11 Straight Nights of Hockey on NBC and NBC Sports Network

NEW YORK – (March 14, 2012) – Sidney Crosby returns to the ice for the first time since Dec. 5, 2011 as his Pittsburgh Penguins, second in points in the Eastern Conference (89), travel to New York to take on the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers (95) at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. ET on newly added coverage on the NBC Sports Network.

Beginning Thursday, the NBC Sports Group will present 12 live NHL or college hockey games over the next seven days. Crosby’s Penguins will be featured twice across the platforms of the NBC Sports Group, including Sunday’s NHL Game of the Week on NBC at their in-state rival Philadelphia Flyers; the Rangers will appear three times, all at home; and the San Jose Sharks, fighting to make the playoffs in the Western Conference, will also appear three times. The bonus Thursday night game also means that the NBC Sports Group will air 11 straight nights of live hockey action dating from Sun., March 11 through Wed., March 21. Thursday night’s Penguins game on the NBC Sports Network is a non-exclusive telecast and will be subject to local blackouts.

The team of Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (‘Inside the Glass’ analyst) will call the action for Sunday’s game on NBC, and NBC Sports Network’s Wednesday night game. Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (‘Inside the Glass’ analyst) will call Sunday night’s game. Emrick and McGuire will call Monday’s primetime coverage, with Strader and Engblom teaming up again for Tuesday’s game. Liam McHugh and analyst Mike Milbury will cover all the intermissions for NBC’s coverage. Additionally, McHugh hosts NHL Live, NBC Sports Network’s pre- and post-game studio show, and is joined by expert analysts Milbury and Keith Jones. John Walton (play-by-play) and Ken Hodge (analyst) handle college hockey for NBC Sports Network on Friday and Milbury will join them on Sat. to call the Hockey East Finals.

NBCSPORTS.COM: NBCSports.com continues to be the online destination for hockey fans. The website streams each NHL Game of the Week, allowing users to follow all the action and providing them with special features like “Star-Cam,” which follows marquee players throughout the game. NHL content areas on the site include ProHockeyTalk, one of NBCSports.com’s popular “Sports Talk” sites that provide fans with day-to-day coverage of the league with sharp analysis on every angle for all the big stories of the day. NBCSports.com also has exclusive NHL videos wrapping-up all the NHL action that day.

FRIDAY NIGHT ICE: NBC Sports Network’s college hockey coverage culminates this weekend with the Semifinals and Finals of the Hockey East Tournament on Friday and Saturday, respectively, live from TD Garden in Boston, Mass. Coverage begins on Friday with a double-header when No. 1 Boston College takes on Providence at 5 p.m. ET, immediately followed by No. 10 Maine against No. 5 Boston University at 8 p.m. ET. The NBC Sports Network will then air the Hockey East Finals in primetime on Sat. at 8 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Group hockey schedule (all times ET, subject to change):

Date Game Time Network

Thurs., March 15 Pittsburgh at New York Rangers 7:00 p.m. NBCSN

Fri., March 16 #1 Boston College vs. Providence 5:00 p.m. NBCSN

#10 Maine vs. #5 Boston Univ. 8:00 p.m. NBCSN

Sat., March 17 Hockey East Finals (TBD) 8:00 p.m. NBCSN

Sat., March 17 Detroit at San Jose 10:30 p.m. NBCSN

Sun., March 18 Pittsburgh at Philadelphia 12:30 p.m. NBC

Sun., March 18 Washington at Chicago 7:00 p.m. NBCSN

Mon., March 19 New Jersey at New York Rangers 7:30 p.m. NBCSN

Mon., March 19 Anaheim at San Jose 10:00 p.m. NBCSN

Tues., March 20 Phoenix at Dallas 8:00 p.m. NBCSN

Tues., March 20 San Jose at Los Angeles 10:30 p.m. NBCSN

Wed., March 21 Detroit at New York Rangers 7:30 p.m. NBCSN

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ESPN Brings In Some Big Names For the NCAA Tournament

For the eighth consecutive year, ESPN will present every glass-crushing moment of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship starting with the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Selection Show on Sunday, March 18, and culminating with the Men’s Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., April 5 and 7. All 15 games will air live on ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3. Four regional games will be shown on ESPN3 with additional coverage on ESPNU in tape delay. For 2012, ESPN will debut its Advanced Replay Tool (ART) which allows graphics to be used in a replay, a first in the network’s coverage of NCAA hockey.

 

 

Video: ESPN Advanced Replay Tool Example

As in past years, the tournament brackets will be announced on the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Selection Show by SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross, analyst Barry Melrose and new to the selection show this year, three-time Stanley Cup champion Aaron Ward. Airing Sunday, March 18, at noon ET on ESPNU, Ward’s three-consecutive NCAA Championship appearances while playing at Michigan brings a second layer of expertise to the passion and enthusiasm Melrose infuses into the 30-minute special. The show will also include features from current NHL standouts reflecting on their own NCAA memories, including Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, New Jersey’s Zach Praise and Ottawa’s Matt Gilroy.

 

The ART, developed by ESPN Emerging Technology, allows graphics to be instantaneously embedded within a replay, providing commentators greater visual resources to communicate analysis to viewers. It has seen previous success in ESPN’s coverage of basketball, football and golf telecasts (see video).

 

Melrose, Gary Thorne and Clay Matvick will utilize the tool during ESPN’s Frozen Four telecasts. Former NCAA players Sean Ritchlin (Michigan), Dave Starman (Hartford) and Billy Jaffe (Michigan) will also contribute analysis throughout the two week coverage span. ESPN has aired games from the men’s championship since 1980 and recently extended its commitment to the NCAA, which includes airing the entire Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship through 2024.

 

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network (s)

Sun, Mar 18 noon NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Selection Show

John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Aaron Ward ESPNU

Fri, Mar 23 3 p.m. East Regional Semifinal 1 (Bridgeport, Conn.)John Buccigross and Barry Melrose ESPNU/ESPN3

5:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal 1 (Green Bay, Wis.)Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin ESPN3

6:30 p.m. East Regional Semifinal 2 (Bridgeport, Conn.)John Buccigross and Barry Melrose ESPNU/ESPN3

9 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal 2 (Green Bay, Wis.)Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin ESPNU/ESPN3

11:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal 1 (Green Bay, Wis.)Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin ESPNU*

Sat, Mar 24 1:30 p.m. West Regional Semifinal 1 (Saint Paul, Mass.)Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPN3

4 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal 1 (Worcester, Mass.)

Dan Parkhurst and Billy Jaffe ESPNU/ESPN3

5 p.m. West Regional Semifinal 2 (Saint Paul, MN)

Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPN3

6:30 p.m. East Regional Final (Bridgeport, Conn.)

John Buccigross and Barry Melrose ESPNU/ESPN3

7:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal 2 (Worcester, Mass.)Dan Parkhurst and Billy Jaffe ESPN3

9 p.m. Midwest Regional Final (Green Bay, Wis.)Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin ESPNU/ESPN3

11:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal 2 (Worcester, Mass.)Dan Parkhurst and Billy Jaffe ESPNU**

Sun, Mar 25 12:30 p.m. West Regional Semifinal 1 (Saint Paul, Minn.)Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPNU**

3 p.m. West Regional Semifinal 2 (Saint Paul, Minn)Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPNU**

5:30 p.m. West Regional Final (Saint Paul, Minn.)Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPNU/ESPN3

8 p.m. Northeast Regional Final (Worcester, Mass.) Dan Parkhurst and Billy Jaffe ESPNU/ESPN3

Thu, Apr 5 4:30 p.m. Frozen Four Semifinal 1 (Tampa Bay, Fla.)Gary Thorne, Clay Matvick and Barry Melrose ESPNU/ESPN3

8 p.m. Frozen Four Semifinal 2 (Tampa Bay, Fla.)Gary Thorne, Clay Matvick and Barry Melrose ESPN2/ESPN3

Sat, Apr 7 7 p.m. NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship (Tampa Bay, Fla.)Gary Thorne, Clay Matvick and Barry Melrose ESPN2/ESPN3

*Tape Delayed from earlier March 23 live game on ESPN3

**Tape Delayed from earlier March 24 live game on ESPN3

 

Additional coverage via ESPN Front Row on ESPN.com’s David Albright and his Frozen Four experience.

 

Jack Edwards Compares the Bruins Performance Last Night to The Black Night in Monty Python and The Search for the Holy Grail

Jack Edwards is a well-known interesting character, so it shouldn’t surprise you that he’s a fan of Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail. In fact, it isn’t even the first time a hockey announcer has quoted this bit during a game. Mike Emrick actually quoted the scene during the 2006 Stanley Cup Final between the Hurricanes and the Oilers, if I remember correctly – though it may have been during the Conference Final, since the Sabres were just decimated beyond belief during that series.

Anyway, the point is that Monty Python is great, and anyone who quotes it is great as well. Then again, I’ve always been a fan of Mr. Edwards.

(Source: Awful Announcing

Details on NBC and TSN’s Coverage of National Crosby Night

NBC Sports Network and TSN2 will take a somewhat bare bones approach to their coverage of the second return of Sidney Crosby.

NBC will not be airing any pre- or post-game coverage of the Rangers/Pittsburgh showdown at Madison Square Garden Thursday night. As of now, it appears TSN2 will not either, beyond the typical hockey coverage SportsCenter does. Though I believe both will provide their own intermission reports. At 7 p.m. ET, both networks will pick up coverage from the ROOT Sports Pittsburgh broadcast, featuring Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey.

This is likely to be expected, but NBC Sports Network will be blacked out in both New York and Pittsburgh, as was the case the first time around.

When Crosby returned to action November 21st, both VERSUS and CBC sent their own crews to the game against the Islanders. Though Crosby’s first return was seen as more newsworthy, as he’d been out longer. Also, VERSUS was already slated to cover a game that night, and merely switched it’s crew from Boston/Montreal to Pittsburgh/NY Islanders.

That said, it’ll be part of a week that features 10 hockey games (college and pro) across the networks of NBC and NBC Sports.