Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Unusual NHL Happening

Yesterday's game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils contained something that had never happened before at the NHL level. The power level suddenly took a plunge at the Prudential Center, the home of NJ Devils.

It was during the second period, with 9:12 minutes left. Suddenly, the power diminished to a level where the game could not be played effectively. Then, the dimmed lighting stayed that way. The game was delayed. Tampa Bay was winning 3-0.

What was originally thought of as a short delay, turned into one hour and 42 minutes (102 minutes). In fact, the game was postponed.

Only the NHL Hockey Operations and Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner, could make the decision about how to handle the situation.

When the game was officially announced as being “postponed”, Lou Amariello (GM and CEO with NJ) was interviewed. He stated that the circuit breaker broke. When the broker was fixed, it could not communicate with the computer to restore power. The local electric company did all they could, with no luck.

Here's the dilemma....what happens with the “postponed” game? How is a “postponed” game defined by the official NHL rules and regulations? Is it? Will the game be played in its entirety? Will it resume where left off? How will the points be calculated? Will Tampa Bay get credit for their goals if a new game is played?

According to the television broadcast, nothing like this has happened in an NHL game before. It is unprecedented.

I, for one, am curious as to how this situation will be handled by the NHL.

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