NBC To Skip Three Potential Playoff Dates

NBC  will avoid hockey on Preakness Saturday, May 15th, meaning the network will only air games from one of the two conference final series.  Full dates are below.

April 17, 1PM
April 18, 3PM
April 24, 3PM
April 25, 2PM
May 1, 12:30PM
May 2, 2PM
May 16, 2PM

NHL/NBC Press Release For Caps/Bruins

NBC announced Tuesday that it has selected the Washington Capitals’ game against the Boston Bruins on Sunday, April 11, at the Verizon Center, as the NHL’s Game of the Week. The matchup, which will be broadcast in high-definition, will start at 12 p.m. ET.

The game is a preview of a potential Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round matchup. If the season were to end today, the Capitals — who have locked up the top position in the Eastern Conference and continue in pursuit of the Presidents’ Trophy, given to the club finishing the regular-season with the best overall record — would square off against the No. 8-seeded Bruins in the first round.

Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin, already the two-time defending Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner, is again challenging for the League lead in goals. Ovechkin (46 goals) currently sits one behind Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (47) and one ahead ofSteven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning (45) in a race that promises to go down to the final day of the season.

Leading the defense looking to stop Ovechkin and his Capitals teammates will be Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. The tallest player in the League at 6-foot-9, Chara won the Norris Trophy as the League’s top defenseman last season over Washington’s Mike Green, who finished second.

NBC will air the matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and Philadelphia Flyers as its Game of the Week this Sunday, April 4, beginning at 12:30 p.m.

Don Cherry Flick Scores Good Ratings (Plus HNIC Numbers)

From journeyman minor league hockey player to broadcasting legend, KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, KID: THE DON CHERRY STORY, the two-part biopic scored a massive hit for CBC Television. More than 1.38 million viewers tuned in for the series debut episode on Sunday, March 28 and an additional 1.27 million watched last night’s finale of this unlikely Canadian love story. Viewership peaked at 1.83 million.

“Don Cherry has been a beloved member of the CBC family for 30 years and it‘s wonderful to see that Canadians feel that same personal connection,” said Kirstine Stewart, General Manager CBC Television.  “The success of this movie is a testament to CBC’s dedication to great storytelling that connects and resonates with viewers across the country.”

KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, KID: THE DON CHERRY STORY is the brainchild of Cherry’s son Tim Cherry, who is the writer and executive producer.  Directed by Jeff Woolnough, produced by Shawn Watson and executive produced by Laszlo Barna, Wayne Thompson and Jamie Brown. It is an E1 Entertainment, 5 for Fighting and Frantic Films production in association with CBC Television.

Incidentally, the movie nearly drew better ratings than Hockey Night in Canada this weekend.  Via William Houston:

New York Rangers-Toronto, Florida-Ottawa, New Jersey-Montreal, Saturday, CBC, 1.5 million. Low.

San Jose-Vancouver, Saturday, CBC, 987,000.

Hockey Night pre-game, Saturday, CBC, 555,000.