The California sun strikes again. The NHL's scenic Outdoors game at Lake Tahoe on Saturday between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche was delayed after the first period due to poor ice conditions.
With a 12 p.m. start, the sunny 35-degree weather didn't mesh well with the surface above the 18th hole at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort, and while players were in the locker room during the first intermission, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the game would resume at 9 p.m. PT.
The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead early on a goal from Samuel Girard.
While the game got just a period in before the stoppage, there was no shortage of spectacular views shown on the NBC broadcast.
"The plan is simply that we concluded after consulting with our ice makers and both teams that we didn't think that it was safe or appropriate to continue this game at this time," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said on the broadcast (h/t NHL.com). "Some of the players wanted to continue playing. Other players were more concerned. I felt, as did the [NHL] Players' Association and everybody in hockey operations, and most importantly the ice makers, the most prudent thing to do was to discontinue the game now."
The league also adjusted the schedule for a pair of games on Sunday, pushing the second matchup in Lake Tahoe between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins from an 11 a.m. PT puck drop to a 4:30 p.m. start.
In addition, a game between the New Jersey Devils and Washington Capitals now will be played at 11 a.m. PT from Capital One Arena in the nation's capital.
"We've done over 30 outdoor games," Commissioner Bettman said. "This has been the most difficult weather circumstances we've had and it's a beautiful day. The cloud cover is everywhere but where the sun is and it did a number on the ice. We were observing in the first period players getting stuck, particularly at center ice, tripping or catching a skate. While both teams and coaches wanted to finish he first period we concluded after consultation, and I'm sorry it took as long as it did but we wanted to try to get it right, that the best thing to do was postpone for the time being."
The Sharks were not among the four teams selected to play in this weekend's games, despite being the closest team geographically to the gorgeous setup in Lake Tahoe.
Hopefully, we see the league work out the kinks from these first two games, and perhaps next season there could be a Sharks game right next to the lake, maybe even with some fans in attendance.