Alain Vigneault sat at a long table with the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe logo behind him and mentioned the importance of adapting. His Philadelphia Flyers team sure has done a lot of that lately.
“In this league, you’ve got to learn to adapt,” Vigneault said Saturday with a smile. “Adapt to everything that’s thrown at you.” The Flyers’ head coach smiled, but he wasn’t kidding.
Fewer than two and a half hours later, the Flyers had another change thrown at them. The scheduled start for their outdoor game against the Bruins on Sunday was changed for a third time. The NHL on Thursday moved up the start time from 3:00 P.M. E.S.T. to 2:00 P.M. E.S.T. On Saturday, they moved it back again to 7:30 P.M. E.S.T.
The setting in Stateline, Nevada, sure is scenic but nature doesn’t always cooperate. During Saturday’s Colorado Avalanche-Vegas Golden Knights game, which kicked off the league’s event, there appeared to be noticeable issues with the ice surface caused by the extreme sun and warmer temperatures. The game was forced into a delay at first intermission and will be completed at midnight E.S.T.
The Flyers, who just went through an NHL-mandated COVID-19 shutdown and are pushing forward through a slew of lineup adjustments, were originally scheduled to practice on the game rink early Saturday morning but had the practice moved indoors to South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena.
Oh sunny days, sometime we love them. This time, not so much.