Blog Entry

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

Posted on: January 1, 2012 3:32 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 5:41 pm
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By Brian Stubits

For the second consecutive year, the Winter Classic will not begin when it was initially scheduled.

The NHL announced on Sunday that the start of the game, originally slated for 1 ET, has been pushed back two hours to begin at 3 ET.

From the NHL's release:

The revised start time is based on tomorrow's weather forecast and should offer optimal game conditions for players and fans.

The result will be felt in a few ways, all of which are positive in my mind. First of all, by 3 the sun should be below the top of the stadium, meaning it won't be shining directly on the ice. That will help keep the temperature down, the ice crisp and perfect as well as reducing a lot of the glare the players were going to have to deal with.

The Flyers had an early practice on Sunday and had to deal with the glare and heat. Players, like Jaromir Jagr in the photo above (soul patch included), were sporting the ol' eye black to help with that problem.

As soon as the practice was done, the ice crew laid down tarps over the logos because the sun can also make the logos on the ice bleed, a problem we saw a little bit in the Chicago Classic.

Remember, the Alumni Game was also pushed back to 3 ET on Saturday and that went off well after the change in start time. And it's unlikely to have much of a negative impact, if any.

"Time change? I think once you see what happened to the first game that was played here, I'm sure that you have to think about
it," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "So it doesn't change anything as far as they just move your hours up a couple as far as your game and all that, so it doesn't change anything."

It means that the game will come to a close under the lights of Citizen's Bank Park like it was last year in Pittsburgh.

Personally, I don't get why the NHL doesn't push these games back anyway. It certainly didn't deter the viewing base on television as last year's game was the most-viewed Winter Classic so far.

If the NHL can get off the insistence of having the game at 1 ET every season it will open up the opportunities to go West. That's one of the big deterrents at the moment for placing in the Pacific and Mountain time zones. But maybe the NHL is realizing that the glare of the sun doesn't help matters and prime time games might be better for the play, let alone the viewership.

Another benefit from the later start, our friends on the West Coast can actually sleep in and still watch the game.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

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Comments

Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:35 pm
 

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

argo444, if you haven't heard about the time change, you'd arrive 2 hours before the start of the game, not halfway through the 3rd. But what does one expect from a Flyers fan.....Let's go Rangers
I confess error on that particular point, franny.  Perhaps I was hung over--although since I hadn't had anything to drink, that seems unlikely.  Or maybe I was looking at the times through a reversing lens or something.  Whatever, it's not so great to sit there an extra two hours, either.  So I stand by my opinions otherwise.

I notice, moreover, that you don't dispute anything else I said.  I'll draw my own conclusions from that.

As to your silly comment about Flyers fans in general, stuff it.  Don't hold other Flyer fans responsible for anything I say, and don't hold me responsible for anything they say.

And as to the Rangers and Flyers, congratulations to the former on winning this game (which, as I said earlier, is no more important than any other), but we'll see where both teams are at the end of the season, and after we've faced you a couple of times in our building, which we haven't yet.  (And I hope you're not going to claim that a ballpark where neither team has ever played before is the same.)



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 2, 2012 4:48 pm
 

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

wow very good game......Smile



Since: Jan 2, 2012
Posted on: January 2, 2012 2:19 pm
 

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

The Quebecois love the winter look well Giroux, Briere and talbot good match to all ..



Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2012 10:57 am
 

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

Not a big Hockey fan but I do watch this game every year because it is a lot more entertaining to see the game out in elements.



Since: Oct 14, 2008
Posted on: January 2, 2012 5:43 am
 

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

Errrr, no argo444, if you haven't heard about the time change, you'd arrive 2 hours before the start of the game, not halfway through the 3rd. But what does one expect from a Flyers fan.....Let's go Rangers



Since: Jul 9, 2009
Posted on: January 2, 2012 1:46 am
 

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

I agree, D and D.  Bunch of over-hyped nonsense.  It's only a "classic" because the NHL says it is, and because the media have been suckered into hyping it.  The game counts the same as any other game in the standings.  It's less important than any post-season game they've ever played.  Trust me, a few months from now, no one but the people who were there (and some but not all of those who watched or listened) will even remember who won.  For myself, as a Flyers fan I would much rather they had won the first two games they played against the Rangers and lost this one, than the other way around.

As to their bait-and-switching the starting time on short notice--tough luck, ticketholders who were planning your schedules around the 1:00 start.  And I hope you even heard about the change if you didn't happen to see/hear the actual notices, else you'll be arriving halfway through the third period. 



Since: Jan 17, 2010
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:58 am
 

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

How does the NHL not consider Canucks / Bruins or Canucks / Blackhawks?
Because with all the diving and whining, the Canucks are a joke and real fans don't respect them.



Since: Oct 25, 2007
Posted on: January 2, 2012 12:32 am
 

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

Because both would require the event being held in Canada, which I'm not sure the NHL/NBC (equally probably) can stomach at this time. 


The Blackhawks and Bruins have just hosted recently. There's zero chance of them hosting again so soon with other untapped (American) markets. Not saying that's how it should be or if it's fair (it's obviously not), but that's life.  



Since: Jul 19, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2012 10:11 pm
 

Winter Classic start pushed back to 3 ET

How does the NHL not consider Canucks / Bruins or Canucks / Blackhawks?

Both rivalries are current, nasty, large hockey markets and these are maybe the 3 best teams in the league right now.  Can you imagine Kesler / Bieksa / Kane / Bolland / Marchand / Thomas miked up for 24/7.... awesome if it happened!


bmase19
Since: Aug 5, 2007
Posted on: January 1, 2012 10:07 pm
This comment has been removed.

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