Northeast storm disrupts schedule for sports teams
A couple walks through Boston Common in Boston, Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. The Boston area received about two feet of snow from a winter storm. A howling storm across the Northeast left the New York-to-Boston corridor shrouded in 1 to 3 feet of snow Saturday, stranding motorists on highways overnight and piling up drifts so high that some homeowners couldn't get their doors open. More than 650,000 homes and businesses were left without electricity. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Grounds crews clear the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport in New York Friday, Feb. 8, 2013. Airlines scratched more than 3,700 flights in the Northeast through Saturday as snow began falling in what was predicted to be a huge blizzard that could dump 1 to 3 feet of snow from New York City to Boston and beyond. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
BOSTON – The Tampa Bay Lightning were already in Boston when the blizzard shut down the roads, trains and airports. The Bruins and all of the game officials were standing by, too.
But with a state of emergency still in effect through most of Massachusetts, public transportation shut down and the roads closed by a storm that dumped as much as a yard of snow on some areas, the NHL decided to postpone yesterday’s game between the Lightning and the Bruins.
No makeup date had been scheduled, a process made more difficult by the lack of off days in the compressed 48-game schedule that resulted from the lockout.
Several other professional teams were forced to rearrange their travel plans because of the storm, which stranded the Knicks in Minnesota and the Spurs in Detroit on Friday night. New York’s airports reopened yesterday, but Boston’s Logan Airport remained closed into last night as airlines canceled more than 5,300 flights.
The Knicks, who played the Timberwolves on Friday night, returned to New York yesterday for today’s matinee against the Los Angeles Clippers. The Spurs, who ended their 11-game winning streak against the Pistons, play the Brooklyn Nets tonight.
The Nets took a train home instead of flying from Washington after losing to the Wizards on Friday night, posting a photo of the players boarding a train with the caption, “Backup plan.” The Clippers arrived in New York as scheduled yesterday.
At least five deaths were blamed on the storm, which dumped as much as 3 feet of snow in some parts of New England.
More than 650,000 homes and businesses lost power, with some not expecting electricity to be restored for days. Wind gusts of more than 80 mph were recorded.
By midday yesterday, the National Weather Service reported preliminary snowfall totals of 24.9 inches in Boston, short of the 27.1 inches that fell in the Blizzard of ’78 that left hundreds attending the Beanpot college hockey tournament stuck at the old Boston Garden for days.
The Bruins said yesterday’s game would be rescheduled as soon as a makeup date could be confirmed. The process is complicated because the Bruins share a building with the NBA’s Celtics.
The Bruins and Lightning each already had road games scheduled for tonight.
Other games in the Northeast went on as scheduled.
A sellout crowd of 17,625 attended the Pittsburgh Penguins’ game in New Jersey game less than 24 hours after a storm dropped more than a foot of snow in the area, and the New York Islanders hosted the Buffalo Sabres.
Two Ivy League men’s college basketball games that had been scheduled for last night were moved back to today because of treacherous travel conditions. Dartmouth will play at Cornell at noon today in Ithaca, N.Y., and Harvard will visit Columbia at 2 p.m. in New York.
Aqueduct also called off yesterday’s card because of the storm. The track and Belmont Park were expected to remain open for wagering on out-of-town races, with racing scheduled to resume today. Harness racing was canceled at Freehold Raceway in New Jersey.