Well, here we go.
The NHL has reached its conference finals after San Jose won game seven last night, knocking off the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2. The Sharks will take on the St. Louis Blues who beat the Dallas Stars in seven.
In the Eastern Conference, Boston hosts the upstart Carolina Hurricanes, beginning tonight at 8pm eastern. The Sharks will host the first game out west on Saturday at 8pm eastern.
All games will be televised by the NBC or NBSN per the schedule below:
Longtime NHL voice Chuck Kaiton (ex-39 year voice of the Carolina Hurricanes), predicts the Conference finals:
- Carolina in 6. Defense and goaltending, combined with opportunistic play favors the Hurricanes in this one.
- San Jose in 7. Home ice could prove to be the difference as well as the fact that Joe Pavelski has returned. (He scored a goal in last night’s win over Colorado.)
- Hockey and basketball, pro and college, must streamline communication between the officials and the broadcasters. The fans are being held hostage unless the leagues and the referees agree to some mechanism similar to the NFL where viewers are kept in the loop. The cryptic communication is often uninterpretable and undependable. As a replay was reviewed last week, Doc Emrick gently said “We have co communication with Toronto on what they’re talking about.” Not good.
- The between-period programming on the NBC family of stations has been nimbly handled by Liam McHugh. I just wish there would be more depth by the analysts. Wouldn’t you like to hear about strengths and weaknesses, key player by player. Video to back it up would help the casual NHL fan appreciate the greatness of these pros. A GM, ex-coach or scout might serve the studio show well. Lots of clichés and little heft are what it’s about now.
- Bruins radio Judd Sirott lacks the crispness. Too many gaps to his call. It wasn’t the solid and traditional wood-to-wood call, pioneered by Foster Hewitt. This said, Judd used some cute descriptive phrases worth mentioning; sandwiched, golfs it ahead and paddles it. Still, the broadcast made me wish for the late, wonderful Bob Wilson who presided over Bruins radio with a clipped and graphic description. I think Bobby Orr and I think Bob Wilson barreling through into New York City on WBZ in Boston.
- Baseball team announcers, current or past, who did hockey, whether just a bit or more: Orioles’ Gary Thorne, Rangers’ Eric Nadel, White Sox’ Bob Elson, Cards’ Jack Buck, Mets’ Bob Murphy and Gary Cohen, Pirates’ Bob Prince, Mets’ Steve Albert and Howie Rose, Dodgers’ Jerry Doggett, Reds and Giants’ Al Michaels, Padres’ John Lewin, Red Sox’ Curt Gowdy and Jerry Trupiano and White Sox’ Lloyd Pettit.
- Earlier this week when Dallas played St. Louis in game seven, NBC showed a clip of Charles Barkley admitting on the Turner set that he was following the big hockey game. They also posted a tweet by Dirk Nowitzki – cheering on the Stars.
- On a 5 on 3 penalty, I liked NBC’s camera shot from behind the Isles goal when the Isles were two men down.
- The Kings’ Alex Faust is being considered to succeed Alex Trebek for Jeopardy when the iconic Trebek retires.
- Interesting, NHL ratings on NBC are pretty good despite no playoff representation in Chicago and Los Angeles.
- Allison (A.J.) Mleczko does a nice job, a Debbie Antonelli of the NHL. A.J. played at Harvard.
STANLEY CUP CONFERENCE FINALS
Thursday, May 9, 8 p.m.: Hurricanes @ Bruins | NBCSN, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher
Saturday, May 11, 8 p.m.: Blues @ Sharks | NBC, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire
Sunday, May 12, 3 p.m.: Hurricanes @ Bruins | NBC, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher
Monday, May 13, 9 p.m.: Blues @ Sharks | NBCSN, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire
Tuesday, May 14, 8 p.m.: Bruins @ Hurricanes | NBCSN, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher
Wednesday, May 15, 8 p.m.: Sharks @ Blues | NBCSN, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire
Thursday, May 16, 8 p.m.: Bruins @ Hurricanes | NBCSN Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher
Friday, May 17, 8 p.m.: Sharks @ Blues | NBCSN, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire
*Saturday, May 18, 7:15 p.m.: Hurricanes @ Bruins | NBC Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher
*Sunday, May 19, 3 p.m.: Blues @ Sharks | NBC, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire
*Monday, May 20, 8 p.m.: Bruins @ Hurricanes | NBCSN, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher
*Tuesday, May 21, 8 p.m.: Sharks @ Blues | NBCSN, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire
*Wednesday, May 22, 8 p.m.: Hurricanes @ Bruins | NBCSN, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Brian Boucher
*Thursday, May 23, 9 p.m.: Blues @ Sharks | NBC, Kenny Albert, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire