This Week’s Edition of “If the Playoffs Started Today”
March 25, 2009 Leave a comment
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:
#8 Montreal vs. #1 Boston
#7 NY Rangers vs. #2 New Jersey
#6 Pittsburgh vs. #3 Washington
#5 Carolina vs. #4 Philadelphia
#8 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.
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.