Getty Images

NBC Sports Group will be airing a record number of NHL games during the 2016-17 season (with key dates)

23 Comments

The NBC Sports Group announced that they’ll be airing a record 106 games during the 2016-17 NHL season. 14 of those games will be on NBC while the other 92 games will be on NBCSN. Every game will be available via the NBC Sports Live Extra app and on NBCSports.com.

Here are some of the key dates you may want to circle on your calendar:

  • An opening night doubleheader on NBCSN on Wednesday, Oct. 12, featuring a pair of 2016 Stanley Cup Playoff rematches. The Chicago Blackhawks will host the rival St. Louis Blues at 8 p.m. ET, followed by a matchup between the Los Angeles Kings and defending Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks at 10:30 p.m. ET.
  • The Pittsburgh Penguins will raise their 2016 Stanley Cup Champion banner to the rafters on NBCSN on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. ET, when they open their season at home against the Washington Capitals in a rematch of their 2016 Second Round playoff series.
  • NBC will present the 2017 NHL Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, home of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals, on Jan. 2, 2017, at 1 p.m. ET.
  • NBC will air exclusive coverage of the 2017 NHL Centennial Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs from BMO Field in Toronto on Jan. 1, 2017, at 3 p.m. ET, and the 2017 NHL Stadium Series between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins from Heinz Field, home of the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, on Feb. 25, 2017, in primetime.
  • NBCSN will present coverage of the NHL All-Star Game from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, Calif., home of the Los Angeles Kings. NHL All-Star will take place Saturday, Jan. 28 and Sunday, Jan. 29, and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the NHL All-Star Game.
  • NBC and NBCSN will combine to showcase a quadrupleheader on Hockey Day In America on Sunday, February 19. The action starts on NBC at 12:30 p.m. ET, when the Capitals host the Rangers, followed by the Red Wings and Penguins at 3 p.m. ET.Hockey Day In America shifts to NBCSN at 6 p.m. ET, when the Buffalo Sabres host the Blackhawks, and concludes with the final matchup of the day at 8:30 p.m. ET, when the Sharks host the Boston Bruins.
  • The 2016-17 regular season on NBCSN will feature 24 Wednesday Night Rivalry telecasts, plus six Wednesday Nightcaps that will showcase Western Conference teams, including the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks. WNR will feature the biggest rivalries in the NHL, including Penguins-Capitals, Blues-Blackhawks, and Rangers-Islanders.
  • NBCSN will air 11 Sunday Night Hockey matchups on NBCSN, beginning on January 8. Matchups include Wild-Blackhawks, Flyers-Rangers, and Canadiens-Bruins, the most-played rivalry in NHL history.
  • The Blackhawks lead all clubs with 21 total appearances on NBC and NBCSN, followed by the Flyers with 20, and the Rangers and Bruins with 16 appearances apiece, respectively. *Note: some games are subject to local blackouts*
  • Capitals-Penguins, Kings-Sharks, and Flyers-Rangers are the most featured regular-season matchups, each appearing four times across NBC and NBCSN.
  • At least 54 of NBC and NBCSN’s 106 telecasts will feature at least one Western Conference team, and every U.S. team will appear on NBC or NBCSN in the regular season.

Here’s the full NBC Sports hockey schedule for 2016-17:

Date  

Away  

Home  

Network

Time (ET)

Wed., Oct. 12

St. Louis

Chicago

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Oct. 12

Los Angeles

San Jose

NBCSN

10:30 p.m.

Thur., Oct. 13

Washington

Pittsburgh

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Fri., Oct. 14

Chicago

Nashville

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Tue., Oct. 18

Philadelphia

Chicago

NBCSN

8:30 p.m.

Wed., Oct. 19

Detroit

N.Y. Rangers

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Tue., Oct. 25

Buffalo

Philadelphia

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Tue., Oct. 25

Anaheim

San Jose

NBCSN

10 p.m.

Wed., Oct. 26

Boston

N.Y. Rangers

NBCSN

 8 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 1

Tampa Bay

N.Y. Islanders

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 1

San Jose

Arizona

NBCSN

10 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 2

Detroit

Philadelphia

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 9

Chicago

St. Louis

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 15

Tampa Bay

Detroit

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 16

Pittsburgh

Washington

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 22

St. Louis

Boston

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 23

Philadelphia

Tampa Bay

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 23

Chicago

San Jose

NBCSN

10 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 25

N.Y. Rangers

Philadelphia

NBC

1 p.m.

Tue., Nov. 29

Boston

Philadelphia

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 30

Pittsburgh

N.Y. Islanders

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Nov. 30

San Jose

Los Angeles

NBCSN

10:30 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 7

Boston

Washington

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Tue., Dec. 13

Chicago

N.Y. Rangers

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 14

Boston

Pittsburgh

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 14

Philadelphia

Colorado

NBCSN

10 p.m.

Fri., Dec. 16

Los Angeles

Pittsburgh

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 21

Washington

Philadelphia

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Dec. 28

Philadelphia

St. Louis

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Thur., Dec. 29

New Jersey

Washington

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 1

Detroit

Toronto

NBC

3 p.m.

Mon., Jan 2

Chicago

St. Louis

NBC

1 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 3

Buffalo

N.Y. Rangers

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 3

Los Angeles

San Jose

NBCSN

10 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 4

N.Y. Rangers

Philadelphia

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Thur., Jan. 5

Buffalo

Chicago

NBCSN

8:30 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 8

Minnesota

Anaheim

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 10

Boston

St. Louis

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 11

Pittsburgh

Washington

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Thur., Jan. 12

Montreal

Minnesota

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 15

Minnesota

Chicago

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Mon., Jan. 16

Washington

Pittsburgh

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 17

Chicago

Colorado

NBCSN

9 p.m.

Wed., Jan 18

Boston

Detroit

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 18

San Jose

Los Angeles

NBCSN

10:30 p.m.

Sun., Jan. 22

Boston

Pittsburgh

NBC

12:30 p.m.

Mon., Jan. 23

San Jose

Colorado

NBCSN

9 p.m.

Tue., Jan. 24

St. Louis

Pittsburgh

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Wed., Jan. 25

Philadelphia

N.Y. Rangers

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Thur., Jan. 26

St. Louis

Minnesota

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 1

Boston

Washington

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 1

Colorado

Los Angeles

NBCSN

10:30 p.m.

Thur., Feb. 2

N.Y. Rangers

Buffalo

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 5

Los Angeles

Washington

NBC

12 p.m.

Mon., Feb. 6

St. Louis

Philadelphia

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Tue., Feb. 7

Los Angeles

Tampa Bay

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 8

Chicago

Minnesota

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Thur., Feb. 9

N.Y. Islanders

Philadelphia

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Fri., Feb. 10

Tampa Bay

Minnesota

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 12

Detroit

Minnesota

NBC

3 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 12

Montreal

Boston

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Mon., Feb. 13

N.Y. Rangers

Columbus

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 15

St. Louis

Detroit

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 15

Florida

San Jose

NBCSN

10:30 p.m.

Thur., Feb. 16

Colorado

Buffalo

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 19

Washington

N.Y. Rangers

NBC

12:30 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 19

Detroit

Pittsburgh

NBC

3 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 19

Chicago

Buffalo

NBCSN

6 p.m.

Sun. Feb. 19

Boston

San Jose

NBCSN

8:30 p.m.

Tue., Feb. 21

Chicago

Minnesota

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Wed., Feb. 22

Washington

Philadelphia

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Thur., Feb. 23

N.Y. Islanders

Montreal

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Sat., Feb. 25

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

NBC

8 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 26

Boston

Dallas

NBC

12:30 p.m.

Sun., Feb. 26

St. Louis

Chicago

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Mon., Feb. 27

Los Angeles

Minnesota

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Tue., Feb. 28

Colorado

Philadelphia

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Wed., Mar. 1

Pittsburgh

Chicago

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Thur., Mar. 2

N.Y. Rangers

Boston

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 5

St. Louis

Colorado

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Mon., Mar. 6

Dallas

Washington

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Tue., Mar. 7

Philadelphia

Buffalo

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Mar. 8

Detroit

Boston

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 12

N.Y. Rangers

Detroit

NBC

12:30 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 12

Minnesota

Chicago

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Mon., Mar. 13

Carolina

N.Y. Islanders

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Tue., Mar. 14

Chicago

Montreal

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Mar. 15

Pittsburgh

Philadelphia

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Mar. 15

Detroit

Colorado

NBCSN

10 p.m.

Mon., Mar. 20

Buffalo

Detroit

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Tue., Mar. 21

San Jose

Minnesota

NBCSN

8:30 p.m.

Wed., Mar. 22

N.Y. Islanders

N.Y. Rangers

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 26

Philadelphia

Pittsburgh

NBC

12:30 p.m.

Sun., Mar. 26

Minnesota

Detroit

NBCSN

7 p.m.

Mon., Mar. 27

Chicago

Tampa Bay

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Wed., Mar. 29

Chicago

Pittsburgh

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Thur., Mar. 30

Dallas

Boston

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Sun., Apr. 2

Boston

Chicago

NBC

12:30 p.m.

Sun., Apr. 2

Philadelphia

N.Y. Rangers

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Tue., Apr. 4

Chicago

Colorado

NBCSN

9 p.m.

Wed., Apr. 5

N.Y. Rangers

Washington

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Thur., Apr. 6

Nashville

Dallas

NBCSN

8 p.m.

Fri., Apr. 7

Tampa Bay

Montreal

NBCSN

7:30 p.m.

Sat., Apr. 8

Washington

Boston

NBC

3 p.m.

Sat., Apr. 8

TBD

TBD

NBCSN

TBD

Sun., Apr. 9

TBD

TBD

NBCSN

TBD

What is Alex Galchenyuk’s future in Montreal?

Getty
1 Comment

Alex Galchenyuk is already a good player.

The question for the Montreal Canadiens is, can he be great?

Galchenyuk, the third overall draft pick in 2012, is coming off a decent regular season with 17 goals and 27 assists in 61 games. However, it wasn’t as good as last year’s 30-goal campaign, and he didn’t score a single goal in the playoffs.

“Hopefully he took a step back this year so he can take two forward next year,” GM Marc Bergevin said Monday at the Canadiens’ season-ending press conference.

Three assists were all Galchenyuk could manage in six games against the Rangers. More importantly, after more than 300 NHL games of experience, the 23-year-old is still not an everyday center, on a team where center depth is by far the biggest concern.

Habs defenseman Shea Weber thinks Galchenyuk still has a ton of potential.

“I think we’ve seen glimpses of it,” Weber said, per NHL.com’s Arpon Basu, “but I don’t think he’s tapped into how good he can be. One day he’s going to realize it, like all young guys do, he’s going to get it.”

Of course, not all young guys do get it. And at times, there have been questions about Galchenyuk’s competitiveness.

To play center in the NHL, you have to compete all over the ice.

“Ideally, we would love to have him play center,” head coach Claude Julien said. “But I think he realizes the same thing we realize right now. As a centerman, it’s one of the toughest jobs there is because you have to be all over the ice, and you’ve got to be able to skate. As a centerman, you have to be good at both ends of the ice, and you have to be responsible. Right now, he’s not at that stage.”

The kicker in all this is that Galchenyuk can become a restricted free agent this summer. He’s already signed one bridge deal, and he’s at the age now where many young stars sign for big money and a long term.

So, does he want to sign long term in Montreal?

He ducked the question today.

“My season just ended a couple of days ago,” Galchenyuk told reporters. “I honestly didn’t give it too much of a thought yet.”

Kunitz cleared for contact, available for start of Caps series

Getty
3 Comments

The Pens may get back one of their most veteran skaters for their second-round series against Washington.

Chris Kunitz, who missed the last five regular season games and all of Pittsburgh’s Round 1 win over Columbus, has been cleared for contact (per the Tribune-Review) and could return from his lower-body ailment for Thursday’s opener at Verizon.

Kunitz, 37, finished the year with nine goals and 29 points in 71 games, averaging 15:31 TOI per night. It was a down season offensively, but the Pens are hopeful he can reclaim some of the form shown last spring, when he racked up 12 points in 24 games en route to the title.

A three-time Cup winner, Kunitz skated on the fourth line at today’s practice with Matt Cullen and Tom Kuhnackl.

In other health news, the Pens also declared d-man Chad Ruhwedel a game-time decision for Thursday, after he was sidelined with an upper-body injury. Carl Hagelin, out with a lower-body ailment, has continued skating and head coach Mike Sullivan said the team is hopeful Hagelin can play at some point against Washington.

DeBoer praises ‘courageous’ Thornton for playing with torn ACL, MCL (Updated)

Getty
3 Comments

In a fairly stunning admission on Monday, Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer told reporters that Joe Thornton played in four of San Jose’s six playoff games versus Edmonton with a significant knee injury.

Thornton, who was hurt against Vancouver late in the regular season, suffered tears to both his left MCL and ACL.

“I’ve never seen a guy play with a torn MCL and ACL,” DeBoer said, per the club’s Twitter account. “It’s a courageous effort as I’ve ever seen.”

Thornton, 37, missed the first two games of the series to rest his knee, before suiting up for the final four. He averaged 18:50 TOI per night and finished with a pair of assists, numbers that are pretty remarkable given the severity of his ailment.

Jumbo wasn’t the only unhealthy Shark during the first-round playoff ouster. Logan Couture‘s face/mouth injury was well-documented and, today, DeBoer also revealed that Tomas Hertl was playing with a broken foot, and Patrick Marleau with a broken thumb.

Looking ahead, Thornton’s knee injury might cloud what’s an already murky future. He’s a pending UFA, and there have been no clear signals from the organization on how they’ll address his potential return. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported in January the Thornton camp was looking for a three-year deal.

If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that Sharks GM Doug Wilson has time on his side. It’s understood the club probably wouldn’t act on an extension for Thornton until after the June expansion draft, which could give the Sharks enough time to better gauge his health.

Update:

Per NBC Sports California, Wilson confirmed Thornton is undergoing surgery today to repair the ligaments.

 

 

Online bookmaker: Caps are Stanley Cup favorites

Getty
5 Comments

The Washington Capitals got a bit of a scare in the first round, but they’ll go into the second round as the Stanley Cup favorites.

Per online bookmaker Bovada, here is the full list of Stanley Cup odds for the eight remaining teams:

Washington Capitals   7/2
Pittsburgh Penguins    17/4
Anaheim Ducks             11/2
Edmonton Oilers          11/2
St. Louis Blues              13/2
Nashville Predators     7/1
New York Rangers       8/1
Ottawa Senators           10/1

The Chicago Blackhawks entered the postseason as 4/1 Cup favorites at Bovada. Of course, the ‘Hawks were then swept by the Preds, who’ve gone from 25/1 long shots to 7/1 heading into their series with the Blues.

The Caps’ odds actually dropped to 13/2 after they fell behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, 2-1. But three straight wins, two in overtime, clinched them a spot against the Penguins in the second round.

The Ottawa Senators are the long shots of the bunch now, despite having home-ice advantage over the Rangers in the second round.