The Toronto-Vancouver rematch starts off the CBC doubleheader. The Maple Leafs somehow have to play in the early slot, so the game starts at 4 pm local time. The NHL Network has an unofficial rule prohibiting the telecast of this matchup. The Edmonton Oilers host Anaheim in the CBC nightcap.
City TV draws the Ottawa Senators again hosting a Southern team, this time the Florida "why haven't they moved to Quebec yet" Panthers.
Rogers Sportsnet has a Winnipeg Jets weekend with the team in St. Louis Saturday night and Chicago Sunday night. The latter game is on Hometown Hockey this week from Barrie, ON. Wednesday Night Hockey has the Maple Leafs welcoming Minnesota to the Air Canada Centre.
Rogers Sportsnet One carries one of the late games in the Sunday night doubleheader as the Oilers welcome Minnesota. The game will also be on SNE, SNO, and SNP.
Rogers Sportsnet 360 has the other Alberta team late Sunday night with Anaheim in Calgary. The game will also be on SNW. The channel also has an extra Montréal Canadiens game Thursday as New Jersey comes to the Bell Centre.
Saturday Montréal @ San Jose, Noon
Monday Montréal @ Los Angeles, 2p
Winnipeg @ Chicago, 3p
Tuesday Ottawa @ Pittsburgh, 2p
Wednesday Edmonton @ Buffalo, 1p
Calgary @ Dallas, 2p
Thursday Ottawa @ San Jose, 1p
Minnesota @ Toronto, 2p
Toronto @ Vancouver, 7p
Anaheim @ Edmonton, 10p
Florida @ Ottawa, 7p
Winnipeg @ St. Louis, 7p
Winnipeg @ Chicago, 7p
Minnesota @ Toronto, 7p
Rogers Sportsnet One
Minnesota @ Edmonton, 9:30p
Rogers Sportsnet 360
Anaheim @ Calgary, 9:30p
New Jersey @ Montréal, 7:30p
The NHL Network previously made a huge deal about showing the 3rd period of a game live. We tried to pump that up since we had access to which games got the live look. Those listings didn't last long. While the live look-ins were nice, you felt like you missed the best part of the game.
NBCSN gave us what was essentially a live look-in Tuesday night from Edmonton, an all-Canadian matchup that didn't include the Montréal Canadiens. While that was nice, especially using the TSN4 feed with Gord Miller and Ray Ferraro, we can't count this as carrying a game.
NBCSN played up the Auston Matthews-Connor McDavid matchup in the press release but only showed 23:37 of the game. As for goals, the game featured 6 goals, but 4 of those goals before the telecast started. Toronto had a 3-1 lead when NBCSN picked up the feed. One of those Toronto goals happened while the U.S. game was in overtime. NBCSN missed a Matthews goal off a great feed from William Nylander in the 1st period, but did show a Connor McDavid goal in the 3rd period.
The U.S. game went to an obnoxiously long shootout, something NBCSN couldn't control. Starting times could have been adjusted either earlier for the U.S. game or later for the Maple Leafs and Oilers, but that didn't seem to be an option. The NHL Network could have shown the start of the game, but NBC's insecurity doesn't allow for simultaneous telecasts normally.
If you thought you could see all the TSN4 coverage on the NHL Network matinee rebroadcast, the channel played the home team card with the Rogers Sportsnet West feed.
The Toronto Maple Leafs won just their second road game of the year, first since Buffalo on November 3. The telecast did show the U.S. audience that the Western Canada road games feature a lot of Maple Leafs fans in the crowd.
NBCSN handled the intermission. The studio crew did a decent job covering the missed goals and some brief analysis. Mike Milbury noted that the Oilers weren't aggressive in front of the net as the Leafs scored easily and how the Oilers had slipped of late. The coverage was decent, especially for a pair of Canadian teams. The main criticism is that NBCSN spends so little time on the game you are watching. Other games were covered but the channel runs a couple of boatloads of commercials.
The postgame focused mostly on Matthews and McDavid along with Nazem Kadri. That was the most NBCSN has spent talking about an all-Canadian matchup in recent memory.
The TV ratings for NBCSN were 141,000. The number is rather good given that the game was joined in progress with little to no publicity outside the first game. That shootout was so boring even the players' mothers tuned out. The numbers for an all-Canadian matchup were still better than the 114,000 for the surprise HNIC appearance in the first weekend of the season. Imagine the numbers where NBCSN would promote the whole game telecast.
For penance, NBCSN should show Toronto-Vancouver and Anaheim-Edmonton on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. NBCSN wouldn't interfere with the NHL Network since the latter channel wouldn't show either game. And U.S. viewers can see 60 minutes of both teams.
Harnarayan Singh is the play-by-play announcer for Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi on Omni TV on Saturday nights. Singh got a chance Wednesday night to be the ice-level reporter for the Toronto Maple Leafs in Calgary.
In interviews leading up to the historical first, we got to hear Singh make a boisterous call. This was good to hear since Singh pointed out that his role would be very different on Sportsnet on Wednesday. He did a fine job in what we heard on the matinee rebroadcast.
Ice-level reporters are very straightforward, but bringing someone into a new environment runs the risk of not appreciating what makes them good in another world. This reminded me of the last time NBC had Don Cherry on, where Cherry was much nicer than he is during Coach's Corner. Glad we got a chance to see Singh in action before just seeing him on the ice on Wednesday.
While you were watching the Grey Cup, the Ottawa Senators shutout the New York Rangers 2-0. The NHL Network picked up the MSG feed mostly because that was the home feed. But the NHL Network missed a chance to carry the Ottawa feed on the same night as the RedBlacks win in the Grey Cup.
We've joked about how scared the NHL Network is about the Toronto-Vancouver game but this is getting ridiculous. The Canucks are the only truly western team the NHL will put up against Toronto on Hockey Night in Canada. The 2 games with the teams always ends up on Hockey Night in Canada and the NHL Network runs away, showing a U.S. matchup every time.
The NHL Network had scheduled to run that game on February 8, 2014 before the Olympics started. The time was moved up to 6 pm Eastern so the CBC could show some Olympics coverage from Sochi. Then the NHL Network chickened out and carried a U.S. game. Since then, the channel won't carry any Hockey Night in Canada games when those teams meet.
If Toronto-Edmonton (somewhat) can end up on NBCSN, then Toronto-Vancouver can run on the NHL Network.
"It's a bad call. That's a bad call right there."
Drew Remenda was caught off-mic after the Sportsnet telecast was supposed to go to break with 13:31 left in the 3rd period in the Hometown Hockey matinee in Edmonton. The call gave the Edmonton Oilers the power play, so you can't say Remenda was sticking up for the home team.
The NHL Network showed that as part of bonus coverage Sunday afternoon. The Sportsnet feed could have jumped to break faster so only the U.S. audience could have seen the extra commentary.
The same pattern from 2 weeks ago and what should have been last week's pattern was found again this week for the CBC promos. Ivan Reitman was the guest on Canada's Smartest Person.
Early game: Canada's Smartest Person; Kim's Convenience (1st); Rick Mercer Report (2nd); Dragons' Den; Canada's Smartest Person; Kim's Convenience (3rd)