It hasn’t been the ideal start to the NHL’s Outdoors Games at Lake Tahoe.
Things started off so well as defenseman Samuel Girard gave the Colorado Avalanche an early 1-0 lead in the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights in the Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday, with the game played against a stunning and breathtaking backdrop.
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It was honestly the most beautiful outdoor game the NHL has probably hosted from a picturesque standpoint, and it is fair to say that the Avalanche looked the most dominant team after the opening 20, outshooting the Golden Knights 17-8 and looking far more comfortable.
However, we saw the ice break up and turn to slush in some areas, leading to both players and officials falling over and, after discussions between all parties after the conclusion of the first period, it was determined that the game would be resumed at 12:00 a.m. ET.
We can get behind some midnight hockey.
It was also announced that tomorrow’s showdown between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins had been pushed back to 7:30 p.m. ET in order to avoid some of the same problems that the NHL had encountered this afternoon, although NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told NBC that the decision to move that game was taken earlier in the day.
NHL made right call postponing Lake Tahoe showdown between Avs & Knights
There is no getting away from the fact that it is a crying shame that the final two periods will now be played under the lights where the stunning background won’t be as visible, and it remains to be seen just how good the lighting is, but there is no doubt that the NHL made the right decision.
After all, and as we’ve already mentioned, the ice was beginning to resemble a swimming pool and it wasn’t safe. We saw one official faceplant the ice, players lose their edges and as you can see in the below clip, Alex Tuch slip and crash into the boards, which could have been a lot more dangerous if he was travelling at speed.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 20, 2021
With the sun shining bright at Lake Tahoe, that had a negative impact on the ice with ruts forming and that was causing chaos with both players and officials stumbling all over the ice, putting player safety into question. Plus, with the puck also bouncing all over the place, you could say that the overall quality of the game was probably impacted.
Therefore, the NHL took their time to go over their options and then ultimately decide to move the game until tonight. Again, we won’t see Lake Tahoe in all of its glory but a night game on outdoor ice should still be pretty cool and hopefully, by then, the ice will be better and the NHL’s on-ice crew will be able to work their magic.
Again, it is disappointing but there is little the NHL can do about the weather and the changing forecast, which is why those poking fun at the league should calm down just a little. Look, in what is a strange year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, they tried something different and it didn’t work with the sun shining brighter than what was forecasted. People moan when they don’t try anything new and fun yet moan when they do, so you can’t have it both ways.
These things happen, it is unfortunate but we will still get the final two periods of this game later with the Colorado Avalanche leading the Vegas Golden Knights 1-0 after one, we’ll still get the second game tomorrow afternoon and, ultimately, the league put the safety of their players and their officials first and that was the absolute right thing to do, no matter what else happens. And that’s the end of it.