All we asked from the all-Canadian matchups in the first round is that the winning team have the strongest chance to do well in the 2nd round. That has not gone well so far.
When we talk about having more Canadian teams on U.S. television next season, the play of the 2nd round will negatively impact the Canadian teams, deserved or not.
Losing is one thing; losing this badly, this obviously is much worse.
The 2 Canadian teams have combined for 4 goals in 4 games. That isn't enough.
Several teams can complain about the officiating in the playoffs. The Montréal Canadiens might have the biggest complaint since the overtime goal that beat the Habs in Game 1 should not have counted. The Lightning were clearly offside on the play that should have nullified the play before the goal.
NBC has few traditions in its NHL coverage but interviewing the coach during the game is one of them. The pattern goes home coach in the 1st period, road coach in the 2nd period. Brian Engblom interviewed Bruce Boudreau in the 1st period, but there was no interview with Bob Hartley during Game 1.
Both coaches were interviewed in Game 2. At least they found their way to interview Hartley.
Don't see NBC "forgetting" to interview coaches from Chicago, Washington, New York, Boston, Detroit, etc.
NBC didn't do the interviews in Montréal because of the in between the benches situation at the Bell Centre. The difference there is that NBC treated both teams the same.
Rogers will interview players in between the intermissions. NBC won't even go back to the ice until play is ready to start in the next period.
We had the anthem from Montréal in Game 1 and Game 2. Ginette Reno was the highlight for the Canadiens in Montréal.
We got no anthems in Anaheim. Game 2 provided plenty of opportunity, but NBC passed. That better not happen in Calgary.
Calgary's first home game in the 2nd round, first time in 11 years that has happened, also happens to be Election Day in Alberta. Thanks to Reader Kyle for pointing that out.
Most Alberta elections in the last 40 years haven't been terribly close. The Calgary Flames haven't been in the 2nd round since 2004.
Albertans should go out and vote early in the day, and those pulling for the Flames will have plenty of time to get ready for Game 3.
If the polls hold up, history will be made in Alberta. We'll have a story on the election on Wednesday. Regardless of politics, a Calgary win will make some Albertans happy Tuesday night.
The Nitro Circus is the reason why the Habs are forced to play back-to-back nights in Florida. The Nitro Circus had to cancel its date but too late for the NHL to reschedule.
The Canadiens are stuck with back-to-back nights and the Flames get back-to-back days off while in Calgary.
In the second round in the States, if you live in a market of a team that is playing in the next game, the feed will switch to the start of that game, leaving you scrambling to find the game you were watching.
NBC runs into these situations by limiting the number of outlets. Rogers has CBC, Sportsnet, and Sportsnet 360. Game 1 in Montréal was interrupted late in the 3rd period while the other game started on NBCSN (only in the home markets).
If NBC would use CNBC/USA more in the 2nd round or give a game to the NHL Network, we wouldn't have these issues.
Both Canadian teams suffered their worst nightmare in Game 1.
For Calgary, the nightmare was never being in the game. For Montréal, the fear was a lack of offense would wipe out great defense and wonderful goaltending.
Both Tampa Bay and Anaheim outmuscled the Canadian teams. This is a disturbing trend in recent years where Canadian teams lose that edge. Vancouver did reasonably well with muscle against Western teams in 2011, but Boston beat their way (and got away with so much) to the Stanley Cup.
Watching Canadian teams lose is one thing: having them outmuscled doesn't make for good TV or good hockey.
The U.S. announcers haven't been too bad. Joe Micheletti missed some points where he ignored the obvious that went against the Habs.
The NHL Network did carry the Sportsnet feed for Game 1 for Calgary. We didn't get a rebroadcast for Game 1 for the Canadiens since that ran on a Saturday.
There are matinee rebroadcasts all week for the 2nd round contests.