With Washington blanketed in snow, Sunday’s matinee between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins has been postponed. No makeup date has been announced as yet.
The NHL makes the call on postponements, and the league now has to reschedule two Capitals games. Friday night’s game against Anaheim at Verizon Center was also postponed, but with less advance notice. That decision came down just three hours before puck drop, with the Ducks and many employees already in the building.
Sunday’s 12:30 game was to be nationally televised by NBC. But the Penguins play at home on Saturday afternoon and would have had to travel to Washington Saturday night. With snowfall expected to continue until Saturday night and travel discouraged, that likely wouldn’t have been possible. The Metrorail system will also be closed all day on Sunday.
“I would say D.C. is one of the worst cities for handling snow,” Penguins forward Eric Fehr, a former Capitals player, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “If you get about an inch or even a threat of snow coming, the city shuts down.”
Because of the close proximity of the teams, the game against Pittsburgh will likely be easier for the NHL to reschedule than the Capitals’ game against Anaheim. For one, teams can’t play three games in three nights, and the collective bargaining agreement also mandates a certain number of days off every month, so just adding a game later in the season will be tricky.
The Verizon Center is also host to the Wizards, the Georgetown basketball team and concerts, so the league will have to find a day that works for both teams and is also a day the arena isn’t already occupied. Anaheim makes two additional trips to the East Coast this season: one in early February and one in mid-March.
The Capitals will not practice until Monday.