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Game 6 starts at 8 on Friday. Does the NHL enjoy making Wings fans lose sleep?

I have just come back from my first shopping trip in two weeks. I am exhausted (stupid norovirus has taken a liking to its unwelcome abode, and despite casting verbal aspersions its way, it has informed me that it does not wish to leave) and grumpy, so I'm going to proffer a Huge Show-style conspiracy theory--and please bear in mind that I'm saying this with a heavy dose of sarcasm:

Is it just me, or are the NHL's TV schedule-makers trying to milk every last ounce of sleep out of Wings' fans bones before the team moves to the Eastern Conference?

Tomorrow night's game starts at 10 PM EDT, and just as the case was on Monday, the Red Wings will host Game 6 at the time too many lower-bowl fans show up fashionably late to the Joe:


    … 8 p.m. Puck Drop at Joe Louis Arena Friday …

    Detroit, MI...Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks will start at 8 p.m. this Friday, May 10, at Joe Louis Arena (Fox Sports Detroit and 97.1 The Ticket).  Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

    Game Five of the series is set for Wednesday, May 8, at 10:00 p.m. ET at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA (Fox Sports Detroit and 97.1 The Ticket).

The Wings have to go along with what the league tells them to, and at leastthis one is on a Friday, so if the game goes to overtime, it won't end at 11:30 or 12 unless we're in for a Slava Kozlov in 1997-style triple OT affair.

Still, should the Wings advance, we're going to see more 8 PM starts, and the later-round games almost always start at 8 PM EDT regardless of the time zone the team hosting the game plays in...And I don't know what I think about the concept of making hockey games into almost assured late-nighters for those living in Eastern and Central time zones, especially given that national TV games have longer intermissions and sometimes particularly chunky TV timeouts.

The last time I checked the stats, an average hockey game took about 2 hours and 42 minutes to complete, and playoff games obviously tend to go a little longer. What do you think about the almost assured 11-or-later finish guaranteed by an 8 PM start?

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Figaro's avatar

Gah! My wife has an Orchestra concert that night.  Damn you, Bettman!

On the bright side, I’ll get to fast-forward through all the terrible Geico commercials and the mindless blathering of the NBC Studio “Analysts” during the intermissions.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/07/13 at 07:30 PM ET


Yeah, but for all the people who have bitched that they are blacked out, can’t see a game because another goes to OT, and all the other problems getting every game of the first round televised nationally… Part of the solution is staggered starts.

Posted by CJBear71 on 05/07/13 at 07:52 PM ET


Can’t they just start it at the normal time? That’s 4:30 here, instead of 5:00. I have a class at 7:30…5 is cutting it too close.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 05/07/13 at 07:57 PM ET


Unless they’re starting it a little later because another game is on before it. I missed the first 20 minutes of Game 1 because the Hawks/Wild game was still going.

Still, the NHL could fix that problem by just getting sensible TV coverage.

Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 05/07/13 at 07:58 PM ET


Still, the NHL could fix that problem by just getting sensible TV coverage.

NHL and sensible in the same sentence?  That’s a reach.

Posted by Valek from Chicago on 05/07/13 at 08:04 PM ET


I will actually miss the 10 pm starts, especially this time a year when I’m quite often working late and not getting home til 10:30 or later…I’ll certainly end up missing more Wings playoff games when they’re in the east, that’s for sure. :(

Posted by Marisabel on 05/07/13 at 08:12 PM ET

Ajax19's avatar

We’re complaining about an 8 pm start on a Friday night?  Come on, people.  A 30 minute difference is no big thing, especially on a weekend night.  I prefer an 8 pm start to a 7:30 one.  It allows me to get home, eat and get all that stuff out of the way a little easier before the puck drops.

Posted by Ajax19 on 05/07/13 at 09:54 PM ET

klank's avatar

Can’t they just start it at the normal time?

It’s always happy hour somewhere.  =)

Posted by klank from the finest hot tub in Marin on 05/07/13 at 10:25 PM ET


I’ve got my ticket. I couldn’t care less what time they start. Seriously though, 8:00 is late?

Posted by godblender on 05/07/13 at 11:02 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

“The NHL doesn’t care about Detroit people” - kanye west

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 05/07/13 at 11:15 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

I don’t mind the late start times now that I live in the Mountain Time Zone.  Seriously, things like Monday Night Football ends before tomorrow happens.  It’s amazing!

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 05/07/13 at 11:57 PM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

I love the 5pm PST starts. I can still have an evening.

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 05/08/13 at 01:28 AM ET

Alan's avatar

The playoffs are a funny time for scheduling because the league is also trying to maximize television ratings and whatnot.

I hate late start times, but what can ya do? Set your DVE, cancel plans, etc. Take solace in the fact that you’ll have a bit of extra time to make a beer run before the puck drops.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/08/13 at 08:54 AM ET

Alan's avatar

DVE was supposed to be DVR. I’m late for a doctor appointment and typing away too fast.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 05/08/13 at 08:55 AM ET

Vladimir16's avatar

Still, the NHL could fix that problem by just getting sensible TV coverage.
Posted by CrimsonPhoenix on 05/07/13 at 07:58 PM ET

Meh…. stream it.


Posted by Vladimir16 from Grand River Valley on 05/08/13 at 09:32 AM ET


I think the change is fair.  Half hour earlier in Anaheim so we don’t have to stay up so late.  And a half hour later in Detroit, so the people who get out of work at 5 can watch the game.

Posted by wingsnut25 on 05/08/13 at 12:14 PM ET

Primis's avatar

And a half hour later in Detroit, so the people who get out of work at 5 can watch the game.

Posted by wingsnut25 from Cheboygan, MI on 05/08/13 at 12:14 PM ET

Yes because missing the first period of a game is exactly the same as missing the 3rd period and final score.  *eyeroll*  That’s the line west coasters always trot out, and it’s always stupid.

Posted by Primis on 05/08/13 at 02:45 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.