EDMONTON, ALBERTA – Surprise, surprise. The Colorado Avalanche Round 2 series with the Dallas Stars is starting earlier than I – or anyone else, probably – expected. Game 1 of the second-round series is…tomorrow night, at 6 p.m. mountain, after Rogers Place here in Edmonton.
The game will be on Ch. 9 in Denver. The word I’m told, as to why such a quick turnaround from the last series (the Stars played just last night, don’t forget, and the Avs the day before) has something (or maybe a lot) with money. The longer teams sit around in the bubble, the more it’s costing the NHL – and it’s gonna cost a fortune, either way, when all is said and done.
I’ve seen some reports saying this whole thing will cost between $75 million and $100 million to the league. They are paying for everything in this whole thing. No doubt the league negotiated a good room rate at the JW Marriott, but it’s still pricey.
“We want to play as quick as possible,” one NHL source told me.
Also, NBC didn’t have anything special on their broadcast menu for tomorrow night, so a hockey game will do just fine.
So….everybody best be getting those series preview articles done, pronto. You listening, Ashley Glover and Scott MacDonald?!
It’s a surprise to me that it’s starting tomorrow primarily because the league almost always waits until all other series are complete before starting the next round. There could still be two Game 7s on Sunday in the first round (Montreal-Philly, St. Louis-Vancouver).
But, this is obviously a year of unusual circumstances. Let’s play hockey, Avalanche and Stars.
Could this be an advantage to the Avalanche because they’ve had an extra day of rest and only had to play five games in the first round and Dallas played six? I doubt it much, but hey, it’s a theory anyway. We don’t know the rest of the schedule just yet, but that should come out by tomorrow at the latest I would think.