A Look Back and Forward at the 2010 NBC Schedule

Back in July, we made predictions about what games NBC would flex into their NHL schedule.  We were pretty pessimistic, but then again, we always kind of are.  Let’s look at our predictions back then, and whether or not we’ve made any changes to that.  Enjoy.

Jan. 1, 1PM
Philadelphia vs. Boston

January 17th
Choices:
Chicago vs. Detroit OR Philadelphia vs. Washington
Our Pick in July: Chicago vs. Detroit
Our Pick Now: Philadelphia vs. Washington

Due to Detroit’s early season struggles, there might be some malaise in the fan base for a January game vs. Chicago.  Instead, NBC has Philly with all the momentum coming off the Winter Classic (albeit with a slow start of their own) and a chance to catch lightning in a bottle with the insaniest rivalry the NHL has going today.  Forget NBC’s anti-Washington bias.

January 24th
Choices:
Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia OR Boston vs. Carolina
Our Pick in July: Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia
Our Pick Now: Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia

Sorry guys, it’s gonna be three straight weeks of Flyers.  Admit it, Boston and Carolina fans, even you won’t watch this game.

January 31st
Choices:
Detroit vs. Pittsburgh OR Tampa Bay vs. Washington
Our Pick in July: Detroit vs. Pittsburgh
Our Pick Now: Detroit vs. Pittsburgh

Tampa Bay and Washington are great and all, and that’s nice, but expect the NHL to have it’s largest ratings of the entire season for Pens-Wings, the two-time Stanley Cup rematch.

February 7th
Choices: Pittsburgh vs. Washington OR Boston vs. Montreal
Our Pick in July: Pittsburgh vs. Washington
Our Pick Now: Pittsburgh vs. Washington

We know, we know.  Three straight weeks of Flyers and three straight weeks of Penguins, we understand your pain.  Pens-Caps is on everyone’s calendar when the season starts, and this is the game that will headline the promotion for NBC’s Olympic hockey coverage.

March 7th
Choices: Boston vs. Pittsburgh OR Detroit vs. Chicago OR Carolina vs. Atlanta
Our Pick in July: Boston vs. Pittsburgh
Our Pick Now: Boston vs. Pittsburgh

Follow our logic here: After this game, NBC has only one more chance to pick Pittsburgh this year, and it’d be for an unattractive game vs. Tampa.  Meanwhile, NBC has another shot at Wings-Hawks (in the same building, even) later in the year.  Take Bruins-Pens.

March 14th
Choices: Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers OR Pittsburgh vs. Tampa Bay OR Washington vs. Chicago OR Colorado vs. Dallas
Our Pick in July: Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers
Our Pick Now: Washington vs. Chicago

Just based on the fact that Philly, with this schedule, will already have 1 more slated appearance on NBC (Apr. 4 vs. DET) that can’t be flexed.  So it’s pretty much either Washington-Chicago or Colorado-Dallas, and we all know NBC won’t have the guts to take a game that far west.  Ovie vs. Kane/Toews should be awesome though.

March 21st
Choices: NY Rangers vs. Boston OR Buffalo vs. Carolina
Our Pick in July: NY Rangers vs. Boston
Our Pick Now: NY Rangers vs. Boston

Sorry, fans in Buffalo.  Not gonna happen now, not gonna happen ever.

April 4th, 12:30 PM
Detroit vs. Philadelphia

April 11th
Choices:
Boston vs. Washington OR NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia OR Detroit vs. Chicago
Our Pick in July: Detroit vs. Chicago
Our Pick Now: Detroit vs. Chicago

While it’d be awesome to see the symmetry of Bruins-Caps as the game that opened the NHL season on VERSUS and ended the season NBC, I can’t help but think NBC won’t bail on Red Wings-Blackhawks three times in a row, though it’d be the third consecutive season that this matchup has been the season finale, and it’s been a ratings stinker twice before.  We shall see.

After the jump, our entire predicted NBC schedule.

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ESPN to Cover Winter Classic For First Time

Not really newsy, unless you still think ESPN is totally coming back to hockey next year or a few days from now, but here’s the story from NHL.com:

ESPN will be on hand to cover the Winter Classic for the first time since the event’s inception. Melrose and Steve Levy will be in Boston to anchor the coverage, and Melrose is hoping the weather for the showdown at Fenway is similar to what was happening Thursday in New England.

“It’s the worst day of the year, we had 6-7 inches of snow last night, it’s raining right now,” a drenched Melrose said. “When I came here today I wasn’t sure it was going to get done. But I drove into the parking lot at 11:30 and there was this giant truck sitting here. It’s awesome.

All things considered, I’m surprised the NHL is giving this ESPN thing so much play, and vice versa on the Worldwide Leader covering the Winter Classic.

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