Stanley Cup Playoffs 2017
NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2017/ NHL Playoffs 2017 Live Stream/ Ice Hockey Playoffs 2017 The Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off with five games on Wednesday night and three games on Thursday. The puck drops at 7:30 on Wednesday night at PPG Paints Arena as the Pens take on John Tortorella and the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Pens Initiative staff took at stab a predicting how the next couple months will play out. SPOILER: Our Stanley Cup Champions were not unanimous.
We used a variety of methods to make our picks including analysis, research, coin tosses, asking our cats, and the classic and reliable eenie meenie miney moe. Head over to the NHL Bracket Challenge to make your picks, though I can’t promise the site hasn’t imploded by now.The Stanley Cup playoffs are set, and as we learn every year, anything can happen from this point forward.
While the Washington Capitals and Dallas Stars had the best records in their respective conferences last season, neither was able to make it past the second round. The Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks in the Stanley Cup Final a year after the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Tampa Bay Lightning. None of those teams finished first in their divisions.
This means while the Capitals and Blackhawks earned a lot of points this season, that won’t guarantee success in what should be an exciting postseason.
It took NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood less than two minutes into a conference call on Monday to utter the name of Connor McDavid.
Eight words later, Flood mentioned Auston Matthews.
Flood’s employer is going to ride the two young NHL stars in the opening round of the playoffs and that’s a good thing for the sport, given McDavid, the 20-year-old star center for the Edmonton Oilers, and Matthews, the 19-year-old star center for the Maple Leafs, give the NBC Sports Group its best chance for increased viewership of the sport down the road, even with both players on Canadian teams.
If you are fan of the NHL, as I am, you likely believe that the sport’s postseason is the most exciting viewing of all the major sports. Unfortunately, not enough sports television viewers agree. Last April 18, Sports Business Daily assistant managing editor Austin Karp tweeted out a not surprising yet eye opening stat about the opening rounds: Alabama’s spring game on ESPN (0.6 overnight rating) topped all the NHL payoff games on cable TV that weekend.
The 2016 Stanley Cup Final—pitting small market Pittsburgh against small market San Jose—averaged just four million viewers and a 2.3 household rating, making it the third lowest-rated Final since 2006. According to Anthony Crupi of Ad Age, the adults 18-to-49 demographic for the 2016 Stanley Cup declined 22% to a 1.4 from the previous year.
The good news for NBC? They should see some upticks this year, especially in the first round given the excellent matchups.
“What’s great for the U.S. is great hockey and great stars,” Flood said during the call to hype his network’s coverage. “It doesn’t matter where they play. It matters that we get to showcase them and we put a number of games on this year with Auston Matthews. We’ve put two on with Connor McDavid. So we’re out to build these stars and change the way you watch hockey.”
NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins with five first-round games on Wednesday night, the first night of two months of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey – and “There’s Nothing Like Playoff Hockey.” In order to televise as many as five games on a given day/night during the first round, NBC Sports Group will present matchups on NBC, NBCSN and NHL Network, as well as NBCUniversal’s USA Network, the No. 1 cable entertainment network, and CNBC, NBCUniversal’s business channel.
NBCSports.com 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, all via “TV Everywhere.”
NBCSN, USA Network, and NHL Network will combine to present five Game 1 matchups on Wednesday. NBCSN’s Game 1 coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET, when the (WC1) New York Rangers visit the (1) Montreal Canadiens, and shifts west at 9:30 p.m. ET, when the (2) Minnesota Wild host the (3) St. Louis Blues.
USA Network’s Game 1 doubleheader begins Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, when the defending Stanley Cup champion (2) Pittsburgh Penguins host the (3) Columbus Blue Jackets, and continues at 10 p.m. ET, when the (2) Edmonton Oilers welcome the (3) San Jose Sharks. NHL Network’s Game 1 coverage on Wednesday features the (3) Boston Bruins at the (2) Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m. ET.
Coverage begins Wednesday night at 6 p.m. ET with NHL Live on NBCSN. On most nights of the first round, NBC Sports Group will produce two versions of NHL Live (one for NBCSN, one for USA Network/CNBC) from separate studios at its International Broadcast Center located in Stamford, Conn. NHL Live will feature a combination of hosts Liam McHugh, Kathryn Tappen, and Paul Burmeister, and analysts and former players Mike Milbury, Keith Jones, Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter.