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Fans react to brutal NHL decision with Oilers playoffs schedule

Published April 28, 2024 at 11:27

The NHL's scheduling of playoff games, particularly those featuring Western Conference teams, continues to spark heated debates among hockey aficionados, primarily due to the inconvenient start times for Eastern Conference viewers. This issue has come to the forefront once again as the Edmonton Oilers, led by the phenom Connor McDavid, prepare to square off against the Los Angeles Kings in a pivotal Game Four in Los Angeles.

Scheduled for just after 10:30 PM Eastern Time tonight, with the actual puck drop likely edging closer to 11:00 PM, this late start is not just a minor inconvenience for Eastern viewers but also poses a challenge for local Edmonton fans, who will see the game begin at nearly 9:00 PM MT.

Such timings raise significant questions about fan engagement and viewership maximization.

For a star player like McDavid, considered the best in the world by many, the desire among fans to see him perform during prime time is understandable.

However, the NHL's scheduling strategy aims to balance television slot availability following Eastern Conference games and the convenience of local fans attending games post-work.

This ongoing dilemma poses a complex challenge for NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and league officials.

On one hand, accommodating Western games later in the evening allows for a smoother viewing transition and supports local fan attendance. On the other, it potentially alienates a national audience that could be enjoying the spectacle of the Oilers' playoff journey.

Despite these scheduling conflicts, dedicated Oilers fans, and indeed, die-hard hockey enthusiasts, are likely to tune in regardless of the timing, driven by the sheer excitement of playoff hockey and the opportunity to watch a talent like McDavid perform on the big stage.

The debate continues as the league seeks a balance that honors the interests of all parties involved, but for now, the puck will drop late, and the fans will, as always, adjust their schedules accordingly.
April 28   |   822 answers
Fans react to brutal NHL decision with Oilers playoffs schedule

Do you think that 9:00 MT is too late for an Oilers playoff game?

Yes, way too late for everyone58370.9 %
Needs to be earlier for national audience16019.5 %
No, I like the late games394.7 %
See Results404.9 %
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