The NHL Network schedule for this weekend had a matinee: Calgary's own live appearance on the channel in Philadelphia. The channel also had coverage of the main CBC game as the Vancouver Canucks traveled to the Air Canada Centre. And the channel even offered a 2-hour repeat of this game on Sunday night.
At press time, all of those games have disappeared.
The Calgary-Philadelphia game disappeared some time ago. Unless the channel shows previously unseen generosity, the Flames will not appear live on your TV set in the United States this season.
The NHL Network switched out the CBC Hockey Night in Canada game for a chance to show Steven Stamkos. The idea of Stamkos playing in front of the Team Canada coach was certainly enticing, but much more to Canadians than "Americans." Turns out Stamkos wasn't able to play against Detroit.
Adding insult to insult to injury is that the Red Wings game also takes over the Sunday night rebroadcast.
In bad NHL Network moves, this weekend represents a new low. Steven Stamkos is not playing. If somehow he was, take a commercial break or two and show a Stamkos highlight.
The NHL Network is interrupting that Calgary live game for Stadium Series reruns. The channel has almost 3 weeks to run those games into the ground. If the channel wants to forego the Flames, other great choices include Winnipeg at St. Louis (2 pm ET) or a CBC matinee involving Ottawa in Boston.
The NHL has 30 teams; the NHL Network works really hard to focus on 23 of them, much to the detriment of NHL fans, regardless of country.
In other news, welcome to the abbreviated NHL week before the players take a break or go to Sochi, Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Don't blink with the starting times on the Saturday night games. They air at 6 pm Eastern with a 3 pm Vancouver time start. CBC is coming off the Saturday matinee of the Senators in Boston at 3 pm ET. Look for some post-game/pre-game in between in the form of "Hockey Tonight."
CBC Montréal and Quebec viewers will get the Habs in Carolina. CBC goes right to Olympic coverage following the early games. CBC viewers will also get a matinee as the Ottawa Senators travel to Boston.
Per AwfulAnnouncing.com, Dean Brown and Kelly Hrudey will handle the matinee in Boston. Bob Cole and Garry Galley will follow the Habs to the U.S. Southeast. And the regular #1 crew will be joined by Rob Pizzo rinkside at the Air Canada Centre.
TSN has carried its last game before the NHL returns on February 26.
Friday Vancouver @ Montréal, 2p (1-hour)
Winnipeg @ Washington, 3p (1-hour)
Ottawa @ Boston, 3p
Vancouver @ Toronto, 6p (National except Quebec)
Montréal @ Carolina, 6p (Quebec)
The NHL Network scheduled an afternoon game scheduled to run up against "Hockey Tonight." The game ended at 6:36 pm Eastern, but the channel didn't join into "Hockey Tonight" until 6:44 pm. The pattern had been to join the CBC in progress at the conclusion of the game. After all, the NHL Network is quick to fade out of CBC coverage on Saturday nights.
Some of the missing 8 minutes was a commercial break that ran before the "Hot Stove" segment. But the NHL Network should have taken us there right away, joined in progress.
Ron MacLean and David Amber were in Sochi. The CBC Olympics anchors left early for Sochi, so Elliotte Friedman stepped up in Studio 42 and Carly Argo helped out as the rinkside reporter for the Battle of Ontario.
This is also why Nick Kypreos joined the CBC crew in Studio 42 for the "Hot Stove" segment. The segment needs 3 people for a quorum. That pattern should repeat on Saturday. You might remember that Kypreos made an appearance on CBC after the Rogers deal was announced, but wasn't physically in Studio 42.
Martin St. Louis will replace Steven Stamkos on Team Canada. An appropriate move on multiple levels. There are many deserving players who aren't going for Team Canada. But this felt right. And Steve Yzerman can sleep better at night.
We didn't mean to leave out new Edmonton goalie Ben Scrivens from last week's update. 59 saves is impressive but to do so in a shutout is beyond incredible. The fact that Edmonton gave up 59 shots is a sign of poor defense, an Oilers trademark this season. And Scrivens is relatively new to the Oilers, who have had goaltending woes, too.
About every two years or so, a NHL team will get 59 shots in a game. Those games don't usually end in a shutout for the other team.
On paper, Ben Scrivens isn't even the best NHL goalie named Ben who used to backup a Canadian team. Ben Bishop is the reason why Tampa Bay should make the playoffs and push out one of the 3 "Adams Division" Canadian teams from the playoffs.
Even more impressive is that Edmonton pulled off this feat against a very tough San Jose Sharks squad. The home crowd at Rexall Place gave a well-deserved ovation for Scrivens. If Oilers fans can see more of this type of play in net, they will be happier in going to see Edmonton play.
You might have taken a second look when this past week's episode of "NHL Revealed" was airing Thursday at 10 pm on the CBC. After all, 10 pm is time for "The National." Well, CBC Olympic coverage is running up until 10 pm, and so the news has to wait for an hour.
The show airs on Wednesdays in the United States on NBCSN, and that channel doesn't have a newscast.
Rogers released more details on its NHL package for next year. The 500 games number sounds impressive, but when you break down the numbers, this isn't much more than the current package. The highlights seem to be national coverage for the Saturday night early games, the Sunday night City TV broadcasts at 7:30 pm ET branded as Hometown Hockey, and a lot more U.S. only contests. More of the breakdown here, courtesy of Canadian Sports Fan.
Scott Moore, president of Rogers Sportsnet and NHL, Rogers Media, said they expect the hockey commentators to be signed by the end of April to be announced in early May.
One amusing tidbit: CBC refers to Studio 42 where the studio analysts work. Well, Rogers is constructing a new 13,000-foot NHL studio in Studio 41 of the CBC building to broadcast its hockey coverage. This definitely hints that the CBC will be a major presence in the Rogers telecasts starting this fall.
Scott Oake and Kelly Hrudey were in a good mood for "After Hours" — this would be the last episode before the Olympics break.
When Calgary's Matt Stajan was in the chair, the crew was videobombed by Flames forwards Lance Bouma and Brian McGrattan interrupting the proceedings. The 2 Flames were wearing giant foam padded suits and monstrous cowboy hats. They were getting "revenge" for Stajan walking behind a shot wearing nothing but a towel earlier in the year.
Speaking of walking behind the shot, Oake showed a clip at the end of Hrudey ducking behind a shot. Hrudey called Oake a "jerk" for playing the clip, though "jerk" was clearly good-natured.
The gentlemen talked U.S. Olympics with Minnesota's Ryan Suter in the first segment. Suter has a long family history of hockey with his uncle playing in the NHL and his father winning gold in 1980.
I find it stunning that the NHL won't show this on the NHL Network, NHL GameCenter Live or NHL Center Ice. Really would love someone from the NHL to explain.
We had our last episode of NHL Revealed before the break. We saw Ottawa's messed-up Carolina experience where they had to play at noon on a Saturday instead of Friday night. The team had a charity event in Ottawa Saturday night that they had to hurry to catch.
The impression on the tape is that the team had the charity event in the back of their heads and didn't play well in Carolina as a result.
The focus was on Bobby Ryan as he follow him on the path to the party. We do learn the party is in Gatineau, across the river in Quebec. But if you weren't paying close attention, that detail was lost.
On the Vancouver side, we spend more time with Ryan Kesler and his family. The focus is still on Kesler because of the U.S. Olympics angle. Kesler and his kid are cute on the ice, but there are a lot more players.
We do get a rare glimpse in the world of the Sedin twins. They are out with their children riding horses; we learn that the Sedins owns racehorses back in Sweden.
I honestly think this is the most I've heard Daniel speak ever. Henrik is the captain, so he does more interviews than Daniel. A lot of non-Canucks fans do not like the Sedins (jealousy?), so this was a nice moment to show them in a casual moment.
Even with the influx of Canadian rebroadcasts, we only got 2 Canadian feeds: CBC for the Jets-Habs (Super Bowl Sunday matinee) and Rogers Sportsnet West for the Flames-Habs. The NHL Network avoids the TSN-Habs feed when possible. And since Calgary's appearances are rare, why not give them a feed.