One More “If the Playoffs Started Today” on TV…

Once again, let’s remind you of the matchups, and we’ll begin with the Canadian networks:

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

West
#8 St. Louis vs. #1 San Jose
#7 Anaheim vs. #2 Detroit
#6 Columbus vs. #3 Vancouver
#5 Calgary vs. #4 Chicago

CBC (Picks #’s 1-2): CBC will likely jump at the possible Montreal-Boston series.  They will likely go with whomever the Canadiens play in Round 1.  With the 2nd pick, they will probably take Columbus-Vancouver.  Vancouver draws higher ratings than Calgary, as simple as that.

TSN (Pick #3): TSN uses their right to a Canadian series for the first time by taking Calgary-Chicago.

CBC (Pick #4): CBC will likely go with Anaheim-Detroit here.  That way, they can flip flop it with Columbus-Vancouver for the purpose of doubleheaders, and capitalize on the Ontario Red Wings fan base.

TSN (Pick #5): I think Pittsburgh-New Jersey seems a pretty good lock here.  TSN will likely want the star-power of Crosby, Malkin, Brodeur, Parise, etc.

CBC (Pick #6): Rangers-Washington, and they’ll likely go with Pittsburgh if TSN takes this ahead of them.

TSN (Picks #7-8): TSN will get a good balance of East and West with St. Louis-San Jose and Carolina-Philadelphia shuttling between TSN & TSN2.

NBC: Not too difficult.  NBC will take NY Rangers-Washington and Anaheim-Detroit.  NBC sees New Jersey as almost a Canadian team, as shown by their treatment of the Devils in the regular season, so even their series against mighty Pittsburgh won’t get picked.  Perhaps for the Western series they gamble on Blues-Sharks, because they are two good local markets, but the Red Wings have as national a following as any NHL team, so Ducks-Wings will do.  If those series end before NBC’s 2nd week of coverage, it’ll be Devils-Penguins and Blues-Sharks, no doubt.

VERSUS: VERSUS will likely take what it can get of Devils-Penguins, Rangers-Washington and Flyers-Hurricanes (on the weekends) while flip-flopping Red Wings-Ducks and Blues-Sharks whenever they’re in the 10PM timeslot out on the coast.  Expect a few CBC games to be mixed in there too.

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ESPN’s Coverage of the NCAA Frozen Four Wants Nothing to Do With Hockey… Shocker

You know, I was really into the Frozen Four this year.  I watched quite a few games, got prepared on info for most of them, and was really psyched about the final three college hockey games of the season.  After an exciting first period of the Bemidji St.-Miami (OH) game, I was even more tuned in.

Then, the intermission.  Just so it could remind me that nothing has changed as far as what ESPN thinks will make people stick with a hockey game.  Baseball, golf and basketball highlights.  No mention of hockey.

Now, let’s be completely fair.  The story about Nick Adenhart’s death is fair game to report on if you want to provide some updates.  I think even the most hard-hearted hockey fan will let that slide.  But golf and basketball highlights?  Don’t make me sick.  Jeez, what happened to Buccigross doing intermission features from Washington?  No budget for it?  Yikes, ESPN.

Now, there were two alternatives that could’ve sufficed to the intermission mini-SportsCenter.  They could of, as I said, had John Buccigross host a mini-intermission show with some small features on players.  Would’ve been effective, you could’ve shown highlights, and likely would keep the hockey fan’s attention.  Or, even better, throw it to a studio in Bristol with Buccigross and Matthew Barnaby or EJ Hradek and talk about the game.  It’s not like Barnaby actually does much in terms of actual analyst work.

But no, neither of those happened.  Because even when ESPN owns the rights to a hockey event, the last person on their minds is the hockey fan. 

Your Mid-Day YouTube Compulsory: Hey, Been Awhile Since We Showed a FOX Clip

NHL Net to Air Playoff Preview Show Monday

NEW YORK/TORONTO — NHL Network will present a comprehensive breakdown of the Stanley Cup Playoffs — including player and team features, predictions and analysis — on a special two-hour presentation, the 2009 Playoff Preview, on Monday, April 13 at 8:00 p.m. ET. The program, available in the United States and Canada, will be hosted by Brian Duff, who will be joined by analyst Gary Green, four-time Stanley Cup winner Larry Murphy and other experts from around the League.
Sunday night, as the 2008-09 regular season concludes, NHL Network’s NHL On the Flywill air at 8:00 p.m. ET and provide a complete season wrap-up and discussion on the final matchups for the start of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin Wednesday, April 15.