NBC releases its NHL playoff schedule for the first round; All games will be televised nationally

Longtime NHL voice Chuck Kaiton projects first round winners; See schedule of games, times and channels, including assigned talent

NBC releases its NHL Playoff schedule for the first round. All games will have a national home

NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs begins tonight with five first round games. It marks the first night of two months of Stanley Cup playoff hockey.

To televise as many as five games on a given date during the first round, NBC Sports Group will present matchups on NBC, NBCSN, and NHL Network, as well as NBCUniversal’s USA Network, CNBC, and the NBC Sports app, NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and Connected TVs – will live stream all games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, and CNBC via “TV Everywhere.”

Doc Emrick, NBC’s lead hockey voice, was asked on this week’s media conference call whether hockey, because it’s played at an eye-blinking pace, is the most difficult game to call of the four major sports . Emrick’s answer:

No, hockey is easiest to do because:

  1. It doesn’t require unraveling a pileup
  2. There’s no need to fill time between pitches
  3. Hockey broadcasters don’t have to deal with multiple timeouts in the final 2 minutes

Chuck Kaiton was the first voice of the Hartford Whalers when they became members of the NHL in 1979. He then moved with the franchise to Carolina in 1997 where it became the Hurricanes. Kaiton spent 39 seasons calling the team’s games on radio, leaving  at the end of last season. Chuck painted a magnificent word picture and is greatly respected around the league. In 2004, he was given the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame for making outstanding contributions to hockey broadcasting.

Kaiton still follows the game very closely and was kind enough to project the winners of the first round. They’re listed below in parenthesis.

First round on-air talent:

Columbus-Tampa (Lightning in 6, Best play making team in the league)            

John Forslund, Pierre McGuire

Pittsburgh-New York Isles (Islanders in 7, Tight defense will be the difference)

Kenny Albert, AJ Mleczko, Brian Boucher

St. Louis-Winnipeg (Jets in 6..Speed and physicality will rule the day)

Dave Randorf,  Louie DeBrusk, Scott Oake

Dallas-Nashville (Preds in 5 Goaltending and defense give them the edge)

Chris Cuthbert,  Joe Micheletti

Vegas-San Jose (Golden Knights in 6 Tough to bet against M.A. Fleury and team swagger)

Alex Faust, Mike Johnson

Toronto-Boston (Bruins in 6, Discipline beats run and gun anytime)

Mike “Doc” Emrick, Mike Milbury, Brian Boucher

Carolina-Washington (Capitals in 6 Experience is the best teacher)

Brendan Burke, Pierre McGuire

Colorado-Calgary (Flames in 6 Calgary has better scoring depth)

Gord Miller, Ray Ferarro


Following is NBC Sports Group’s Stanley Cup playoffs first round television schedule through Wed, April 17th.

Wed April 10

Game 1 – Columbus at Tampa Bay, USA Network, 7 p.m.

Game 1 – Pittsburgh at NY Islanders, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m.

Game 1 – St. Louis at Winnipeg, NHL Network, 8 p.m.

Game 1 – Dallas at Nashville, USA Network, 9:30 p.m.

Game 1 – Vegas at San Jose, NBCSN, 10:30 p.m.

Thu April 11                

Game 1 – Toronto at Boston, NBCSN, 7 p.m.

Game 1 – Carolina at Washington, USA Network, 7:30 p.m.

Game 1 – Colorado at Calgary, NBCSN, 10 p.m.

Fri April 12                   

Game 2 – Columbus at Tampa Bay CNBC, 7 p.m.

Game 2 – Pittsburgh at  NY Islanders, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m.

Game 2 – St. Louis at Winnipeg, CNBC, 9:30 p.m.

Game 2 – Vegas at San Jose, NBCSN, 10:30 p.m.

Sat April 13                  

Game 2 – Carolina at Washington, NBC, 3 p.m.

Game 2 – Dallas at Nashville, CNBC, 6 p.m.

Game 2 – Toronto at Boston, NBC, 8 p.m.

Game 2 – Colorado at Calgary, NBCSN, 10:30 p.m.

Sun April 14                 

Game 3 – N.Y. Islanders at Pittsburgh, NBC, 12 p.m.

Game 3 – Tampa Bay at Columbus, NBCSN, 7 p.m.

Game 3 – Winnipeg at St. Louis, CNBC, 7:30 p.m.

Game 3 – San Jose at Vegas, NBCSN, 10 p.m.

Mon April 15                

Game 3 – Boston at Toronto, NBCSN, 7 p.m.

Game 3 – Washington at Carolina, CNBC, 7 p.m.

Game 3 – Nashville at Dallas, NBCSN, 9:30 p.m.

Game 3 – Calgary at Colorado, CNBC, 10 p.m.

Tue April 16               

Game 4 – Tampa Bay at Columbus, CNBC, 7 p.m.

Game 4 – N.Y. Islanders at Pittsburgh, NBCSN, 7:30 p.m.

Game 4 – Winnipeg at St. Louis, CNBC, 9:30 p.m.

Game 4 – San Jose at Vegas, NBCSN, 10:30 p.m.

Wed April 17

Game 4 – Boston at Toronto, NBCSN, 7 p.m.

Game 4 – Nashville at Dallas, USA Network, 8 p.m.

Game 4 – Calgary at Colorado, NBCSN, 10 p.m.





David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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Michael Green
5 years ago

If Doc Emrick says it, I’m inclined to believe it.

But I think he’s wrong!