As weather conditions failed to improve yesterday, it became clearer and clearer that the NHL would have to postpone the Buffalo Sabres vs. Carolina Hurricanes game scheduled for 7 p.m. at the First Niagara Center.
Visibility across the area was extremely low, the snow kept coming, the wind chill was dangerously low, and everything kept blowing around, making it all that much worse. Many major roads in the area – including parts of the NYS Thruway and the 190 that heads into downtown Buffalo, were shut down. Travel bans were in effect all over the place, and it was only a matter of time before the official announcement came of the game’s postponement.
This was the obvious smart decision. Although the Carolina Hurricanes were already in town – having made it in safely on Monday night – and the game would be a challenge to reschedule, it simply wouldn’t have been a smart decision to attempt to play the game. This would have put Buffalo Sabres players, fans, arena workers and even employees of the surrounding area (such as parking lot attendants) at risk, and simply put… it’s not worth that kind of risk!
So now the question is – when can this game be rescheduled for?
It won’t be easy. I poured over both the Buffalo Sabres’ and Carolina Hurricanes’ schedules, and there is simply no date that can easily work for both teams. According to the new CBA, teams are not allowed to play a three-in-three stretch, which literally eliminates all possible dates for the rescheduled game. Every date during the remainder of the season that could work for one team would not work for the other.
So here’s what I think will end up happening, assuming the teams and the league agree.
As of right now, both teams are set to wrap up their schedules on Sunday, April 13. The Buffalo Sabres host the New York Islanders, while the Hurricanes are in Philadelphia.
A possible option for rescheduling Tuesday’s postponed game? Extend the season.
The game could not be played on Monday, April 14th – this would mean the Sabres would be playing a three-in-three stretch – so I believe it may have to be rescheduled for the following day, Tuesday, April 15th.
It may not be the ideal option, but as far as I can tell…. it’s the ONLY option. Certainly both teams will have to agree to this, and the NHL will have to permit it, but there is no other date during the season that could work, thanks to tight schedules and the Olympic break. We’ll see if my logical deduction ends up being correct, as an official announcement should be coming from the NHL as soon as it’s all figured out.