The St. Louis Blues know who they are facing in the NHL’s first round of playoffs. They also know when the games will be and it is not all that great.
The St. Louis Blues found out who they were facing in the playoffs on April 6. After the Chicago Blackhawks choked away a two goal lead in Nashville and the Winnipeg Jets took down the Arizona Coyotes, the Blues knew they’d start things off on the road.
The Blues will be playing the Jets up in the great white north where the weather could live up to the nickname or it could be beautiful. Regardless, the Blues are going to be away from home for the first two games of the playoffs.
The Blues know when the games will happen too and unfortunately, they will have to endure at least two of the dreaded late games. Here is the schedule from the Post-Dispatch.
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Game 1: Wednesday, April 10 at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Friday, April 12 at Winnipeg, 8:30 p.m.
Game 3: Sunday, April 14 in St. Louis, 6:30 p.m.
Game 4: Tuesday, April 16 in St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.
Games 5, 6 and 7 are TBA. However, you can bet one of those would likely be a late game too, if the series went that far.
Some fans shrug and say who cares. I say, I care.
I hate these late games if you are not playing on the west coast. They just make no sense.
I get what the NHL is trying to do here. They are trying to get that NCAA Tournament feel by getting as many games available throughout the night.
I don’t care. Especially in the first round, games are all shown on local affiliates.
There are a lot of people that will not tune into those other games. So, giving them the best viewing times should be the prime directive to start off with.
The league is looking to get more eyeballs on their product, so you can almost understand. In doing so, you might keep eyeballs off the television and butts out of the seat.
The late evening game in St. Louis is on a Tuesday. The school year might be wrapping up soon, but it is not over yet.
Having a game that will not get out, if it ends in regulation, until 11 p.m. is not conducive to having families show up. Some people just cannot stay up that late if they have work the next day, so you keep some fans from watching the entire game too.
This is not meant as a pity party. The NHL does do a decent job of spreading that scheduling around, but it still favors the eastern teams. Teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals don’t have to play games outside of their normal time frame.
Just like the opponent, it is what it is. You have to deal with it and get the results regardless.
Still, it irritates the heck out of me. If you truly want to make it even, make all the teams have to play a game outside their normal time frame.
The NHL will never do that. The Eastern Conference teams would cry too much.