There’s difficult weather in the forecast for Saturday in Pittsburgh, when the Flyers and Penguins are set for an 8 p.m. puck drop outdoors at [Ketchup] Field.
The NHL has never had to cancel or move the date of an outdoor game due to the weather, although there have been some time changes and minor delays thanks to the elements. But what if the league’s luck runs out this weekend?
Speaking with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Flyers president Paul Holmgren said that the contingency plan would push puck drop to sometime on Sunday should the game not be able to go on as scheduled on Saturday evening.
Per Paul Holmgren, #Flyers-Pens "hopeful" of playing outdoor game (rain in forecast) Sat. If it's ppd., it would be played Sun. at time TBD.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) February 22, 2017
The NHL, for what it’s worth, has yet to announce official contingency plans for weather at the Stadium Series game. But we’re sure Holmgren is accurate here, as he would be one of the first to know of such plans.
Moving the game to Sunday would obviously could cause quite a few problems.
I’d imagine that most people heading to Pittsburgh for the game are staying the evening in town on Saturday night (because driving five hours back to Philly at 11 p.m. after a long night at a game sounds terrible), so an early afternoon start time on Sunday could be doable. If the game is at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon, that gives plenty of time to play the game and allow people to make the five hour drive back to Philly without having to re-book a hotel.
But a late puck drop on Sunday could certainly cause people to miss the game. They’d have to get home to Philadelphia (or where ever else they are coming from) in time for work on Monday, and a 3 p.m. or even 8 p.m. start time on Sunday would certainly
And, well ... if you’re going to the game and have a Sunday morning flight home, you might want to consider rebooking with these contingency plans in mind.
On the bright side, an outright cancellation of the outdoor game — with a rescheduled game taking place indoors at the Pens’ home rink, PPG Paints Arena — seems unlikely. The forecast for Sunday shouldn’t be an issue, with temperatures expected to stay below fifty and only a minor chance of precipitation in the cards.