Your Announcers and Open Thread For Devils-Rangers

New Jersey vs. NY Rangers, 7PM, VERSUS
Play by Play:
Mike Emrick
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Reporter: Bob Harwood

NBC Promotes Coverage of Red Wings-Blackhaws, Chooses Penguins-Flyers for Jan. 24th Game

NEW YORK – Jan. 11, 2010 – The Chicago Blackhawks, who lead the NHL in points with 66 and are in search of their first Stanley Cup championship since 1961, travel to Detroit to face the Red Wings in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals at Joe Louis Arena in the 2010 debut of the NHL Game of the Week, this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports.

Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) call the action. McGuire will pull double duty, hosting NBC’s studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury on site at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. NBC’s NHL coverage is produced by Sam Flood, the son of a hockey coach and former captain of the Williams College hockey team.

MILBURY: “There isn’t any doubt that this is the best team Chicago has had in a long time. They play a speedy puck possession game that is fun to watch. And they have been answering the questions about their goaltending in a positive way. Detroit is coming off a good west coast swing. Given all that they’ve been through, they are starting to get their act together.”

MCGUIRE: “Chicago has had a tremendous year predicated on a lot of young stars who are complemented by role players who get it. They don’t have a lot of holes. Detroit is getting more stable after some key players have come back from injury. This is probably the best Mike Babcock has ever coached.”

OLYMPIANS IN THE GAME: Sunday’s game features 13 players who will compete on their respective Olympic teams. Following is a list of players competing Sunday who will face off in Vancouver in February:

USA
Detroit, D Brian Rafalski
Chicago, F Patrick Kane

Canada
Chicago, D Brent Seabrook
Chicago, D Duncan Keith
Chicago, F Jonathan Toews

Finland
Detroit, F Valtteri Filppula

Russia
Detroit, F Pavel Datsyuk

Slovakia
Chicago, F Marian Hossa
Chicago, F Thomas Kopecky

Sweden
Detroit, F Henrik Zetterberg
Detroit, F Tomas Holmstrom
Detroit, D Nicklas Lidstrom
Detroit, D Nicklas Kronwall

NBCSPORTS.COM: NBCSports.com will again offer “Star-cam” this season. It will follow a player from both teams throughout each of their shifts. Following the game, NBCSports.com will present bonus material, including “Star-cam” and “Net-cam” and bonus analysis from NBC Sports commentators.

PENGUINS AT FLYERS FLEXED INTO JAN. 24 “GAME OF THE WEEK”: The NHL and NBC Sports announced today that the Sunday, Jan. 24 contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers has been selected for the “NHL Game of the Week” on NBC Sports. Puck drop is at 12:30 p.m. ET. The game pits the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins, including C Sidney Crosby, against the resurgent Flyers.

FLEX SCHEDULING & CONSISTENT 12:30 PM ET START TIME: Again this year, “Game of the Week” broadcasts will consistently start at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sundays (except for April 11, Noon ET start time). For the third straight season, the NHL and NBC Sports will utilize flex scheduling and will be able to select from up to four games on Sunday afternoons. At least 13 days prior to the scheduled games, the NHL and NBC Sports will announce one of those games as the “Game of the Week” to be broadcast during the NBC Sports window. The other games will remain available to the teams’ regional carrier but will not be televised during NBC Sports’ broadcast window.

2009 NHL GAME OF THE WEEK REGULAR-SEASON FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE
(All Games Announced At Least 13 Days Prior)

Sunday, Jan. 17, 12:30 p.m. ET
Chicago @ Detroit (Flexed)

Sunday, Jan. 24, 12:30 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh @ Philadelphia (Flexed)

Sunday, Jan. 31, 12:30 p.m. ET
Detroit @ Pittsburgh
Tampa Bay @ Washington

Sunday, Feb. 7, 12:30 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh @ Washington
Boston @ Montreal

Sunday, Mar. 7, 12:30 p.m. ET
Boston @ Pittsburgh
Detroit @ Chicago
Carolina @ Atlanta

Sunday, Mar. 14, 12:30 p.m. ET
Philadelphia @ New York Rangers
Pittsburgh @ Tampa Bay
Colorado @ Dallas
Washington @ Chicago

Sunday, Mar. 21, 12:30 p.m. ET
New York Rangers @ Boston
Buffalo @ Carolina

Sunday, Apr. 4, 12:30 p.m. ET
Detroit @ Philadelphia

Sunday, Apr. 11, 12:00 p.m. ET
Boston @ Washington
New York Rangers @ Philadelphia
Detroit @ Chicago

No Changes Needed, Just… Please Show a Game West of Denver, VERSUS

I try to be as fair about VERSUS as any hockey writer/blogger on the web.  I think you, my readers, would agree.  So, first of all, let’s say something very complementary towards VERSUS.  Minnesota/Pittsburgh last night?  Great call.  One of the best games of the season.  Liking Hockey Central’s new graphics, though we all know there needs to be a complete overhaul to make it look more like your college hoops and football coverage.  Why do you allow the clunky score ticker on your NHL coverage when you won’t put it on a Mountain West basketball game?

I’m rambling a little bit.  The point is, there are some good things going on at VERSUS (insert DirecTV joke here) and one of them is game selection, a la Wild/Pens last night: Look at the rest of VERSUS’ schedule for the 2009-10 season: Even the games with so-called “bad teams” are against exciting rivals or teams that are competing.  Plus, VERSUS is riding Detroit a ton in the late-season, so they’ll be a compelling team just to watch for once to see if they make the post-season.

So, I’ve spent a paragraph slobbering on VERSUS, I admit I wouldn’t change any of your games the rest of the season, so let’s make a deal: add a gosh darn west coast game every now and then?  Not one game will air at 10PM on VERSUS this season (unless you count the San Jose-Colorado opener, the coverage for which began at 9:30) and there isn’t more than one game scheduled after 8PM (Detroit-Colorado in a 9PM tilt after the Olympics).  So… after the jump, here’s five games you can throw on.

I’ll stay within the limits of the Monday/Tuesday timeslot, and within the limits of VERSUS’ 8 games per team rule (LA currently has 1 game on VERSUS already played, while San Jose combines for 4, and Anaheim 0… so tough work here).  Hell, I’ll give you nothing but games after the Olympic break to give you time to prepare.  Please, just do it, it’ll be totally worth it, as Los Angeles and San Jose are both headed toward the playoffs (and the Ducks ain’t playin’ too bad either) so you’ll need to familiarize people with these teams a bit.  Here goes:

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More Proof that FS Pittsburgh is Just… Awful

Wyshynski reports shenanigans:

Interesting find from Kukla tonight, as Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that the NHL is looking into whether Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh didn’t send “all available camera angles to league headquarters in Toronto for Simon Gagne’s(notes) apparent goal that was under review against the Penguins last Thursday.”

The would-be goal would have made it 6-3 for the Philadelphia Flyers over the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game that ended up 7-4 for Philly.

Interesting.  Do you all think something like this is even possible?  Don’t you think the NHL would actually be watching the feed just in case.  The idea that someone must’ve had it on somewhere makes me think these claims are farfetched.  Though, for the network that keeps Steiggy and Errey around, it would not surprise me.