GAME procedure contingencies for the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins:
·Once the game has begun, it may be subject to one or more temporary stoppages due to unplayable weather conditions, at the discretion of the Commissioner.
- This is how all outdoor games work so this isn’t very surprising.
·Period and game format may be reconfigured to accommodate temporary stoppages as determined appropriate by the Commissioner.
- Sounds logical… maybe?
·In the event of high winds at the ice surface, the clubs will switch ends at the 10:00 minute mark of the third period as signaled by a “hard whistle.” The face off will take place where the play was whistled dead. This identical procedure will take place at the 2:30 minute mark of an overtime period, if needed.
- Again this is how all outdoor games work so this is status quo.
· In the event of a shootout, each club will determine what end they prefer to defend, which could be the same end.
- Also status quo.
·If the game is started, then stopped permanently due to unplayable weather conditions, it will be deemed “official” once two periods have been played. The team leading at the time play is stopped will be declared the winner and will be awarded two points in the standings.
- So I don’t know if this is something that has ever happened before in the NHL, but if it has I don’t ever recalling a time when it did.
·If the game is tied at the time play is stopped permanently, any time after two periods of play, each team will be awarded one point in the standings, with an opportunity to earn an additional point in a standard shootout format.
- Read thoughts under the next contingency.
·If weather conditions permit, the shootout will be conducted at Lincoln Financial Field immediately after regulation play has been stopped. If weather conditions make it impossible to conduct a shootout safely at Lincoln Financial Field, the shootout will take place at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday, March 17 prior to the regularly scheduled Philadelphia-Pittsburgh game, with Philadelphia deemed the home club for shootout purposes only.
- So to touch on the first point above, if the weather permits the game from being played after two periods and it’s tied, then both teams will get a point in the standings but they will do a shootout to determine a winner, but if they are stopping the game due to the weather then how can they do the shootout? You can’t unless you want to try to force it.
- Secondly, why should these two teams have to wait for March 17th to do the shootout if they can’t do it tonight? Just award it as a tie. Remember those? I do.
·If the game is started, and stopped permanently due to unplayable weather conditions, and fewer than two periods of regular time has been played, the game will be officially “postponed” and, if possible, will be played in its entirety at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, Feb. 24. If the game cannot be replayed at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, Feb. 24, it will be rescheduled at Wells Fargo Center on a date to be determined later in the season.
- So we’re going to try to play this game, but if the weather conditions make it unplayable and you know that this is going to be like that then why even try? Is it really worth putting the players at risk when you know tomorrow is supposed to be rain and 60 degrees? Philadelphia Flyers rookie goalie sensation Carter Hart was injured yesterday at practice in Lincoln Financial Field because of the ice and will miss 10 days at minimum, so why risk anyone else?
The idea that this game is going on and that so many contingencies have been put in place, and with so many at the commissioner’s discretion (another story for another day) one has to beg the question of what is really going on?
TXHT will be covering the Stadium Series tonight, but we will be curious to see how this really goes.
*All contingencies posted are posted in full as presented by the National Hockey League.