Ian from The Steelers n’at did some serious work here, looking ahead at the potential conflicts that a Penguins/Flyers or Penguins/Rangers series would have.
Hey dudes, I was doing some browsing of the venue schedules for CEC, MSG and the Wells Fargo craphole to see how the Pens second round schedule might look. I have absolutely no inside contacts, so this is all just pure speculation, but here’s what I found:
The Pens won’t have a home Saturday night game in Round 2 as CEC is booked on May 3 and 17 for the Pittsburgh Power and May 10 for Chelsea Handler. The only other day CEC is booked is Thursday, May 8 for Lady Gaga.
If the Pens play the Flyers, the scheduling will be pretty easy as the Wells Fargo Center is only booked on Saturday May 10 (Arena Football) and Monday May 12 (Lady Gaga). Neither of these would force any back-to-back scheduling and the likely schedule would probably be something like:
Game 1 - Friday 5/2 (CEC), Game 2- Sunday 5/4 (CEC on NBC), Game 3 - Tuesday 5/6 (WFC), Game 4 - Thursday 5/8 (WFC), Game 5 -Sunday 5/11 (CEC on NBC), Game 6 - Tuesday 5/13 (WFC), Game 7 - Wednesday or Thursday 5/14 or 5/15 (CEC). Seemingly, this would be the best of both worlds for TV as there wouldn’t be any back-to-back games and with both arenas being booked on Saturdays, theSaturday night slot is conveniently open for Boston-Montreal to play on Hockey Night in Canada.
If the Pens play the Rangers, things get a bit more complicated. MSG is booked on both Thursday 5/8 and Friday 5/9 for a WNBA game on Thursday and a Billy Joel concert on Friday (as well as a Lady Gaga concert on Tuesday 5/13).
If the league (and NBC) wanted to push the Pens-Rangers matchup as their national spotlight (which would probably make for a better afternoon matchup than Chicago-COL/MIN or Anaheim-LAK/SJS and would protect Boston-Montreal for HNIC) then we could be looking at a back-to-back in this series. Also, it makes more logistical sense for an Eastern Conference game in the afternoon and a Western Conference game in the evening.
If Pens-Rangers starts Friday:
- Game 1 - Friday 5/2 (CEC)
- Game 2 - Sunday 5/4 (CEC – probable afternoon game on NBC)
- Game 3 - Monday 5/5 or Tuesday 5/6 (either of these would set up a back-to-back)
- Game 4 - Wednesday 5/7 (MSG)
- The other option here would be to have Game 3 on Wednesday and Game 4 on Saturday, but I have a hard time seeing two 3-day breaks in a row between games. A back-to-back seems more likely, thanks to the Billy Joel concert on Friday. This wouldn’t force 2 back-to-backs like the Yanni situation did in 2009, but it would create one back-to-back either between games 2 and 3 or 3 and 4.
- Games 5 & 6 – CEC is booked on Saturday so if Game 4 is Wednesday Game 5 would probably be Friday with Game 6 being the Sundayafternoon NBC game (and protect Boston-Montreal for HNIC on Saturday).
- In this case, Game 7 could be Tuesday or Wednesday at CEC.
- If Game 4 is Saturday, Game 5 would be Monday with Game 6 on Wednesday in MSG and Game 7 probably Thursday or Friday.
The problem with this second scenario is that the series lasts 2 days longer, has two 3-day breaks and would only put the Pens-Rangers on NBC once.
It seems more likely that the league (with pressure from CBC and NBC) would push to have 2 potential PIT-NYR games on NBC in the afternoon (Games 2 and 6) so that they could also have 2 potential Boston-Montreal games on HNIC.
As I said, this is all just speculation, but thought you guys would be interested.