NBC had extra time built into the Saturday telecast for Game 1. The network smartly decided to tell the story behind the Winnipeg Whiteout during the pregame. An over-the-air network telling a Winnipeg story. Stunned, but pleasantly stunned.
Back when NHL home teams could wear white, the Winnipeg Whiteout was a response to the Calgary Flames fans wearing all red in a long-ago playoff series. Since the 2003–04 season, NHL teams almost always wear dark colours at home and white for road games. This is why Winnipeg wears blue at home despite their fans wearing white.
NBCU coverage of Winnipeg has shown the crowd inside and outside Bell MTS Place but has hidden a few home anthems, even from streaming. The network has run a whole documentary several times devoted to Winnipeg's current opponent. In a normal year, the Winnipeg story would be the incredible one.
Patrik Laine finished second in goals in the NHL in only his second season. Despite this, NBCU worked so hard to ignore Patrik Laine in the first 2 rounds. Laine hadn't been dominant but the announcers hardly mentioned him.
Yet NBC ran an interview with Laine in the 1st intermission in Game 1. And the announcers mentioned him a lot more in the coverage, especially when he scored. There are a lot of players worth praising. Laine is one of them.
NBCU has also resisted showing the outside crowd after the Winnipeg Jets score a goal. They missed the opportunity with the first 3 goals in the first period, but did show the crowd after the final goal.
Winnipeg has played well on the road in the playoffs, but has now in 3 of the last 4 home games produced few little offence. Kyle Connor got a power-play goal in Game 2 for the entire Jets offence.
In the NBA, if you are shooting and you get hit, the refs are supposed to call a foul. Had never seen anything like what James Neal did to Toby Enstrom, slamming him down while Enstrom was shooting the puck late in the second period of Game 1. Enstrom hit his head on the ice. Shockingly, there was no penalty. The "anything goes" Stanley Cup playoffs mentality should have a lot of exceptions.
The newest NHL team does have some ties to Winnipeg and the Jets. Winnipeg native Ryan Reaves started the season in Pittsburgh but ended up in the desert via a trade. You might recall that when Scott Oake has interviewed Reaves on After Hours that Oake points out the Oake family knew Reaves growing up as one of the neighbors and friend to Oake's sons.
Cody Eakin is also from Winnipeg.
Shane Hnidy did colour analysis for TSN3 for the Winnipeg Jets before leaving to do TV analysis in Las Vegas. Gary Lawless covered Winnipeg sports for the Winnipeg Free Press and appeared on TSN properties; he left to be an insider for the new NHL team.
There are no recent Winnipeg Jets on the team. Chris Thorburn was selected in the expansion draft and later signed with St. Louis as a free agent. In exchange for picking the pending free agent, the new NHL team received Winnipeg's 1st-round pick in 2017 and a 3rd-round pick in the 2019 draft. The Jets did get the Columbus Blue Jackets 1st-round pick in 2017.
Game 1 featured the reunion of the 40th anniversary of the Avco Cup champs in Winnipeg. The Winnipeg Jets won 3 Avco Cups during the reign of the WHA from 1972-1979. Winnipeg won the cup in 1976, 1978, and 1979.
Bobby Hull is the most famous player from that team and was there in Winnipeg to celebrate with his old buddies.
NBCU is being more secretive about its coverage teams than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are about their wedding. We saw that Kenny Albert and Joe Micheletti worked with Pierre McGuire in Winnipeg. We know Brian Boucher is returning to the Western final for Games 3 and 4 in the desert. Presumably Albert and Micheletti will remain on the crew.
Within minutes after the end of each round, Rogers has an elaborate press release complete with announcers and which outlets are carrying the games.
Building fake drama is best suited for reality TV shows. NBCU is about fake drama when letting fans know who the announcers will be.
Due to the Game 2 loss, Game 5 will be needed and that will be on NBC in the United States.
The NHL Network has blessed us with CBC feeds in the late-night rebroadcasts. You truly realise how much you miss coverage-wise from NBCU when you see the CBC feed.
We fell a bit behind on the CBC promos, so we are catching up, including Game 7 in Nashville from the last series.
Back in Time for Dinner is a summer series that looks really intriguing. Crawford was streaming earlier but will also run this summer on CBC TV.
The Artists features the pioneers behind the pixels available on the CBC TV app. Canada's Smartest Person Junior invites kids 8-12 to show us how you're smart.
While the rebroadcasts are 2 hours, there is some time lost so we might lose a promo for that reason.
Game 7: CBC News app; Women's Rugby Sevens Series (1st); The National live stream (2nd); Back in Time for Dinner; CBC Sports app; The Artists (3rd)
Game 1: Women's Rugby Sevens Series; Crawford (visual only); Strombo music stream on CBCMusic.ca (2nd); CBC TV app (3rd)
Game 2: CBC Sports app (1st); Canada's Smartest Person Junior; The National live stream; Back in Time for Dinner (2nd); Crawford; CBC TV app (3rd)
video credit: NBC/NHL