James O'Brien

Hockey fans watch the Chicago Blackhawks face the Pittsburgh Penguins as snow falls during the first period of an NHL Stadium Series hockey game at Soldier Field on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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Watch Live: Hockey Day in America (including Blackhawks – Wild outdoors)

Fans are in for a treat on Sunday, as NBC and NBCSN combine to bring you Hockey Day in America.

Here’s the enticing slate and their respective streaming links.

First, the Buffalo Sabres host the Pittsburgh Penguins on NBC. Coverage begins at noon ET, and you can stream it below.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

The fun continues on NBC with the 2016 Stadium Series game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild. It’s an outdoor game in “The State of Hockey,” and should be a fantastic time all around. Here’s the link for that coverage, with the game happening after Penguins – Sabres.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Finally, the good times switch to NBCSN to close off Hockey Day in America with the New York Rangers hosting the Detroit Red Wings. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET, more or less after the second game of this triple-header.

Here’s the link for that third contest:

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Yes, it’s OK to get excited.

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    Trade: Avs grab Shawn Matthias, Leafs bulk up for 2016 NHL draft

    Toronto Maple Leafs' Shawn Matthias (23) drives around his net as Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec (14) chases during the first period of an NHL preseason hockey game, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015 in Toronto.  (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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    15 Comments

    The Colorado Avalanche are scratching and clawing to try to make the playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs are just trying to load up for the future.

    With that in mind, there’s no surprise that the two teams combined to further their efforts in both regards on Sunday.

    Here’s the breakdown of the trade that just went down.

    Avalanche receive: Forward Shawn Matthias

    (Does this mean Joe Sakic has his “puck management forward?”)

    Maple Leafs get: A fourth-round pick and Colin Smith.

    The bigger picture is that Toronto’s really loading up for the 2016 NHL Draft. They also continue to make cap-friendly moves.

    It wouldn’t be surprising if both teams made more moves along these lines as the trade deadline approaches on Feb. 29.

    This might be Matthias’ best moment:

    Video: Doc Emrick spends a day with his hero

    Just about everyone has a hero and an inspiration.

    For NBC’s beloved hockey announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick, it’s Bob Chase. As you can see in the video above, Doc got the chance to spend the day with Chase.

    It’s great stuff, and another example of the quality stories that emerge from “Hockey Day in America.”

    If you want a little more, ponder Auston Matthews’ unusual path to the NHL:

    Hockey Day in America: Military veterans become Minnesota Warriors

    For many veterans, returning to life as a civilian can be just as challenging as their time in the military.

    In the case of Andrew Qualy, returning to the game he loved helped to smooth that transition, as you can see from the great vignette above on the “Minnesota Warriors.”

    For another example, consider this:

    Goalie controversy on? Blues activate Allen from IR

    St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen (34) puts on a glove as he gets ready to replace Brian Elliott, right, during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday, March 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)
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    9 Comments

    Just a few days ago, PHT’s Jason Brough asked: what happens for the St. Louis Blues if Jake Allen gets healthy?

    Apparently that was well-timed, as the Blues activated the young goalie from injured reserve mere days later on Sunday.

    Brian Elliott‘s been a workhorse for St. Louis, playing well enough to make people wonder if the Blues will finally give him another shot in the playoffs after choosing others (including Allen last season and Ryan Miller before that) instead.

    Let’s look at the two goalies’ stats so far this season:

    Elliott: 17-7-6, .931 save percentage, one shutout
    Allen: 18-10-3, .924 save percentage, five shutouts

    As you can see, the Blues have enjoyed great goaltending from both goalies so far this season, with Elliott getting the slight edge (but Allen seemingly being the guy that the franchise wants to carry the torch).

    For what it’s worth, the comments seem to range from “Mean things said about Hitchcock” to “play the hot hand” to “stick with Elliott for once.”

    As Brough mentioned, having two good choices is better than none … but the second-guessing will almost certainly be there no matter what if the Blues fall short in the playoffs once again.