Caps/Pens Upstaged by Dane Cook… and Yanni?!?

The NHL, as fans are probably aware, is just getting into the swing of what’ll probably be its best series of the playoffs: the Washington Capitals vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. The two teams each favor one of the top two players in the league, Washington with Alex Ovechkin and Pittsburgh with Sidney Crosby, and they haven’t failed to impress thus far.

Yanni Penguins Capitals

(The show’s proximity to Game 6 means Yanni’s show will take place in the melted rink. Yanni doesn’t mind.)

Curiously, though, Games 3 and 4 will be on Saturday (in Pittsburgh) and Sunday (in Washington) - a back-to-back/travel situation that’s unheard of in just about any major sport’s postseason. And worse yet, for the sake of all this hockey, they’re missing Yanni:

Three events in eight days at Mellon Arena required the NHL to schedule the Capitals and Penguins to play Game 4 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series in Pittsburgh on Friday night and Game 5 at the Verizon Center in Washington on Saturday.

The teams are playing every other day during the series except for the back-to-back games. Normally, the teams would have played Friday in Pittsburgh, Sunday in Washington and Tuesday [if necessary] in Pittsburgh, but the [Yanni] concert conflict ruled out Tuesday.

The culprit isn’t NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, though we’re sure he doesn’t mind getting two marquee games televised over the span of a weekend. No, as the article mentions, this has everything to do with the way the Penguins’ home ice, Mellon Arena was booked. Rather than move one show to accomodate NHL rules, the two teams will instead embark on their accelerated schedule.

As you can probably imagine, the Caps are livid, especially owner/bloggeur Ted Leonsis, who had this to say:

It is a shame that both teams will have to play back to back games later in the series because the Pittsburgh building - against NHL rules - booked a series of concerts and forced the league to alter the playoff schedule. This is bad for the league, both fan bases and for the players.

But great for Yanni!

In case you’re curious about the other two shows, that’d be Dane Cook, as mentioned in the headline, and the WWE. Hockey fans with a pre-existing quasi-hipster inferiority complex will get outraged at this news and/or further calcify their beliefs that they’re, y’know, smarter than the philistines who watch fake wrestling or fake comedy. We’re not disagreeing, since watching Dane Cook is worse than watching your grandmother’s head get sawed off by your most hated rival’s mascot. Still, replace the NHL with, say, The Hold Steady, and the WWE with Seether, and you’ll see what kind of anti-populist elitist snotbags we’re really dealing with here.

But again, all that said, we’re not disagreeing.