– Hockey is back tomorrow night with an NHL Faceoff 2017opening night doubleheader on NBCSN starting at 8 p.m. ET, when Sidney Crosby and the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins open the NHL regular season at home against Vladimir Tarasenko and the St. Louis Blues. Coverage shifts west at 10:30 p.m. ET, when Claude Giroux and the Philadelphia Flyers visit Joe Pavelski and the San Jose Sharks.
Opening night coverage on NBCSN begins with a special two-hour edition of NHL Live tomorrow at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, as Liam McHugh, Jeremy Roenick, Keith Jones and NHL Insider Bob McKenzie discuss the major storylines heading into the season. Pre-game coverage will also feature the banner raising ceremony at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, as the Penguins celebrate their second consecutive Stanley Cup title, before officially beginning the 2017-18 campaign.
NBCSN presents a second doubleheader in as many nights to open the season on Thursday, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET, when Henrik Zetterberg and the Detroit Red Wings play their first-ever regular-season game at Little Caesars Arena – following nearly 40 years at historic Joe Louis Arena – when they host Ryan Suter and the Minnesota Wild. Coverage continues at 10 p.m. ET, when Jonathan Quick and the Kings host the Flyers. Pre-game coverage begins with NHL Live at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Following is NBCSN’s NHL schedule for the opening week of the season:
|Wed., October 4||NHL Live||NBCSN||6 p.m.|
|Opening Night – St. Louis at Pittsburgh||NBCSN||8 p.m.|
|Opening Night – Philadelphia at San Jose||NBCSN||10:30 p.m.|
|NHL Overtime||NBCSN||1 a.m.*|
|Thurs., October 5||NHL Live||NBCSN||6:30 p.m.|
|Minnesota at Detroit^||NBCSN||7:30 p.m.|
|Philadelphia at Los Angeles||NBCSN||10 p.m.|
|NHL Overtime||NBCSN||12:30 p.m.*|
^first-ever regular-season game at Little Caesars Arena
*immediately following game coverage
NBC SPORTS 2017-18 NHL SEASON PREVIEW MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL – EMRICK, MILBURY, MCGUIRE AND FLOOD
NBC Sports Group’s NHL broadcast team of Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), Mike Milbury(analyst), and Pierre McGuire (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst), as well as NBC Sports Executive Producer and President of Production Sam Flood previewed the 2017-18 NHL season on a media conference call on Monday. Following are excerpts from the call. Click here for the full transcript.
Emrick on the Penguins: “I think Pittsburgh is, in fact, the team to beat just because they have that strength and that depth that they had last year. Despite the fact that Marc-André Fleury is not their goaltender; their real key in goal is Matt Murray. I think you have to take it away from them.”
Milbury on the Capitals: “It is a significant season for the Capitals. The expectations have not been met. That goes back a few years now, and the only way to shed the baggage they carry right now is to go deeper and longer in the springtime…if by chance they fall short of their expectations this year, I would expect something to blow up in Washington. I think this is a sort of a last-ditch season, for the most part, with the Washington Capitals and the core players that they have. If they don’t find a way to beat this ugly horse that they’ve been riding, it will be called for.”
Emrick on the Capitals: “I think the fact that guys like Williams and Alzner are not a part of the Washington Capitals, and they did have to break up that team despite the fact that they didn’t have the reward of a championship takes Washington down a peg in my mind.”
McGuire on parity of the league heading into the season: “I think we’re going to be talking about a lot of teams. There is really no clear-cut favorite, but I’m really excited to watch the entire league evolve this year.”
Milbury on the Predators: “I think they have every reason to be optimistic about making another run…when I look back at it, we shouldn’t have been so surprised, but we were, and Nashville proved that they can play in the springtime. David Poile once again has put together a group of defensemen that are second to none in the National Hockey League in their top four.”
McGuire on the Central Division: “The Central Division is just going to be a beast. I feel terrible for Colorado, who is going through a rebuild, but when you look at it with Nashville, St. Louis, Dallas, one of the most improved teams in the league, potentially, Chicago, Winnipeg, it’s just going to be a ‘Murderers’ Row’ of difficulty for everybody in the Central Division.”
BLUES-PENGUINS – TOMORROW AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
Crosby and the Penguins begin their quest for a third straight Stanley Cup tomorrow night, hoping to become the first team to win at least three straight Stanley Cups since the New York Islanders of the early 1980s. The Penguins have made the playoffs for 11 consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in the NHL. Goaltender Matt Murray will now serve as the team’s number one netminder following the loss of Marc-Andre Fleury to the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
The Blues begin their first full season under head coach Mike Yeo, who led the team to a 22-8-2 record down the stretch and a Second Round playoff appearance last year. St. Louis begins the season on the mend with numerous injuries, and will lean on Vladimir Tarasenko, who is coming off his third straight 35-plus goal season.
Emrick (play-by-play), Milbury (analyst), and McGuire (‘Inside-the-Glass) will call the action from PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pa.
FLYERS-SHARKS – TOMORROW AT 10:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
The Flyers look to return the postseason this year, hoping for rebound seasons from veteran leaders Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, as well as strong play from 2017 second overall pick Nolan Patrick, who is slated to make his NHL debut tomorrow night. Patrick tallied more than 100 points in the Western Hockey League two seasons ago, but was limited to just 33 games last season.
San Jose was eliminated in the first round of last year’s playoffs, and will look to regain form without Patrick Marleau, who departed for the Maple Leafs after playing his first 19 seasons in San Jose. Veteran Joe Thornton returns and aims to bounce back after scoring just seven goals last season, his lowest output in a full season since his rookie year in 1997-98 with Boston. Reigning Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns will look to tally his 500th career point tomorrow night (170g/329a).
John Forslund (play-by-play) and Brian Boucher (‘Inside-the-Glass) will call Flyers-Sharks from SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.
WILD-RED WINGS – THURSDAY AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
The Red Wings begin a new era in Detroit, opening the brand new Little Caesars Arena, after snapping their streak of 25 consecutive postseason appearances last year. The Wings are led by long-time captain Henrik Zetterberg, who led the team with 68 points last season (17g/51a) – 20 more than the next closest player.
The Wild return much of the same squad that set franchise records in wins (49) and points (106) last season, only to fall in the First Round of the playoffs to the Blues. Five players recorded at least 50 points last season for Minnesota, led by Mikael Granlund (26g/43a), and a resurgent season from Eric Staal (28g/37a).
Emrick (play-by-play) and McGuire (‘Inside-the-Glass’) will have the call.
FLYERS-KINGS – THURSDAY AT 10 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
The Kings underwent an overhaul during the offseason after missing the playoffs, removing GM Dean Lombardi and head coach Darryl Sutter in favor of GM Rob Blake and head coach John Stevens. Veteran forward Jeff Carter represented the Kings at the All-Star Game in L.A. last season, and led the club in goals (32) and points (66). Two-time Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Jonathan Quick returns after playing just 17 games last year following a groin injury in the season opener.
Forslund (play-by-play) and Jim Fox (‘Inside-the-Glass) will have the call from Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif.
MIKE MILBURY TO JOIN MIKE ‘DOC’ EMRICK AND PIERRE MCGUIRE AS GAME ANALYST BEGINNING IN PITTSBURGH ON OPENING NIGHT
NHL on NBC studio analyst and former NHL player, coach, and general manager Mike Milbury will join five-time Emmy Award-winner Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick and Emmy Award-winning ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire as a game analyst, beginning with NBCSN’s opening night telecast featuring the Blues and Penguins. Milbury moves into booth while long-time NHL on NBC analyst and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk undergoes treatment for colon cancer. Milbury will serve as a game analyst for NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry telecasts, as well as the Thanksgiving Showdown and 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on NBC. Click here for more information on this year’s game and commentary teams.
2017-18 REGULAR SEASON COVERAGE ON NBC & NBCSN
NBC Sports Group will deliver coverage nearly 100 NHL regular-season games during the 2017-18 season on NBC and NBCSN. All games will be streamed live via NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app. Click here for more information on NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive NHL coverage this season.
THE NHL ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the 2016-17 NHL regular season 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 and Amazon Fire.
PROHOCKEYTALK ON NBCSPORTS.COM
NBCSports.com’s ProHockeyTalk provides up-to-the-minute news and information about the NHL with the top stories each day around the league, as well as video highlights and goals of the week. PHT Morning Skate provides fans with a recap of the night’s events, as well as a preview of the big matchups to come. Click here for more information.
NBC SPORTS REGIONAL NETWORKS
NBC Sports Regional Networks, which serve top NHL markets such as Boston (Bruins), Philadelphia (Flyers), Washington D.C. (Capitals), Chicago (Blackhawks) and the Bay Area (Sharks), will air more than 300 live NHL games and surround the 2017-18 NHL season with in-depth news, analysis and original programming on the teams that matter most.