NHL fans criticize league for bad start time for Oilers-Kings game

Graham Montgomery
April 29, 2024  (1:58 PM)

Cody Ceci Stuart Skinner and Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers
Photo credit: CBC

The Edmonton Oilers and LA Kings are set to play game four of their playoff series in LA tonight. The start time of the game has many fans upset though as it will be difficult for fans on the east coast to watch the game given how late it starts.

The game starts at 7:50 Pacific time, making it 10:50 on the east coast. While 7PM start times are common throughout the season on the west coast, the NHL has bumped the start times back generally by about 50 minutes across the board in order to accommodate the full schedule of games each night. This means fans on the east coast may have a hard time watching these games, especially early in the playoffs when there are still many games on each night. And they are not happy about it either.
Someone please explain to me (and the rest of us hockey fans) why the @NHL
isn't starting games early today? 4 games - 1st one should've started by now. Oilers vs Kings goes off at 10:30 PM est — making it impossible for the entire east coast and more importantly, kids everywhere to watch the two best players on the world play in the playoffs! Big mistake IMO.

One fan went so far as to call out Gary Bettman himself for the bad schedule times. He compared the bad start time to the league trying to make the Arizona Coyotes work despite obvious signs that they needed to be relocated.
Bettman will lose hundreds of millions in the ******* desert to try and secure a big TV audience...but then he'll have McDavid playing at 10:20 est

Other fans simply expressed their frustration with the start time without the extra shots taken at Bettman.
8:50 puck drop for the Oilers game? Who's the ******* moron who made this schedule

To be fair, these start times serve to give local fans a chance to watch the games. After all most Oilers fans live in Edmonton. In the Mountain time zone. Not the eastern time zone. Moving the start times up could interfere with fans ability to get to the game on time if they are going after work. It isn't really fair for the NHL to cater to the east coast crowd for west coast teams. As such, the start times likely will not be changing anytime soon.
Source: OilersInsider
Fans react to brutal NHL decision with Oilers playoffs schedule
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NHL fans criticize league for bad start time for Oilers-Kings game

Do you think west coast games should start earlier in the day to accommodate fans on the east coast?

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