With the NHL on NBC Beginning on Thursday, Let’s Re-Visit Some Predictions

In between gigs, we wrote a few NHL TV pieces at a great little site now known as The Program.  Chris Wassel, the gentleman who runs the show over there, is a great guy who was willing to let us sully his good name by posting over there.  He and his gang of dunderheads do a great job, so please check them out.

Anyway, we happened to be writing at The Program when The NHL On NBC schedule leaked to us, via the NHL’s website.  Not that NBC had the time to promote it’s NHL schedule, but who cares?  Well, I kind of do, but anyway, we wrote up the schedule, along with some predictions for what games would be flexed.  As promised, let’s revisit those, based on what’s happened in the NHL’s first three months.

January 1
Detroit vs. Chicago

January 18
NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh

February 8
Detroit vs. Pittsburgh 
12:30 Philadelphia vs. Atlanta
1:00 Nashville vs. Dallas 

What We Said Then: “Uhhh… what do you think?  Red Wings-Pens even if say, Crosby, Hossa, Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Malkin are injured.”

What We Say Now: It’s a pretty similar sentiment.  Red Wings-Penguins is officially the premier game on the league’s schedule.

February 15 

12:30 Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers
12:30 San Jose vs. New Jersey
12:30 Colorado vs. Detroit

What We Said Then: “It could very well depend on records, but look for Flyers-Rangers to get the call here.”

What We Say Now: It still could depend on records, but right now, the Flyers and Rangers are 1-2 in the Atlantic, and on a collision course for a couple key NBC battles down the stretch.

February 22 

12:30 Pittsburgh vs. Washington
12:30 Colorado vs. Carolina

What We Said Then: …the week in which NBC’s flex schedule becomes a joke.  Pens-Caps, dumbasses.” 

 What We Say Now: Same.

March 8 

12:30 Boston vs. NY Rangers
12:30 Pittsburgh vs. Washington 
12:30 Phoenix vs. NY Islanders
1:00 Colorado vs. Chicago 

What We Said Then: “This is actually intriguing.  You wouldn’t think NBC would go the same match-up two weeks in a row.  I think Avs-Hawks might actually get a shot here.”

What We Say Now: It’s still an interesting call but instead, expect NBC to lean toward the Bruins.  Watch for Boston to get into heavy rotation on the Peacock this season.

March 15 

12:30 Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers
12:30 Boston vs. Pittsburgh 
12:30 Detroit vs. Columbus

What We Said Then: “NBC goes back to the Crosby well with Boston-Pitt for the final time of the season.”

What We Say Now: This quote was assuming NBC did go Pens-Caps.  Now, we’re assuming they didn’t, but still choosing Bruins-Penguins, because now this matchup has “Monster” all over it.

March 22 

12:30 Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh
12:30 New Jersey vs. Boston 
1:00 Los Angeles vs. Chicago 

What We Said Then: “NBC goes with Boston two weeks in a row without the ability to use Crosby.  Maybe LA-Chitown if both teams are good.”

What We Say Now: Now that NBC is using Boston two weeks in a row, they probably do go back to Crosby.  If the Pens are all used up, they may go Boston or Chicago, especially if Brodeur is back for Jersey against the Bruins.

April 5 

12:30 Atlanta vs. Washington
12:30 Minnesota vs. Detroit 
12:30 Pittsburgh vs. Florida

What We Said Then: Finally… FINALLY… the Minnesota Wild get a national TV appearance.” 

What We Say Now: Can we add another “FINALLY”?  The Wild will, regardless of how they’ve figured out the Gaborik situation, likely be contending for a playoff  spot and get to show off their team vs. Detroit.

April 12 

2:00 Detroit vs. Chicago 
2:00 NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia
2:00 Boston vs. NY Islanders
2:00 St. Louis vs. Colorado 

What We Said Then: Sigh, probably Rangers-Philly again.  Don’t discount a Red Wings-Hawks game, or even Blues-Avs if both clubs are good and Sakic gets one more hurrah on national TV, but chances are this is how it all ends for the regular season.

What We Say Now: You know what?  I’m almost confident that NBC is thinking Wings-Hawks to close it out.  I think that game might mean a division title the way Chicago’s playing.  But, don’t discount NBC’s love affair with New York and Philly.

So, we will see how things pan out over the next few months.  Remember to show up to Puck the Media for the latest NBC Flex Scheduling and Ratings news.

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