Saturday, May 30, 2009

Stanley Cup Begins Its Stupid Finals Schedule Tonight

The NHL is desperate for eyes. So much so that they are ruining one of the greatest events in sports.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals will be played tonight. Game 2 will be played tomorrow. Yep, the NHL needs to be on NBC so badly that they are willing to have Cup Finals games on consecutive nights.

The Red Wings are obviously bent about this since they walk in the more hobbled team. Not having the off day doesn't allow their broken Wings extra time to heal. All this because Gary Bettman wants to capitalize using NBC's 'Musn't See Sunday". With Game 3 on Thursday, that means they Pens and Wings will play three games in four days ... including a travel day. What is this, the World Series?

Not just that, but the Finals weren't supposed to star until late next week. However, since the Penguins swept the Hurricanes and the Red Wings ousted the Blackhawks in five games, there would have been a huge gap before the Finals. We all get that, but they sold out their players (and possibly better play) by rushing it up nine days and giving both teams just a few days before the Finals.

It makes all the more sense if you look at the remaining schedule. It will be the customary off day before Games 3, 4 and 5. But if it goes further, Game 6 will be three days later. Game 7? Another three days.

The NBA has done some boneheaded postseason scheduling but nothing like this. The NHL wants their premiere event on network TV so badly that it is willing to give the extra fans who may watch inferior hockey.

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