The NHL Network ended up with its original game scheduled for Saturday: the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre against the Montréal Canadiens. The channel flirted with the Battle of Ontario for most of the week.
Toronto and Ottawa both dropped from playoff contention. And Montréal needs a win to keep a chance at getting home-ice advantage in the first playoff round.
That game will also be rebroadcast Sunday afternoon on the NHL Network.
The CBC changed the primary games, so everyone outside Ontario will see the Habs in an Original 6 matchup for what might be Bob Cole's last regular season game on CBC. Cole will be joined in the booth by Greg Millen and Cassie Campbell-Pascall will be the reporter.
CBC stations in Ontario will get the Battle of Ontario. Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson will be in the booth with Garry Galley at ice level and David Amber as the reporter.
Vancouver and Edmonton wrap up the CBC regular season in the late game. Mark Lee, Kelly Hrudey, and Scott Oake will be in Alberta's capital.
TSN's final regular season game for the next 12 years will feature the Senators in Pittsburgh Sunday night. Chris Cuthbert and Mike Johnson will be on the call.
The Calgary Flames will be in Vancouver Sunday night in what will be the final regular season game involving a Canadian team, and the last chance to see a Western Canada team until October.
NY Rangers @ Montréal, 7p (CBC simulcast)
Friday Colorado @ Vancouver, 4p (1-hour)
Sunday Toronto @ Ottawa, 1p
NY Rangers @ Montréal, 7p (National except Ontario)
Toronto @ Ottawa, 7p (Ontario)
Vancouver @ Edmonton, 10p
Ottawa @ Pittsburgh, 7:30p
Final games of the year
Friday Winnipeg @ Calgary, 9p
Saturday Toronto @ Ottawa, 7p
NY Rangers @ Montréal, 7p
Vancouver @ Edmonton, 10p
Sunday Ottawa @ Pittsburgh, 7:30p
Calgary @ Vancouver, 8p
The NHL Web site had Calgary at Florida on the NHL Network Friday night. The only feed for the game was Rogers Sportsnet West since Florida had no local TV.
This would have been an odd choice since neither team was playing in the postseason. Since Calgary had no U.S. telecasts so far, beggers can't be, well, you know.
Turns out the NHL Network will only offering the telecast to Florida. So the hundreds of fans in southern Florida could watch the game. They certainly weren't at the arena. More people would show up at a Quebec Nordiques practice than a Florida Panthers game.
The NHL Network also did this on Tuesday when the Philadelphia Flyers were in Florida. The difference is that the NHL Web site marked it to reflect a regional offering.
Using NHL Network resources to prop up a team that clearly needs to move instead of showing important games down the stretch to the playoffs is a terribly poor decision.
The NHL Network in the U.S. would rather have had an introduction of David Amber interviewing the Barenaked Ladies than the Bell Centre honoring Quebec athletes that won Olympic medals in the Winter Games in Sochi.
The coverage of the Quebec athletes did include an interview by Cassie Campbell-Pascall of all 3 Dufour-Lapointe sisters before the 2nd period.
Knowing that the following Monday was the Quebec provincial election, you couldn't help but smile at the juxtaposition of watching Quebec athletes being honored before singing O Canada acapella.
Speaking of bilingualism, the Barenaked Ladies threw in some French at the beginning of the third section, where you don't normally hear French. In Montréal, they sing the first 2 sections in French and the last one in English.
In the 3rd section, the English version is "God keep our land glorious and free! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee." The musicians sang the first 2 lines in French and ended in English.
This variation is something the group has done before in singing O Canada.
Sylvan Lake, Alberta won Kraft Hockeyville and gets a NHL preseason game in September. Gary Bettman read off a teleprompter with the same enthusiasm used to order a chicken salad sandwich (if you're not Jack Nicholson).
While CBC has been running this contest for years, Rogers will likely reap the benefits. The announcement of the game didn't include the CBC logo. Don't be surprised if Rogers carries the game in September.
Gord Miller and Mike Johnson will call the Blackhawks-Predators on NBCSN Saturday night. Miller will team up with his former TSN partner Pierre McGuire Sunday night for the Dallas-Phoenix game.
Miller and Ray Ferraro have done this before at NBCSN, helping out with a game on the last weekend of the season. This will likely happen more often next fall as the familiar TSN voices should get more work down south with NBCSN.
David Booth and his self-proclaimed weirdness was the guest on "After Hours." This week, watching "After Hours" was very easy via the CBC Web site.
Compared to "NHL Revealed" and "24-7," the "After Hours" program has self-proclaimed weirdness. The other two programs are fine, but are meant to reveal just enough. For example, we learned that during the time leading up to the Winter Classic that Booth was engaged and we saw him propose to her.
On "After Hours," we found out that Booth met his fiancee via Twitter and that he wanted to incorporate his mother into the proposal.
We also learned the back story over why Booth was kissing a black bear. Yes, that last sentence is correct.
We don't know what the future holds for "After Hours": CBC, Rogers, or gone from the schedule. Enjoy the weirdness while it happens.
"It has been that type of year in Toronto" -- Glenn Healy describing the extensive number of mistakes leading to turnovers made all season by the Toronto Maple Leafs. Just as Healy was finishing his sentence, the camera showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford wearing a Maple Leafs jersey sitting in the crowd.
We don't believe in coincidences. That was a delicious jab at the Leafs and the mayor.
The NHL Network used the Rogers Sportsnet Pacific feed for the Anaheim-Vancouver game. By the time the rebroadcast started, Mike Gillis had already been fired as Canucks president and CEO. The crowd was chanting "Fire Gillis" in the 3rd period.
John Shorthouse and John Garrett acknowledged the pain from the Vancouver crowd. This was not pretty to watch, but you felt more comfortable hearing the reaction from friendly voices.
screen captures: NHL.com