The Washington Capitals face the New York Rangers this evening, going for win No. 12 in a row.
While that is exiting enough to get most Caps fans into a frenzy, this weekend's massive snowstorm that's bearing down on the mid-Atlantic region calls into peril the Friday night game with Atlanta and especially Sunday's nationally televised matchup with the dastardly Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
First, from the National Weather Service:
WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM FRIDAY TO 10 PM EST SATURDAY...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW WITH NEAR-BLIZZARD CONDITIONS... WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM FRIDAY TO 10 PM EST SATURDAY. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE... HEAVY SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS... STORM TOTAL ACCUMULATIONS OF 16 TO 24 INCHES.
* TIMING... SNOW WILL BEGIN MID-MORNING FRIDAY... AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH SATURDAY EVENING. CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE RAPIDLY FRIDAY AFTERNOON... WITH HEAVIEST SNOWFALL OCCURRING BETWEEN SUNSET FRIDAY TO SUNRISE SATURDAY.
It sounds like the Thrashers (with or without Ilya Kovalchuk) will be able to get IN to D.C., but probably won't make it OUT Saturday. Atlanta is scheduled to play in Florida against the Panthers at 7:00 pm Saturday night. Good luck with that, but it's not the Caps' problem.
What is the Caps problem, is Sunday's game. The snow will be over by then, but the real problem is Pittsburgh's schedule, and the game time on Sunday.
The Pens play in Montreal at 2:00 pm Saturday, and are scheduled to come to DC that evening. For the same reason that Atlanta probably won't make it out, the Pens could very well not make it in Saturday night.
What's worse, because of the nationally televised noon game (to avoid going against the Super Bowl), there's no way they'd fly in Sunday morning to play at noon. They'd have to move the game to later Sunday (which they would want to avoid if at all possible), or perhaps Monday night.
The Caps and Pens are both off until Wednesday, and Verizon Center is dark Monday night, with the Wizards on the road Tuesday in Charlotte (maybe).
There are two other complications: arena workers, and transportation.
If there's as much snow as predicted, it'll be pure hell getting around town. We were on the road last Saturday and the beltway hadn't even been plowed yet, and we were only talking a few inches. Most of the jurisdictions in the area have already spent their season's budgets on snow removal.
Getting stadium workers, security and game officials into (and out of) the arena will be messy at best and hazardous at worst.
Also consider, the Hoyas and Wizards have both have games Saturday between the two hockey games. That's four games in tow days, with different people needed to work the different events. It'll be nuts!
And if you plan to take Metro to come to any of the games, be warned: they've already announced that once eight inches accumulate, the outdoor stations will be closed.
So stay tuned Caps fans. Caps News Network will have any schedule updates as they become available over the weekend. You can check us out on Facebook and Twitter (@CapsNewsNetwork) for immediate updates as well.
Until then, enjoy the snow. What else are you supposed to do about it?