Monday, February 6, 2023

Wild team bus caught in pre-Thanksgiving New York traffic before Devils game, forcing a half-hour delay


Like most NHL teams, the Minnesota Wild decided to stay in Manhattan before playing the New Jersey Devils. The Wild’s plan to avoid New Jersey yielded unfortunate results this time around, though. 

The Holland Tunnel connecting Lower Manhattan and Jersey City closed Wednesday, halting  Minnesota’s team bus and forcing a half-hour delay in the Wild-Devils game. Fans who got seated early reportedly booed the announcement. 

Wild players didn’t arrive at the Prudential Center until 6:26 p.m. ET, 34 minutes before the original faceoff time. The game eventually started at 7:33 p.m, and the Wild’s Twitter account made light of the situation until that point. 

New York traffic is almost never a breeze, but the congestion Minnesota faced on Wednesday was likely heightened by Thanksgiving travelers. The transportation analytics company INRIX projected nationwide traffic delays to be around 40% higher than normal through the holiday, and AAA anticipates nearly 4 million more Thanksgiving travelers this year compared to 2020. 

The late arrival doesn’t seem to be affecting the Central Division-leading Wild. Minnesota (11-6-1) currently leads the Devils (8-5-3) 2-0 after the first period courtesy of goals from Ryan Hartman and Nico Strum. 

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