Just what the NHL was thinking in releasing the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs 1st round schedule at 1:50 a.m. ET Sunday is beyond me. Why it couldn’t wait until later in the morning or even in the afternoon when it could maximize its exposure shows some strange thinking at the NHL offices.
It’s not like there was a clamoring outside the NHL headquarters in New York for the schedule release. I don’t know. Love the sport, but not the management here.
Anyway, here’s how the matchups look. In the U.S., NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network and NHL Network will air the games. In Canada, CBC will exclusively carry Montreal-Ottawa and Vancouver-Calgary with the other series dispersed among Sportsnet, Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 360.
Here’s how the breakdown looks:
2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 1 schedule
|EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS|
|SERIES A – A1 vs. W2
|Wednesday, April 15||7 p.m.||Ottawa at Montreal||CBC, TVA Sports, NHL Network|
|Friday, April 17||7 p.m.||Ottawa at Montreal||CBC, TVA Sports, CNBC|
|Sunday, April 19||7 p.m.||Montreal at Ottawa||CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN|
|Wednesday, April 22||7 p.m.||Montreal at Ottawa||CBC, TVA Sports, USA|
|*Friday, April 24||TBD||Ottawa at Montreal||CBC|
|*Sunday, April 26||TBD||Montreal at Ottawa||CBC|
|*Tuesday, April 28||TBD||Ottawa at Montreal||CBC|
|SERIES B – A2 vs. A3
||TIME (ET)|| vs.
|Thursday, April 16||7:30 p.m.||Detroit at Tampa Bay||CNBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports|
|Sunday, April 19||3 p.m.||Detroit at Tampa Bay||NBC, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Tuesday, April 21||7 p.m.||Tampa Bay at Detroit||NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports|
|Thursday, April 23||7 p.m.||Tampa Bay at Detroit||NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports|
|*Saturday, April 25||TBD||Detroit at Tampa Bay||TBD|
|*Monday, April 27||TBD||Tampa Bay at Detroit||TBD|
|*Wednesday, April 29||TBD||Detroit at Tampa Bay||TBD|
|SERIES C – M1 vs. W1
||TIME (ET)|| vs.
|Thursday, April 16||7 p.m.||Pittsburgh at NY Rangers||NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Saturday, April 18||8 p.m.||Pittsburgh at NY Rangers||NBC, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Monday, April 20||7 p.m.||NY Rangers at Pittsburgh||NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports|
|Wednesday, April 22||7 p.m.||NY Rangers at Pittsburgh||NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports|
|*Friday, April 24||TBD||Pittsburgh at NY Rangers||TBD|
|*Sunday, April 26||TBD||NY Rangers at Pittsburgh||TBD|
|*Tuesday, April 28||TBD||Pittsburgh at NY Rangers||TBD|
|SERIES D – M2 vs. M3
||TIME (ET)|| vs.
|Wednesday, April 15||7 p.m.||Washington at NY Islanders||USA, Sportsnet, TVA Sports|
|Friday, April 17||7 p.m.||Washington at NY Islanders||NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports|
|Sunday, April 19||Noon||NY Islanders at Washington||NBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports|
|Tuesday, April 21||7:30 p.m.||NY Islanders at Washington||USA, SN 360, TVA Sports|
|*Thursday, April 23||TBD||Washington at NY Islanders||TBD|
|*Saturday, April 25||TBD||NY Islanders at Washington||TBD|
|*Monday, April 27||TBD||Washington at NY Islanders||TBD|
|WESTERN CONFERENCE FIRST-ROUND MATCHUPS|
|SERIES E – C1 vs. W1
|Thursday, April 17||9:30 p.m.||Minnesota at St. Louis||NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports|
|Saturday, April 19||3 p.m.||Minnesota at St. Louis||NBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports|
|Monday, April 21||8 p.m.||St. Louis at Minnesota||CNBC, SN1, TVA Sports|
|Thursday, April 24||9:30 p.m.||St. Louis at Minnesota||NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports|
|*Saturday, April 26||TBD||Minnesota at St. Louis||TBD|
|*Monday, April 28||TBD||St. Louis at Minnesota||TBD|
|*Wednesday, April 30||TBD||Minnesota at St. Louis||TBD|
|SERIES F – C2 vs. C3
|Wednesday, April 15||8:30 p.m.||Chicago at Nashville||NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports|
|Friday, April 17||9:30 p.m.||Chicago at Nashville||NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports|
|Sunday, April 19||3 p.m.||Nashville at Chicago||NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports|
|Tuesday, April 21||9:30 p.m.||Nashville at Chicago||NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports|
|*Thursday, April 23||TBD||Chicago at Nashville||TBD|
|*Saturday, April 25||TBD||Nashville at Chicago||TBD|
|*Monday, April 27||TBD||Chicago at Nashville||TBD|
|SERIES G – P1 vs. W2
||TIME (ET)|| vs.
|Thursday, April 16||10:30 p.m.||Winnipeg at Anaheim||CNBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports|
|Saturday, April 18||10:30 p.m.||Winnipeg at Anaheim||NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports|
|Monday, April 20||9 p.m.||Anaheim at Winnipeg||Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NBCSN|
|Wednesday, April 22||9:30 p.m.||Anaheim at Winnipeg||Sportsnet, TVA Sports, USA|
|*Friday, April 24||TBD||Winnipeg at Anaheim||Sportsnet|
|*Sunday, April 26||TBD||Anaheim at Winnipeg||Sportsnet|
|*Tuesday, April 28||TBD||Winnipeg at Anaheim||Sportsnet|
|SERIES H – P2 vs. P3
|Wednesday, April 15||10 p.m.||Calgary at Vancouver||CBC, TVA Sports, USA|
|Friday, April 17||10 p.m.||Calgary at Vancouver||CBC, TVA Sports, CNBC|
|Sunday, April 19||10 p.m.||Vancouver at Calgary||CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN|
|Tuesday, April 21||10 p.m.||Vancouver at Calgary||CBC, TVA Sports, USA|
|*Thursday, April 23||TBD||Calgary at Vancouver||CBC|
|*Saturday, April 25||TBD||Vancouver at Calgary||CBC|
|*Monday, April 27||TBD||Calgary at Vancouver||CBC|
* – if necessary
TBD – To be determined
(JIP) – joined in progress
Here are the CBC/Sportsnet announcing assignments for the first two days of the playoffs.
Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators (starts Wed. April 15 at 7 p.m. ET/4p.m. PT on CBC)
- Play-by-play: Paul Romanuk; Game Analysts: Mike Johnson and Glenn Healy; Reporter: David Amber
Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames (starts Wed. April 15 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on CBC)
- Play-by-play: Jim Hughson; Game Analyst: Craig Simpson; Reporter: Scott Oake
Anaheim Ducks vs. Winnipeg Jets (starts Thursday, April 16 at 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet)
- Play-by-play: Dave Randorf; Game Analyst: Garry Galley; Reporter: Cassie Campbell-Pascall
New York Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (starts Thursday, April 16 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on CBC)
- Play-by-play: Bob Cole; Game Analyst: Greg Millen; Reporter: Christine Simpson
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings (starts Thursday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.ET/4:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet)
- Play-by-play: Rick Ball; Game Analyst: John Garrett; Reporter: Dan Murphy
As for NBC Sports Group, we’ll have its usual crews back including the great Mike Emrick at the mic.
Here are their game announcers:
Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator and Sports Illustrated 2014 Media Person of the Year Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk, and Inside-the-Glass analyst and Emmy Award-winner Pierre McGuire, will be teamed together for most games during the playoffs, and will call their ninth consecutive Stanley Cup Final together. In addition, play-by-play voice Dave Strader will be paired with Inside-the-Glass analyst Brian Engblom for most telecasts.
NBC Sports Group will utilize six broadcast teams during its first-round coverage, with up to four or five games airing on any given night.* In addition to Emrick and Strader, Kenny Albert, John Forslund, Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert will handle play-by-play duties during the first round. Bret Hedican and Joe Micheletti will serve as Inside-the-Glass analysts during first-round coverage.
A combination of four game crews will provide NBC Sports Group’s second-round Stanley Cup Playoff coverage. In addition to the teams of Emrick-Olczyk-McGuire and Strader-Engblom, Kenny Albert and John Forslund will contribute as play-by-play commentators, and Joe Micheletti will be an Inside-the-Glass analyst.
Coverage of the Eastern and Western Conference Finals will feature two game crews: Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire; Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti (booth analyst) and Brian Engblom (Inside-the-Glass analyst).
We’ll have their announcing assignments as they become available.