Canucks vs. Sabres game still on despite storm as NFL calls game off

The Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres game will be taking place as a massive blizzard builds in the Buffalo area on Saturday.

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A massive snowstorm set to hit the Buffalo area on Saturday is having an impact on the world of sports, but for now, not on the Vancouver Canucks.

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The Canucks are still scheduled to face the Buffalo Sabres Saturday afternoon at KeyBank Center, but across town it’s a different story for the NFL.

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The NFL announced Saturday morning that the wild-card playoff game scheduled for Sunday afternoon in suburban Orchard Park has been pushed back a day.

Because of what’s being described as “an ongoing weather emergency,” the league in consultation with New York state governor Kathy Hochul decided to postpone the football game.

But Hochul said the hockey game would still go on, although she urged fans to be ready to leave early. The storm is expected to peak around 6 p.m. ET, which would be early in the third period of the hockey game.

The hockey game is scheduled to begin just after 4 p.m. ET.

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The heavy weather may make things difficult at the Buffalo airport. The Canucks are scheduled to fly Saturday evening from Buffalo to Columbus, Ohio; the Canucks are scheduled to play against the Blue Jackets on Monday afternoon, which is Martin Luther King Day.

As of midday Saturday, the Canucks are still expecting to be able to fly, a team spokesperson told Postmedia.

“Our hope is because the game is early we will miss the huge dump (of snow),” Canucks director of communications Craig MacEwen said.

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Because of the severe weather, local authorities have announced an overnight travel ban for Erie County, ordering people off the roads from 9 p.m. Saturday night until at least 6 a.m. Sunday.

“The full travel ban gives us the opportunity to try to keep on top of the snow removal to keep the roads safe and clear,” Hochul told reporters on Saturday.

Buffalo is at the tip of an area that gets hit regularly by “lake-effect snow,” which makes for massive snowfall when the conditions are just right. The storm is also expected to bring strong winds and extreme wind chills.

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Driving conditions will be difficult, if not dangerous.

“If you get out on the roads, it is likely that you could get stuck. And if it’s so bad that we can’t find you or we cannot send troops out to rescue, it only puts your life at risk, and it also puts at risk the lives of the first responders,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz told reporters.

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