On Monday afternoon, NBC Sports’ NHL commentators Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire, as well as Executive Producer Sam Flood, previewed the upcoming 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs on a media conference call. Following are excerpts. Click here to read the full transcript.
Emrick on the Vegas Golden Knights: “There is a certain belligerence about them in showing the world how good they are that has made them a positive story. I don’t see this story stopping and the snowball stopping…the snarl of showing all the teams that they played for before that, ‘Hey, we were worth something, and the fact that we were exposed on the market, and we all came here and united is something that we’re going to continue in the playoffs.’”
Olczyk on the Golden Knights: “The greatest performance of any professional sports team in any professional sport – to come in and do what they did is absolutely incredible…I do believe there is some pressure on this team going into the playoffs, and you’re playing a team like L.A., as Doc said it perfectly, this is a team that is able to go ahead and just shut you right down.”
McGuire on Flyers-Penguins: “If the star players from the Penguins don’t rise quickly, and the Flyers find a way to get confidence in the series, it could be a long one. But the biggest thing going for Pittsburgh though – in every game they played this year against Philadelphia they scored five goals in the game. So they haven’t lost, and they’ve won every game by scoring five goals. Philadelphia’s going to have to find a way to plant the seed of doubt early in the series.”
Olczyk on Pittsburgh Penguins’ chances of a three-peat: “They just seem to find a way. At some point, whether it’s this year or next year, it’s going to end. Until you knock off the champs – and they’re the champs for a reason the last couple of years – that will be a very difficult mountain to climb.”
Olczyk on Flyers-Penguins: “It only takes one player, one comment from somebody where all bets are off and that gasoline tank will be ignited fairly quickly. This is as good as it gets. But this is one series that — having coached in it, and Pierre has coached in it as well — it won’t take much to get the blood boiling behind the bench.”
Emrick on Maple Leafs-Bruins: “These two teams matter an awful lot to the cities and to the countries that they come from. And I think that adds so much — gee, I’m getting goose bumps — I think that adds so much to what we have walking into Boston for the first game is that, yeah, they played each other for the Stanley Cup back in 1939…it’s an exciting prospect to walk in there and see those great emblems that have hardly changed in 100 years’ time are going to be out there and be so well represented.”
McGuire on the Boston Bruins: “It’s just been a magnificent year for them. Bruce Cassidy has been as good a coach as there’s been in the league this year. That will be a great coaching match-up between Mike Babcock and Bruce Cassidy.”
McGuire on the Columbus Blue Jackets: “If you look at their mobility, and size and defense in particular, it’s hard to get to the net to score playoff style goals against them. They have one of the most upwardly trending rookies in the league right now in Pierre-Luc Dubois. If he turns out to be as good as he’s trending towards, he’s going to be almost impossible to shut down over the next two and three years. He’s just going to be that good. So they’ve got a lot going on there in Columbus. That’s going to be a tough matchup for Washington.”
Olczyk on the Tampa Bay Lightning: “The moves that Steve Yzerman made – I don’t know if it’s called New York South or not – but they’ve got a lot of ex-Rangers down there playing with the Lightning. They’re absolutely all in. When you add two players (J.T. Miller and Ryan McDonagh) like that, and give up what they did, they’re in it to win it.”
McGuire on Sharks-Ducks: “One of the most difficult and arduous series will be between Anaheim and San Jose. They’re so equal. Both coaches have done phenomenal jobs. I think eventually that will be one of the more difficult, physical series that will be played in the entire first round.”
NBC SPORTS GROUP’S COVERAGE OF THE 2018 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS BEGINS TOMORROW NIGHT WITH THREE GAMES
NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins with three first-round games tomorrow, the first night of two months of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey – and “There’s Nothing Like Playoff Hockey.”
Wednesday night’s coverage on NBCSN and CNBC includes a Game 1 doubleheader on NBCSN, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, when the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion (2) Pittsburgh Penguins host their in-state rival (3) Philadelphia Flyers. Coverage continues on NBCSN at 10 p.m. ET, when (WC1) Los Angeles Kings visit the expansion (1) Vegas Golden Knights, which won the Pacific Division in the franchise’s inaugural season this year. CNBC’s Game 1 coverage on Wednesday night begins at 7 p.m. ET, featuring the (2) Winnipeg Jets against the (3) Minnesota Wild.
Click here for more details, including first-round schedules through Thursday, April 19, and Game 1 commentary teams.
ANALYST JEREMY ROENICK TO REPORT ON-SITE FROM LAS VEGAS DURING GAME 1 OF KINGS-GOLDEN KNIGHTS ON WEDNESDAY
NHL on NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick will serve as on-site reporter in Las Vegas, Nev., during NBC Sports’ coverage of Game 1 of the Los Angeles Kings-Vegas Golden Knights first-round series on Wednesday night on NBCSN.
Roenick will be a roving reporter throughout the night at T-Mobile Arena, showcasing the unique elements of hockey in Vegas and illustrating the passion of the Vegas fanbase that has continued grow through the Golden Knights’ inaugural season. Coverage will also include reports from the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs Party outside of T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday night, as well as a feature on Roenick’s time training with members of Cirque du Soleil, where members of the Golden Knights participated in a workout in February.
STREAMING COVERAGE ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platforms for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox, and Chromecast.