We will know who makes the 2016 Frozen Four by Sunday night

By the end of Sunday, we’ll know which four teams will make up “The Frozen Four” in the battle for a 2016 NCAA hockey championship.

Actually, we already know two of the teams, as you can see from the official bracket.

Boston College beat Minnesota-Duluth 3-2 to advance on Saturday. At the other side of the bracket, North Dakota defeated Michigan 5-2 to get to the Frozen Four.

Boston College faces the winner of: Quinnipiac vs. UMass Lowell.

North Dakota faces the winner of: Ferris State vs. Denver.

Got that?

Let’s jump into the fun stuff.

GIF/etc. fun


Can the Nashville Predators sign Jimmy Vesey, or will he go the UFA route? We shall see (more here at TSN).

Really, keep an eye on PHT in the next week-or-so, as college guys possibly make the jump to the NHL. It’s speculation for those who miss feeding frenzies like the trade deadline.

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    Canucks-Blues stream: 2020 NHL Stanley Cup First Round

    Canucks-Blues stream
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    NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with Friday’s First Round matchup between the Canucks and Blues. Coverage begins at 630 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Watch the Canucks-Blues stream at 6:30 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

    The Canucks beat the defending Stanley Cup champs 5-2 in Game 1 on Wednesday. The game was tied 2-2 going into the third period before Vancouver scored three goals in the final 20 minutes to seal the win.

    Vancouver lost its first game of the qualifying round vs Minnesota, being shut out in a 3-0 loss. Since then, they have won four
    straight games, scoring three-plus goals in every game.

    After leading the Blues to a Stanley Cup as a rookie last season, Jordan Binnington has struggled to regain that form in this year’s playoffs. He has lost all three of his starts and allowed five goals on 22 shots in Game 1 against Vancouver, his second straight
    game allowing five-plus goals. He allowed a soft goal in the third period from Troy Stecher, which head coach Craig Berube said “He probably wants that one back for sure. But it is what it is.”

    WHAT: Vancouver Canucks vs. St. Louis Blues
    WHERE: Rogers Place – Edmonton
    WHEN: Friday, August 14, 6:30 p.m. ET
    ON THE CALL: Kenny Albert, AJ Mleczko, Pierre McGuire
    LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Canucks-Blues stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

    No. 4 St. Louis Blues vs. No. 5 Vancouver Canucks

    Wednesday, Aug. 12: Vancouver 5, St. Louis 2
    Friday, Aug. 14: Vancouver at St. Louis, 6:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
    Sunday, Aug. 16: St. Louis at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
    Monday, Aug. 17: St. Louis at Vancouver, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
    *Wednesday, Aug. 19: Vancouver at St. Louis – TBD
    *Friday, Aug. 21: St. Louis at Vancouver – TBD
    *Sunday, Aug. 23: Vancouver at St. Louis – TBD

    *if necessary

    • Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

    Avalanche take 2-0 series lead, but Coyotes tested Avs in Game 2

    Avalanche Coyotes Game 2 Avs Grubauer MacKinnon
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    The Coyotes almost looked like a different team from the passive group the Avalanche handled in Game 1, but the Avs still won Game 2. Thanks to a late game-winning goal by Andre Burakovsky, the Avalanche beat the Coyotes 3-2 in Game 2, taking a 2-0 series lead.

    Top Avs make a difference (but so do Avalanche supporting cast members) vs. Coyotes in Game 2

    Sometimes, in close games, it boils down to top players like Nathan MacKinnon simply making plays. In a flash, MacKinnon seized an opportunity for … well, a very MacKinnon-like goal. Even a red-hot goalie like Darcy Kuemper can only do so much on chances like these:

    The Desert Dogs wouldn’t just roll over in this one, though.

    While Taylor Hall wasn’t credited with an assist, he made a nice pass to help set up a Clayton Keller 1-1 goal. Throughout Game 2, the Avalanche and Coyotes traded hard hits and chances aplenty. In particular, Nikita Zadorov threw some questionable checks, including one that prompted an elbowing penalty when he hit Conor Garland, a hidden gem for the Coyotes.


    Again, this was a much better effort from the Coyotes. Arizona generated more shots on goal during the second period (15) of Game 2 than the Coyotes did in all of Game 1 (14). Philipp Grubauer wouldn’t ease into a shutout in this one, but he helped the Avs hold on and hang in there.

    Nazem Kadri and other supporting cast members seem poised to continue giving the Avalanche a boost when there were times before when it felt like it was MacKinnon’s line or bust. Kadri set up a very nice Andre Burakovsky game-winner, and that was enough for the Avalanche.

    The Avalanche hold quite an edge with this 2-0 series lead, but if the Coyotes can stay focused as the two teams turn around for Game 3 on Saturday, this could end up being a lot more interesting than Game 1 indicated.

    No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 7 Arizona Coyotes (COL leads 2-0)

    Wednesday, Aug. 12: Colorado 3, Arizona 0 (recap)
    Friday, Aug. 14: Colorado 3, Arizona 2
    Saturday, Aug. 15: Colorado at Arizona, 3 p.m. ET – CNBC
    Monday, Aug. 17: Colorado at Arizona, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
    *Wednesday, Aug. 19: Arizona at Colorado – TBD
    *Friday, Aug. 21: Colorado at Arizona – TBD
    *Sunday, Aug. 23: Arizona at Colorado – TBD

    *if necessary

    • Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

    Canadiens coach Claude Julien receives stent, heads home

    Claude Julien Montreal stent heart
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    TORONTO — Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien is returning home to Montreal a day after a stent was placed in a coronary artery. The team said doctors expect a full recovery.

    Julien was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto overnight Wednesday with chest pain. He had surgery Thursday.

    “Coach Julien would like to convey his most sincere thanks to everyone at St. Michael’s Hospital for the wonderful care he received during his stay,” the Canadiens said in a statement Friday. “He also wishes to personally and sincerely thank everyone who has sent their well wishes during this time.”

    Since Julien left the NHL bubble in Toronto, he will have to follow quarantine protocol if he wishes to re-enter it.

    Team members wanting to return to the bubble must provide four consecutive negative COVID-19 tests carried out over four days. They will be quarantined for at least that time period, and possibly up to 14 days depending on risk of exposure while outside the bubble.

    Kirk Muller will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers led the series 1-0 entering Game 2 on Friday.

    • Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule

    Canadiens-Flyers stream: 2020 NHL Stanley Cup First Round

    Canadiens-Flyers stream
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    NBCSN’s coverage of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues with Friday’s First Round matchup between the Canadiens and Flyers. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Watch the Canadiens-Flyers stream at 3 p.m. ET on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

    The Montreal Canadiens look to even their series against the Philadelphia Flyers, following Philadelphia’s 2-1 win in Game 1. Carter Hart recorded 27 saves in goal for the Flyers in the win, topping his idol Carey Price. That said, Price had his moments, including making a highlight-reel save.

    Even with that low score, Canadiens – Flyers Game 1 featured a lot of speedy action. Could we see players like Claude Giroux break out with bigger offensive displays in Game 2? Kirk Muller serves as Canadiens coach while Claude Julien recovers from being hospitalized with chest pains.

    (The Canadiens announced that Julien is returning to Montreal “to rest following stenting of the coronary artery.”)

    An hour-long edition of NHL Live will immediately follow game coverage at 5:30 p.m. ET.

    WHAT: Montreal Canadiens vs. Philadelphia Flyers
    WHERE: Scotiabank Arena – Toronto
    WHEN: Friday, August 14, 3 p.m. ET
    ON THE CALL: John Forslund, Mike Milbury, Brian Boucher
    LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Canadiens-Flyers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

    No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 8 Montreal Canadiens (PHI leads 1-0)

    Wednesday, Aug. 12: Philadelphia 2, Montreal 1 (recap)
    Friday, Aug. 14: Montreal at Philadelphia, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
    Sunday, Aug. 16: Philadelphia at Montreal, 8 p.m. ET – NBC
    Tuesday, Aug. 18: Philadelphia at Montreal, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
    *Wednesday, Aug. 19: Montreal at Philadelphia – TBD
    *Friday, Aug. 21: Philadelphia at Montreal – TBD
    *Sunday, Aug. 23: Montreal at Philadelphia – TBD

    *if necessary

    • Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round schedule