Your NHL TV Guide and Open Thread For Night Two of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs

This will appear every night to inform you of the TV networks and announcers that will be covering the games during the playoffs.  Enjoy all the local and national info, after the jump.

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NHL Should’ve Made the Most of Weekends With Quadruple-Headers

Let’s get straight to the point with this one.  Here’s Saturday’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoff schedule:

 1:00 PM ET
 6:00 PM ET
 8:00 PM ET
 9:00 PM ET

Now here’s your equally well copy-pasted schedule for Sunday:

 

 3:00 PM ET
 7:00 PM ET
 7:30 PM ET
 10:00 PM ET

Yes, the games are terrific.  But here we are at our “There’s got to be a better way!” moment.  You have the entire weekend to schedule eight Stanley Cup Playoff games.  You can control the eyeballs of every addicted puckhead out there, yet you make them flip around between two (and possibly at times) three games, and most of the time – especially in the states – not all can be on television without paying extra for Center Ice or NHL Network.

Now, wouldn’t something like this look better:

Saturday

NY Rangers vs. Washington – 1PM, NBC/TSN

Columbus vs. Detroit – 4PM, VERSUS/TSN

Montreal vs. Boston – 7PM, VERSUS/CBC

Calgary vs. Chicago – 9PM, TSN/VERSUS (JIP)

Wouldn’t this just satisfy everyone?  And if VERSUS wants to dump out on the NHL in the afternoon for IndyCar, give the game to NHL Network like the NHL smartly did for Saturday night.  Now, for Sunday, NBC really wants that timeslot at 3:00 PM ET.  What we would do in that case is as follows:

New Jersey vs. Carolina, 12:30 PM ET, VERSUS/TSN

Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, 3:00 PM ET, NBC/CBC

Vancouver vs. St. Louis, 6:00 PM ET, VERSUS/CBC

San Jose vs. Anaheim, 9:00 PM ET, VERSUS/CBC

Now, we know some people won’t be crazy about the start time for the Devils-Carolina game.  But both schedules give you a full day of hockey to sit through on TV, and if you’re in the arena, you’re home before the game interferes with a schoolnight or worknight.

We think, with some tinkering to appease TV and arena partners, this could be a great move for the NHL to satisfy what fans will watch it on the tube.

Rambling with the Devil: Why New Jersey’s Game One Win Was So Huge

 

Devils Captain Jamie Langenbrunner celebrates a goal that sealed the deal in the Devils 4-1 victory over Carolina in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

Devils Captain Jamie Langenbrunner celebrates a goal that sealed the deal in the Devils 4-1 victory over Carolina in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Photo Courtesy: Getty Images

(Ed. Note: Occasionally, throughout these playoffs, we’ll be giving you our thoughts on our favorite hockey team, the New Jersey Devils)

During the regular season and playoffs, we attempt to watch as many nationally televised games as we can.  That said, during a Devils post-season game, there ain’t no flippin’ around to see how Sid the Kid and Henrik the Queen are doing.  Now, we change the channel during the intermission (Because as a general rule of life: All intermission reports suck) but when the puck drops, we focus entirely on our Devils.  So here are some random observations from the Devils 4-1 Game 1 win over the Hurricanes:

  • Every line played really well for the Devils, with three of them scoring or chipping in on a New Jersey goal.  The Parise-Zajac-Langenbrunner line was simply dominant for long stretches of the game.  The Shanahan-Madden-Pandolfo combination, which has pretty much surprised everyone with it’s mere existence, is a fast line for a bunch of old dudes, and a grueling one for the opposition (most of the time the unit led by Eric Staal) to play against.  Patrik Elias’ line, featuring Dainius Zubrus at center and Brian Gionta across from him, was also great at times, with Gionta doing some inspired forechecking to set up Elias for his goal.  Even the Brian Rolston “Crash-less” line that featured David Clarkson and Mike Rupp were pretty decent with the ice time they were given.  If the Devils are to win this series and make a run, they have to keep rolling the lines like this.
  • That all said, the defense certainly played well.  Marty Brodeur had a fairly easy night, as one of the no-name defenses stepped up.  Paul Martin had his best game in weeks, Mike Mottau stepped up and scored the game’s first goal out of nowhere.  Johnny Oduya will become a name if the Devils go past Round 2.  Colin White and Nicklas Havelid were solid and quiet, which is how defensemen should be.
  • The special teams were okay.  The power play failed to score, but looked as good as it has in quite some time.  The Devils only took two penalties, but killed off both of them, as Pandolfo and Madden again stepped up and played a revivalist form of the defensive hockey both made their names with at the start of this decade.
  • Cam Ward kept this from being really ugly.  He was really the only Hurricane that showed up, save for maybe Whitney and at times Brind’Amour.  Ward was stellar, and will likely have to be even better in the next two games if the Hurricanes stand a chance, to be frank.
  • Look, we know it’s only one game.  But the Stanley Cup Playoffs have a way of shining the spotlight on your strengths and weaknesses so fast, it’ll make your head spin.  The Devils strengths – four solid lines, stellar defense and goaltending – got highlighted tonight just as much as Carolina’s weaknesses did.  For all the talk about Babchuk and Corvo and how the Hurricanes defense was going to provide offense and be the difference in the series, when it came down to actually defending… the Carolina defense is average at best.
  • The Devils have won 10 consecutive series in which they’ve taken the first game.  They have the momentum, now it’s up to them not to screw it up.  Game 2 is a must-win, as we all know the Devils can’t win in Raleigh to save their lives.

Your Mid-Day YouTube Compulsory: Rangers, Devils, Penguins, Canucks Take Care of Business

NBC is a Network That Occasionally Airs Hockey Games

 

 

NEW YORK – April 15, 2009 – NBC Sports’ coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begins this weekend with Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (No. 2 seed, Eastern Conference) hosting the New York Rangers (No. 7) on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET and the Philadelphia Flyers (No. 5 seed, Eastern Conference) at Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins (No. 5) Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. 

Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass analyst) call the action (Darren Pang will fill in for McGuire in Washington). McGuire and Pang will pull double duty, hosting NBC’s studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury on site in Washington and Pittsburgh. 
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