Your Announcers (Including John Ahlers’ Season Debut, Plus Razor!) and Open Thread For Wild-Stars

Minnesota vs. Dallas, 8PM, VERSUS
Play by Play:
John Ahlers
Color: Daryl Reaugh
Reporter: Charissa Thompson

Your NBC Olympic Hockey Announcers

Based on bios from a media guide at the NBC media site, here are your commentators for the 2010 Olympic Games for the networks of NBC:

Play-by-Play

Mike Emrick
Kenny Albert

Analysts
Pierre McGuire
Eddie Olczyk
AJ Mleczko (Women’s)
Joe Micheletti (also reporter)

Studio Host
Bill Patrick

Studio Analyst
Jeremy Roenick
Mike Milbury

Cammi Granato

Looks like Doc and Kenny will call most of the games, with Olczyk and McGuire working as analysts for the men’s games (or Doc-Edzo-McGuire and Albert-Micheletti) and Mleczko and Micheletti as the analysts for the women’s games.

I still think there must be a third play-by-play man in there somewhere.  Also, we have all these studio analysts, but no hosts.  No Bill Clement in the lineup there, so perhaps there’ll just be a rotating cast of sportsdesk hosts setting up JR, Milbury and Cammi.

It’s also important to note that guys like Costas and Al Michaels are not in this media guide, so there could be larger names hosting things.  Hopefully a press release comes out soon.

UPDATE: Further research has discovered that Bill Patrick will host the hockey coverage for the entire Winter Games.  Should be interesting to see how he works with hockey analysts who have something to say.

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CSN To Make Caps Fans Happy on Friday

Comcast SportsNet has revised the programming schedule for their live game coverage of the Washington Capitals and Washington Wizards on Friday, Feb. 5.

The Capitals game against the Atlanta Thrashers at Verizon Center (7pm) – previously scheduled for Comcast SportsNet Plus – will now air on Comcast SportsNet in HD.

The Wizards game against the Magic in Orlando (7pm) will now be available to viewers on Comcast SportsNet Plus.

NBC Hypes Pens-Caps

NEW YORK – Feb. 1, 2010 – Alex Ovechkin and the surging Washington Capitals host Sidney Crosby and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on the NHL “Game of the Week” this Sunday at Noon 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 Verizon Center.

Ovechkin and Crosby last spring delighted the sports world with a memorable Eastern Conference seven-game playoff series, including both superstars recording a hat trick in Game 2, that elevated what had been a rivalry between individuals into what many are calling the NHL’s best current team rivalry.

On Jan. 21 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, the Capitals defeated the Penguins, 6-3, in the first meeting between the two teams of the season. Ovechkin scored two goals, while Crosby had one.

Ovechkin ranks second in the league with 76 points scored, including 35 goals (#2 in NHL), while Crosby is tied for third in the league with 68 points, including 34 goals (T-#3 NHL).

The Capitals have won 10 consecutive games, matching the longest winning streak in team history (Jan. 27-Feb. 18, 1984). The team’s 80 points rank first in the Eastern Conference. The Penguins are fourth in the East with 69 points. The game will be the Penguins third consecutive game on a Sunday on NBC Sports. They defeated Philadelphia, 2-1, on the road on Jan. 24 and beat the Red Wings yesterday, 2-1 in a shootout.

OLCZYK ON OVECHKIN-CROSBY: “I don’t think we can make enough of it. It’s one of those matchups that come around not as often as we like. It speaks to the individuals, the superstar status that both these players have.”

EMRICK ON OVECHKIN-CROSBY: “This is similar to when Edmonton and Pittsburgh used to get together and you had Wayne Gretzky against Mario Lemieux. But they met so infrequently. Ovechkin and Crosby meet four times in the regular season plus seven games in last year’s playoffs. People ask me, ‘Who is the best?’ I say, ‘I don’t care. I’m just glad they’re both in the same solar system so we get to watch them.'”

OLCZYK ON THE CAPITALS SURGE: “It seems that the Washington Capitals are playing with a ton of confidence. Last year, they pushed the Penguins to the brink of elimination in Game 7 at home. They have a great opportunity to have home ice come playoff time.”

EMRICK ON THE TWO TEAMS: “Washington has become an elite team, so you have one elite team meeting another with Pittsburgh being the defending champions.”

CLOSE GAMES: All four of NBC Sports’ NHL games this season have been decided by one goal and three needed extra time to determine a winner. Yesterday, the Penguins defeated the Red Wings in a Stanley Cup Final rematch, 2-1, via an overtime shootout. Last week, the Penguins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, on a power-play goal by Matt Cooke with 1:47 remaining. In NBC’s inaugural “Game of the Week” on Jan. 17, the Chicago Blackhawks needed a shootout to beat the Red Wings, 4-3, in Detroit. The Boston Bruins needed overtime to defeat the Flyers, 2-1, at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day in the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

OLYMPIANS IN THE GAME: Sunday’s game features 10 players, including five Russians, who will compete for their respective Olympic teams in Vancouver in February.

USA

Pittsburgh, D Brooks Orpik

CANADA

Pittsburgh, F Sidney Crosby

Pittsburgh, G Marc-Andre Fleury

CZECH REBUPLIC

Washington, F Tomas Fleischmann

RUSSIA

Pittsburgh, D Sergei Gonchar

Pittsburgh, F Evgeni Malkin

Washington, F Alex Ovechkin

Washington, G Semyon Varlamov

Washington, F Alexander Semin

SWEDEN

Washington, F Nicklas Backstrom

NBCSPORTS.COM: NBCSports.com will again offer “Star-cam” this season, tracking 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.

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 Feb. 7 and Apr. 11, Noon ET start times). 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.

2010 NHL GAME OF THE WEEK REGULAR-SEASON FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE

(All Games Announced At Least 13 Days Prior)

Sunday, Feb. 7, 12:00 p.m. ET

Pittsburgh @ Washington (Flexed)

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

FS Carolinas Win Emmy For Event That Sent Your Editor Into Dark, Dark Place

RALEIGH, NC—The Carolina Hurricanes/FOX Sports Carolinas game-production crew was honored on Saturday in Nashville at the 24th annual Midsouth Emmy Awards for Best Sports Event/Game Presentation. The crew – including executive producer Hammond Reynolds, coordinating producer Rohan Backfisch, producer Erik Barnhart, director Ric LaCivita, play-by-play John Forslund and color analyst Tripp Tracy – received the Emmy for its coverage of Game 7 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The Hurricanes scored twice in the final 1:20 of regulation of Game 7 beat New Jersey 4-3 at the Prudential Center in Newark and advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Midsouth Emmy Awards are granted by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and were presented at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville on Saturday, Jan. 30. NASCAR champion Darrell Waltrip, hosted the show which can be viewed online at http://mtsutv.org/emmys. For more information about the NATAS Midsouth Emmys, please visit http://nashville.emmyonline.org.

The Carolina Hurricanes take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place on Monday (9:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports Carolinas, Hurricanes Radio Network) in the first game of a four-game road trip. The Hurricanes will return to the RBC Center on Tuesday, Feb. 9, to face the Florida Panthers (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network) in the first game of a three-game home stand. Tickets all remaining Hurricanes games this season are available at the Time Warner Cable Box Office at the RBC Center, via Ticketmaster or atwww.CarolinaHurricanes.com. For information on Hurricanes ticket packages, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES or visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com.