Bruins-Red Wings is NBC’s Game of the Week on February 13th

NEW YORK (January 27, 2011) –The Sunday, February 13, Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings game has been flexed as NBC Sports’ “Game of the Week” and will be played at Joe Louis Arena at 12:30 p.m. ET, the National Hockey League and NBC Sports announced today.

 

The Bruins lead the Northeast Division due in no small part to Tim Thomas’ heroics in goal. Currently leading the League in shutouts (seven), save percentage (.945) and goals-against-average (1.81), Thomas will return to his home state of Michigan along with fellow All-Star Zdeno Chara and the rest of the Bruins to face the Red Wings.

 

Led by 2011 NHL All-Star captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg, the Red Wings have shown their depth by holding their place near the top of the standings despite injuries to several key players, including star center Pavel Datsyuk. They currently lead the Central Division.

 

NBC Sports’ “NHL Game of the Week” on Feb. 13 will be the return match of a rare home-and-home series between these inter-conference foes; they meet for the first time this season on Feb. 11 in Boston (in HD on NHL Network-US, FS-D+ and NESN.) The two clubs have met 576 times over 85 NHL seasons.

 

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 Feb. 13 match-up was first announced on the Thursday, Jan. 27, edition of “NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman” on NHL.com and SIRIUS XM Radio airing from 6-7 p.m. ET. All subsequent flexed games will be announced on NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman.

 

Upcoming 2011 NBC Game of the Week Regular-Season Flexible Schedule

 

Feb. 6 PITTSBURGH AT WASHINGTON 12:30 p.m. ET

Feb. 13 BOSTON AT DETROIT 12:30 p.m. ET

Feb. 20 HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA

presented by McDonald’s

Washington at Buffalo (regional)

Detroit at Minnesota (regional)

Philadelphia at NY Rangers (regional)

Pittsburgh at Chicago (national) 12 – 6 p.m. ET

Mar. 6 Philadelphia at NY Rangers OR

Buffalo at Minnesota TBD

Mar. 13 Chicago at Washington OR

Los Angeles at Dallas TBD

Mar. 20 NY Rangers at Pittsburgh OR

New Jersey at Columbus TBD

Apr. 3 NY Rangers at Philadelphia OR

Minnesota at Detroit OR

Tampa Bay at Chicago TBD

Apr. 10 Boston at New Jersey OR

Pittsburgh at Atlanta OR

Detroit at Chicago OR

Dallas at Minnesota TBD

 

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CBC’s Coverage Plans for All-Star Weekend

Hockey’s biggest stars are coming this Saturday to CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA,home to the NHL’s All-Star weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina. Thisyear’s celebration of the NHL’s best players promises to be one of themost exciting all-star games ever played, with several new fan-friendlyfeatures both on the ice and throughout the broadcast.

The weekend kicks off Saturday, January 29th at 6:30 pm ET when the NHL Super Skills Competition takes centre stage. NHL All-Stars and the league’s top rookies will show off their moves in six events, including the NHL Fastest Skater, NHL Breakaway Challenge, NHL Accuracy Shooting, NHL Skills Challenge Relay, NHL Hardest Shot and NHL Elimination Shootout.The players will be wired for sound during the competition, allowingviewers to get up close and personal with their favourite players.

During the Saturday broadcast details of a joint CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA/NHL Players’ Association Player’s Poll will be released, covering a widerange of topics such as best/worst ice, easiest/toughest coaches,over/under-rated teams and whether the instigator rule should beabolished. The findings will be discussed by CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA expert panel, which will include NHL All-Stars Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis and other players to be confirmed. On-air talent for the 2011 NHL All-Star weekend includes Ron MacLean, Scott Oake, Kelly Hrudey and Elliotte Friedman.

The 58th NHL All-Star Game takes over the spotlight on Sunday, January 30th at 4 p.m. ET. The game features an exciting new format where captains Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings and Eric Staal of the CarolinaHurricanes have selected players for their respective sides instead ofpitting one conference versus the other. Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Glen Healey will call the star-studded event.

The weekend’s NHL festivities will also be streamed live and on-demand at CBCSports.ca (including the Hockey Night 360 All Access Camera), your online destination for informative blogs and breaking news about hockey and highlights from around the NHL. Tim Wharnsby will be live blogging all weekend, and he and Scott Morrison will break down the All-Star Fantasy Draft as it happens.

Rob Blake Joins NHL Hockey Ops.

NEW YORK (January 27, 2011) – A Stanley Cup Champion, Norris Trophy winner and one of the best defensemen to ever play the game, Rob Blake, will join the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department as a manager, the National Hockey League announced today.

 

Blake will work with Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell and his staff on all aspects of the game. He will work closely with hockey executives on the Club level and be involved with the Competition Committee and the NHL’s summer Research and Development Camp.

 

“Rob Blake wasn’t just one of the greatest defensemen ever to play in the NHL, he was one of the game’s most thoughtful players,” Campbell said. “We are fortunate to be able to add someone with his long list of on-ice accomplishments and varied talents to the League’s Hockey Operations department. We plan to rely heavily upon his two decades of playing experience – particularly his unique understanding of the game as it is being played today.”

 

Said Blake: “I am delighted to be joining the NHL’s Hockey Operations department and at having this opportunity to continue to have an impact upon the game that has been such a major part of my life. The chance to continue to enhance an already great on-ice product at the League level is especially intriguing after so many years spent focusing upon individual team success. And I am excited to be working with Colin Campbell, Mike Murphy, Brendan Shanahan and the entire Hockey Ops team.”

 

Blake officially retired from the game on July 18, 2010 following a remarkable 20-year NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks. The Simcoe, Ontario native was originally selected by the Kings in the fourth round (70th overall) of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. He was selected for the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1991 and appeared in seven All-Star games (1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004).

 

He finished his career with 777 points (240 goals, 537 assists) in 1,270 games which places him 18th all-time among NHL defensemen all-time. His 240 goals rank 10th all-time and his 136 power play goals place him third all-time among blueliners.

 

Blake has also had an illustrious International career, representing Canada in the Olympics three times (1998, 2002 and 2006) and appearing in five World Championships (1991, 1994, 1997, 1998 and 1999). Blake was also selected to play for Team Canada for two World Cup of Hockey tournaments (1996, 2004) but did not play in 2004 due to injury.

 

He is one of only 24 players in hockey history to join the “Triple Gold Club”, winning a World Championship (Canada, 1994 and 1997), Olympic Gold Medal (Canada, 2002) and the Stanley Cup (Colorado, 2001). Blake became the 11th member on Feb. 24, 2002 with Team Canada’s Olympic Gold Medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

 

The Return of Broadcast News, Frequent Educated Guesses About What Networks Would Take For Potential Playoff Matchups

NOTE: This is a feature I kind of overused last season, but I think it’s high time it got brought back. Every week or so, I post the potential playoff match-ups, what series the American networks would take, and a “mock draft” of the Canadian network. Remember, it is just for fun, and feel free to post your own guesses in the comments.

Playoff match-ups as of this morning.

Eastern Conference

#8 Atlanta vs. #1 Philadelphia
#7 Montreal vs. #2 Tampa Bay
#6 NY Rangers vs. #3 Boston
#5 Washington vs. #4 Pittsburgh

Western Conference

#8 San Jose vs. #1 Vancouver
#7 Chicago vs. #2 Detroit
#6 Phoenix vs. #3 Dallas
#5 Anaheim vs. #4 Nashville

US Networks

NBC: Not a difficult decision. Pittsburgh-Washington and Chicago-Detroit make for solid, likely ratings gainers for the Peacock if things ended this way today. Rangers-Boston and Atlanta-Philadelphia could get consideration as back-ups should those end early.

VERSUS: All potential games of any Pittsburgh-Washington series would be on national television. Chicago-Detroit would likely get some coverage on the games in Detroit, and the Rangers-Boston and Atlanta-Philadelphia series would certainly get some play. San Jose-Vancouver would likely be totally covered as the lone series taking place entirely in the pacific time zones. Nashville-Anaheim and Dallas-Phoenix would both potentially get a shot when those series are in California and Arizona.

Canadian Networks Mock Draft

#1 (CBC): Montreal-Tampa Bay
#2 (CBC):
San Jose-Vancouver 
#3 (TSN):
Washington-Pittsburgh
#4 (CBC):
NY Rangers-Boston 
#5 (TSN):
Chicago-Detroit
#6 (CBC):
Dallas-Phoenix
#7-8 (TSN):
Atlanta-Philadelphia and Anaheim-Nashville

This is going to likely be kind of a rough year for the Canadian networks, especially TSN. Only three of the teams up north are even in the hunt in this point, and let’s be honest, Montreal is injury-riddled and no one sees Calgary as a legitimate threat in the West for now. Obviously CBC would snatch up the two popular Canadian markets that are currently in, while TSN would get the consolation prize of Crosby vs. Ovechkin. 4-8 are fairly interchangeable, but CBC will likely take the best Western and Eastern series remaining as a companion to the two obvious picks.