Washington-Chicago March 14th NBC Game of the Week. No, Really. It is.

No official announcement made, but Bettman just confirmed it on his radio show, and I’ll post the announcement when it’s made by NBC.

UPDATE: From NBC

NEW YORK – Feb. 25, 2010 – The Sunday, March 14, Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks game has been flexed as NBC Sports’ “Game of the Week” and will be played at the United Center at 12:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. CT, the National Hockey League and NBC Sports announced today.

Superstar Alex Ovechkin captains a talented Washington Capitals team that went 13-2 in January and recently amassed a 14-game winning streak. Ovechkin leads the NHL with 89 points and a plus-43 rating. He is tied for the NHL lead in goals with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby with 42. Meanwhile, Chicago boasts young superstars of their own in Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews who are leading Chicago to the top of the Central Division and second place in the Western Conference.

A potential preview of the Stanley Cup Final, this will be the only time these two Presidents’ Trophy contenders will face each other this season.

ADDITIONAL “GAME OF THE WEEK” MATCHUPS

The NHL on NBC schedule resumes on Sunday, March 7, when the Blackhawks host division rival Detroit Red Wings at 12:30 p.m. ET. No two NHL teams have played more regular-season games against each other than Detroit and Chicago. The Blackhawks will be looking to avenge losses to the Red Wings in the 2009 Western Conference Final and 2009 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING

At least 13 days prior to the scheduled game, one game is selected for broadcast on NBC. All NBC games will be broadcast on Sundays and all games will be presented in HD. Games not flexed to NBC will be available to the teams’ regional carriers and remain at the originally announced start time. The March 14 match-up was first announced on the Thursday, Feb. 25, edition of “NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman” on NHL.com and SIRIUS XM Radio airing from 6-7 p.m. ET.

Open Thread For Women’s Bronze and Gold Medal Games

Finland vs. Sweden, 2:30 PM, CNBC

USA vs. Canada, 6:30 PM, CNBC
Play by Play:
Mike Emrick
Color: AJ Mleczko
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire

Happy 70th Anniversary, Televised Hockey

Profile America — Thursday, February 25th. The first televised hockey game occurred earlier than many may think. It was on this day in 1940, a game between the New York Rangers and the Montreal Canadiens, broadcast from Madison Square Garden. The station broadcasting to a tiny handful of television receivers was W2XBS in New York. The Rangers won that game, 6 to 2. Today, hockey games are routinely carried on national television, allowing fans to follow teams thousands of miles away, with replays making sense of some of the blindingly fast plays that mark the game. Close to 23 million fans attend National Hockey League games each year, with millions more watching on television. You can find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, now conducting the 2010 Census beginning April 1st.

Your Next Two Days of Puck on the Networks of NBC Universal

VANCOUVER – February 24, 2010 –  The women’s ice hockey gold medal final is a battle of the undefeated North American powerhouses as Team USA and Team Canada go head-to-head. Neither team has lost a game in this Olympic tournament. Live coverage is on MSNBC and NBCOlympics.com beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET. The bronze medal game between Finland and Sweden is live on MSNBC and NBCOlympics.com beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

MSNBC
2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Women’s Ice Hockey -Bronze Medal Game, Finland vs. Sweden (LIVE)

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Women’s Ice Hockey -Gold Medal Game, USA vs. Canada (LIVE)

MSNBC HIGHLIGHTS
Women’s Ice Hockey: Gold Medal Final – One of the great rivalries in winter sports is expected to play out LIVE in front of an electric crowd in the Gold Medal Final, with Team USA, coached by 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hero Mark Johnson, against two-time defending Olympic gold medalist Canada, in one of the most anticipated events for host country fans. Also, LIVE coverage of the bronze medal game between Finland and Sweden.

Friday, February 26 (DAY 15)

NBC
3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey – Semifinal (LIVE)

CNBC
6:00 p.m. – Midnight
Men’s Ice Hockey – Semifinal (LIVE)

NBC HIGHLIGHTS (Daytime):
Men’s Ice Hockey: Semifinal- One team that will play for men’s hockey gold will be determined LIVE with coverage of the men’s semifinal round. The winner of this game is only one win away from the coveted gold.

CNBC HIGHLIGHTS:

LIVE coverage of the second men’s ice hockey semifinal, with a berth in the Gold Medal Final at stake.

Just A Reminder: VERSUS, Which Doesn’t Have Mike Milbury, is Back Next Week

NEW YORK, N.Y. (February 25, 2010)-VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, returns to the ice right after the two-week Olympic break with NHL action Monday through Thursday night the week of March 1.  To build on the excitement generated by the 2010 Winter Games, the network added five bonus games to the week’s schedule that already included the Detroit Red Wings/Colorado Avalanche game on March 1 and the Philadelphia Flyers/Tampa Bay Lightning match-up on March 2.  Beginning on Tuesday, March 2, and continuing through the end of the regular season, VERSUS will also air HONDA Drive to the Playoffs; a 30-minute pre-game Hockey Central prior to each Tuesday night NHL telecast.  The network will also air full half-hour pre-game shows on March 1 and 3.

VERSUS’ first bonus game of the week, on March 2, features two of the top teams in the Eastern and Western Conferences with the San Jose Sharks hosting the New Jersey Devils at 10:30 p.m. ET.  The game will not air on VERSUS in the team markets due to local blackout restrictions.  On Wednesday, March 3, at 7 p.m. ET, VERSUS will televise the Washington Capitals and Buffalo Sabres game; local blackouts apply so home team markets will see the Philadelphia Flyers/Florida Panthers game at 7:30 p.m. ET.

VERSUS’ week of bonus game coverage concludes on Thursday, March 4, when the New York Rangers host the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 p.m. ET.  The game will be blacked out in team markets and viewers in Pittsburgh and New York will have access to the Toronto Maple Leafs/Boston Bruins game.

The network’s regular season coverage continues on Monday, March 8, at 7 p.m. ET when the Dallas Stars visit the Washington Capitals and on Tuesday, March 9, at 7:30 p.m. ET with the Philadelphia Flyers hosting the New York Islanders.

VERSUS, the fastest growing sports cable network in the country, prides itself on super-serving passionate sports fans across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD).  The network is the cable television home of the National Hockey League (NHL), IZOD IndyCar Series, Tour de France, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Bull Riders (PBR).  VERSUS also has partnerships with top sports leagues such as NASCAR, NBA and UFC and airs collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12 and Mountain West.  The network is also home to the best outdoor programming on television and airs original programs not available anywhere else, including Sports Soup and Sports Jobs with Junior Seau.  VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.

Quotes From NBC Hockey Talent (No, Not That) From Last Night’s Games

VANCOUVER – February 24, 2010 – Daytime coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games continued today on NBC with live coverage of the men’s hockey quarterfinal game between Team USA and Switzerland. USA won 2-0 and will advance to the semifinal round, facing the winner of Finland vs. Czech Republic.

Al Michaels hosted the daytime show live from Canada Hockey Place. Joining Michaels for analysis were Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick. Mike “Doc” Emrick provided play-by-play, Eddie Olczyk provided game analysis and Pierre McGuire reported from “Inside the Glass.” Below are highlights from the game.

NBC

FIRST PERIOD

OLCZYK ON WHY TEAM USA HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL: “It’s been the extra effort. The plays without the puck.”

EMRICK ON USA’S CHRIS DRURY AND RYAN CALLAHAN: “Drury and Callahan together have been magic.”

OLCZYK ON SWITERLAND’S THOMAS DERUNS: “Every time Thomas Deruns is on the ice, he’s a heat-seeking missile.”

MILBURY ON USA’S RYAN MILLER: “He makes it look easy.”

ROENICK ON SWITZERLAND’S JONAS HILLER: “The saves that he makes are sometimes acrobatic, sometimes desperation. He finds ways to save the puck.”

OLCZYK ON THIS OLYMPIC TOURNAMENT: “We’ve seen momentum in these Olympic Games. When you have it, you feel it, and you throw everything at the net.”

SECOND PERIOD

OLCZYK ON SWITZERLAND IN THE SECOND PERIOD: “The Swiss are comfortable right now. They know Hiller is on top of his game. They’ve taken the crowd out of it and they’ve taken a little bit of the pace out of it. They’re comfortable in this kind of environment.”

“Penalty killing is about heart and structure. The Swiss have a lot of heart and tremendous structure.”

“You have some guys in white that just play with a whole lot of nasty. They just get in your face and they smack you. They are not intimidated at all.”

MICHAELS ON TEAM USA: “The United States have outshot the Swiss 32-8.”

THIRD PERIOD

OLCZYK ON USA’S ZACH PARISE: “One word to describe Zach Parise. Persistence.”

MCGUIRE ON PARISE: “This guy’s the heart and soul of U.S.A hockey.”

EMRICK ON USA’S RYAN MILLER: “The last shut out by a U.S. goalie was by Mike Richter in ’02.”

OLCZYK ON TEAM SWITERLAND: “It was a gutsy performance by the Swiss.”

ROENICK ON THE GAME: “That was one of the best games of the Olympics so far. Sacrifice. Willing to pay the price. What a hockey game.”

On CNBC, Canada’s men’s hockey team defeated Russia, 7-3, for the first time in the Olympics since 1960 and advanced to the semifinal of the tournament. The host nation will play the winner of Sweden-Slovakia.

CNBC, Men’s Ice Hockey Quarterfinal:
Canada 7 vs. Russia 3
Bill Patrick (Host), Mike Milbury (Studio Analyst), Jeremy Roenick (Studio Analyst), Mike Emrick (Play-By-Play), Eddie Olczyk (Analyst), Joe Micheletti
(Reporter)

Roenick on USA after win by Canada: “This is probably the worst scenario that the Americans could have expected. Canada coming out and just steamrolling Russia. Now Canada is rolling along, and they are feeling really good about themselves. They lost to the U.S on Sunday. This is a revenge game. If I was the U.S., I would be getting a little nervous right now.”

Patrick: “Canada defeats Russia in the Olympics for the first time since 1960.”

Olczyk: “A good old-fashioned schooling.”

Olczyk on the arena: “This place is absolutely going bonkers.”

Emrick on Canada and Russia: “Let’s just say they battle pretty hard.”

Olczyk on Canada’s Rick Nash’s speed: “Look at Rick Nash. It’s like he was shot out of cannon right through the neutral zone. Nobody had a chance on a reaction.”

Roenick: “Canada has only won one gold in the last 50 years and being on their home turf, I think they expect No. 2 to come this year.”

Patrick: “We have sat here and watched 37 hockey games over the last week and a half. None has had the feel that Canada and Russia has.”

Milbury on Russia’s Alexander Ovechkin: “This was a superstar that wasn’t ready for this situation.”

Milbury on Canada’s Roberto Luongo: “He’s a terrific goaltender. Really gobbles up pucks around the front of the net.”

Roenick on Ovechkin as a celebrity in the sports world: “He’s like the Brad Pitt of sports.”

Patrick on NHL teammates Crosby and Malkin: “Arguably the two best players on the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins are playing in this game. And while they are teammates most of the year, for a few weeks they are friendly rivals: Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.”