Start-time uncertainty `beyond frustrating’

Game 5 between the Kings and the Vancouver Canucks will be played Sunday. That much is known. What time? Nobody knows. The reason, mostly, is television. There could be as many as four playoff games on Sunday — including Boston-Washington, Pittsburgh-Philadelphia and Nashville-Detroit — or it’s also possible that the Kings and Canucks could be playing the day’s only game, if those other series end before Sunday. None of the potential Sunday games have start times scheduled yet

That is frustrating for Darryl Sutter, who said today, with dripping sarcasm, “It’s only the Stanley Cup playoffs, and it’s only Game 5, but we don’t know what time we’re playing Sunday? We have to travel and set practice plans. I hope it’s not interfering with anything else.’’

The uncertain start time doesn’t bother the Canucks so much. They’re sitting at home waiting for the game, so whether it’s an afternoon or evening start, it makes little impact. The Kings, however, have to determine whether it’s better for them to practice Saturday morning in El Segundo and then fly to Vancouver, or perhaps fly on Friday (in the event of an afternoon start on Sunday). That left Sutter jokingly seeking assistance from media members…

SUTTER: “If you guys find out (the start time), tell me. That’s beyond frustrating. I know it’s only a two-hour flight to Vancouver, but say we were going to St. Louis or Detroit, and we still don’t know? And you’re two time zones away? What’s hard about (determining a start time)? I understand there’s TV and all that stuff. It does affect. It doesn’t necessarily affect that day, but it certainly affects the team that’s traveling. … I’m going to assume it has something to do with the two Canadian teams, with Ottawa and with the center of the universe [Vancouver] does. … It’s like getting a horse ready to run on Sunday. He’s got to do things right on Saturday.’’

Incidentally, the reason for the three-day break between games is because Coldplay is at Rogers Arena on Friday and Saturday.

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