This Week’s Edition of “If the Playoffs Started Today”

Since we did this last, we’ve been informed that, instead of getting the first four picks when it comes to series in the playoffs, the CBC now gets #’s 1, 2, 4 and 6, with TSN getting the rest.  We’ll start off with the Canuck networks in this one, and breakdown what each network will pick.  Sort of like a Stanley Cup Playoffs mock draft.  So, as of today, here’s what the playoffs would look like:

Montreal vs. #1 Boston
#7 NY Rangers vs. #2 New Jersey
#6 Pittsburgh vs. #3 Washington
#5 Carolina vs. #4 Philadelphia

Anaheim vs. #1 Detroit
#7 Edmonton vs. #2 San Jose
#6 Columbus vs. #3 Calgary
#5 Vancouver vs. #4 Chicgo

CBC’s #1 Pick: Amidst all the turmoil the team is going through, Canadiens ratings are going through the roof.  If it were Ottawa vs. Boston, I think CBC would skip it and take a chance on the Pittsburgh-Washington series.  But, with Boston-Montreal being such a rivalry and likely ratings gangbusters, this is the safe but effective pick.

CBC’s #2 Pick: They’ll also want to lockdown a playoff series featuring two teams that can play at 10PM ET.  San Jose-Edmonton fits the bill.

TSN’s #3 Pick: In any other year, it’d be a Canadian series.  Not when Pens-Caps is available.

CBC’s #4 Pick: Likely Columbus-Calgary.  If the draft ends up the way I think it will, they’ll find an additional western series that goes between having a 7PM and 10PM ET start (Anaheim/Detroit) and be able to flip it every couple nights so they’ll have doubleheaders every night of round one.

TSN’s #5 Pick: Vancouver-Chicago.  Likely #3 among hockey markets in Canada, guaranteed to pull in a large audience already, but with Sundin, you get to see all the masochistic Leafs fans joining in.  An upstart Chicago club doesn’t hurt.

CBC’s #6 Pick: With all the Canadian teams out, why not go with a pseudo-Canadian team in the Red Wings.  Like I said, this works out perfectly for CBC, because they can air Anaheim-Detroit at 7PM for the first two games, then switch it to 10PM when it goes out West and air Calgary-Columbus from Ohio at 7PM.

TSN’s #7 and #8: NY Rangers-New Jersey and Carolina-Philadelphia will likely spend time being shuffled between TSN, TSN2 and NHL Network Canada.

US Networks

NBC: Knowing what time NBC will be airing games, as we told you yesterday, helps a bit.  With a 1:00PM ET start for their April 18th game, NBC will likely go to the Eastern Conference.  Pittsburgh-Washington seems pretty likely.  With a 3:00 PM ET start for their April 19th game… aw, hell, NBC could probably have the grounds to try and get Pens-Caps again!  But more than likey, they’ll go with Anaheim-Detroit, since the game would at least get an afternoon start on the West coast.  If those series end before NBC’s second week of coverage, expect Devils-Rangers to be next on the docket, followed by Canes-Flyers, and if absolutely necessary Canucks-Blackhawks.  

VERSUS: VERSUS will likely air whatever Pens-Caps they can get, in addition to likely most of Wings-Ducks series (especially when it gets out West) and Oilers-Sharks to pad the schedule with doubleheaders, perhaps some Jackets-Flames as well.  On the weekends, expect Devils-Rangers, Hurricanes-Flyers and Bruins-Canadiens to get a shot, and possibly Vancouver-Chicago. 


About Steve Lepore
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