Ron Burgundy keeps it classy during LA Kings broadcast

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In the grand tradition of having celebrities inside the television play-by-play booth, San Diego news icon Ron Burgundy joined Alex Faust and Jim Fox during the second period of Thursday’s Los Angeles Kings-San Jose Sharks game.

Burgundy offered his expert analysis during LA’s 4-2 win, revealing his fondness for Jeff Carter, letting the viewers know he was wearing his lucky underwear, and getting himself on the “Kiss Cam” with a burrito.

San Diego’s favorite son also made time to meet with Aiden Rose, a Make-a-Wish kid who was signed to a one-day contract by the Kings.

The Kings failed to score during the second period, but Burgundy did provide us with a glimpse into what one of his goal calls would look like:

And he didn’t even need a teleprompter!

Earlier this month “Mad Men” Jon Hamm was in the booth for his beloved St. Louis Blues and even got to call an Ivan Barbashev goal. At this point we’re probably going to see Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar calling a Chicago Blackhawks game. Party on.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

‘Mad Men’ star Jon Hamm calls Blues goal, clearly knows his hockey

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As fun as it can be when a celebrity appears on a hockey broadcast, things can often get awkward, at least when said celebrity just isn’t that into the sport. That clearly wasn’t the case with “Mad Men” and “30 Rock” star Jon Hamm, who knows his stuff when it comes to the St. Louis Blues, and revealed as much on Thursday.

The dapper depictor of Don Draper was clad in a Blues hat and Blues scarf during his appearance on Fox Sports Midwest’s telecast of the Blues eventual 4-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. As you can see from the video above this post’s headline, Hamm happened to be on hand for a very nice Ivan Barbashev goal, and smoothly transitioned to calling the play alongside Darren Pang and John Kelly.

(Bless Pang, by the way, for working in his “Holy jumpin’.” Panger had to have trademarked that by now, right?)

Hamm also discussed growing up as a Blues fan with his father, as you can hear in this clip.

Good stuff, and again, Hamm seems legit. He’s also leveraged his hockey fandom before, including some funny ads for “Skip the Dishes,” where he makes it clear that he loves the sport. And poutine?

In case you were wondering (I was), here’s a screengrab of Hamm’s “To Do List” from that ad.

Skip the Dishes

Hamm might plan on questioning reality, but there’s little sense questioning his hockey fandom.

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.

WATCH LIVE: Ducks host Blues on Wednesday Night Hockey

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Anaheim Ducks. Coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The Blues remarkable turnaround since mid-January has them positioned to make the playoffs despite finding themselves in last place in the league on the morning of Jan. 3. St. Louis has struggled more recently, however, coming off back-to-back regulation losses to Carolina and Dallas.

Since the NHL’s Expansion Era (1967-68), only six teams have made the playoffs after ranking last in the entire League at any point after Jan. 1 (min. 20 GP). The only teams to accomplish the feat in that era: the 1976-77 North Stars, 1979-80 Oilers, 1982-83 Maple Leafs, 1987-88 Kings, 1987-88 Maple Leafs and 1996-97 Senators.

The Blues have one of the easiest upcoming schedules in the league in terms of lowest cumulative points percentage for remaining opponents and only have two remaining divisional games on the schedule (April 1 against COL and April 3 in Chicago).

It is highly unlikely that Anaheim will make the playoffs, thus ending their streak of six consecutive years in the postseason.

Cam Fowler (57G-206A—263 points in 605 GP) needs one point and three goals to tie Hall of Famer Scott Niedermayer (60G-204A—264 points in 371 GP) for the most ever by a Ducks defenseman. Earlier this season Ryan Miller became the all-time leader in wins by a U.S.- born goaltender, passing John Vanbiesbrouck (374).

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 10 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

What: St. Louis Blues at Anaheim Ducks
Where: Honda Center
When: Wednesday, March 6, 10 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
Live stream: You can watch the Blues-Flyers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

BLUES
Brayden SchennRyan O'ReillyVladimir Tarasenko
Patrick MaroonTyler BozakRobert Thomas
Jaden SchwartzOskar SundqvistAlex Steen
Mackenzie MacEachernIvan Barbashev – Samuel Blais

Joel EdmundsonAlex Pietrangelo
Jay BouwmeesterColton Parayko
Vince DunnMichael Del Zotto

Starting goalie: Jordan Binnington

DUCKS
Kevin Roy – Ryan GetzlafCorey Perry
Rickard Rakell – Sam Steel – Jakob Silfverberg
Nick RitchieAdam HenriqueTroy Terry
Max JonesRyan KeslerCarter Rowney

Hampus LindholmJosh Manson
Jacob Larsson – Cam Fowler
Jaycob Megna – Korbinian Holzer

Starting goalie: John Gibson

Chris Cuthbert (play-by-play) and Brian Hayward (‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst) will have the call from Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Blues demolish Devils, keep solidifying playoff spot

AP

It wasn’t that long ago that the St. Louis Blues’ season looked like it was over, set to go in the books as a bitter disappointment after a significant spending spree over the summer to address the shortcomings at forward.

At the 20-game mark the Blues had already fired their coach, had won just seven games, couldn’t keep the puck out of their own net, and weren’t really getting much production out of anybody except for Ryan O'Reilly.

Now they look like they are going to be solidly in the playoffs barring a late-season collapse.

If nothing else, they have at least given themselves a great shot to get there.

They won their seventh game in a row on Tuesday night by absolutely crushing a hapless New Jersey Devils team, 8-3, to continue climbing the Western Conference standings.

The Blues’ win, combined with the Minnesota Wild losing a multiple goal lead against the Philadelphia Flyers, means the Blues are now in sole possession of the first Wild Card Spot in the Western Conference with a four-point cushion over the pack of non-playoff teams behind them, while also having games in hand on several of them. Put all of that together and they look more likely to be a playoff team than not.

The seven-game winning streak is also part of a larger 14-game stretch that has seen the Blues go on an 11-2-1 run to really make their move in the standings.

They have been doing all of this without David Perron, one of their most productive forwards this season, who has been sidelined for more than a month due to an upper-body injury.

Alex Pietrangelo and Ivan Barbashev each had three-point nights in Tuesday’s win, while Vladimir Tarasenko picked up a pair of assists to extend his point streak to nine games. Overall Tarasenko has 18 points during this most recent 14-game hot streak by the Blues.

Overall, it was a completely dominant effort by the Blues as they held the Devils to just 16 shots on goals on the night and were holding a 7-1 lead just one minute into the third period.

The turnaround for the Blues began when rookie goalie Jordan Binnington got his opportunity. All he has done with it is solidify a position that had been a glaring weakness in the first part of the season and now win 10 of his first 12 starts with a save percentage over .930 so far.

The Blues now have an opportunity to really extend their cushion in the playoff race with a huge three-game road trip that takes them through Arizona, Minnesota, and Colorado. The latter two teams are the two biggest challengers to them at the moment, and both have been struggling in recent weeks, with the Avalanche in total collapse mode. A couple of wins over the next three games would go a long way toward solidifying the Blues as a playoff team.

Given the way each team is playing at the moment it is not hard to imagine exactly that happening.

Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

WATCH LIVE: Blues visit Kings on NBCSN

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with Monday’s matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

After defeating the Penguins 5-2 in LA on Saturday, Jan. 12, the Kings hit the road for a three-game trip to Minnesota, Dallas and Colorado. The Kings lost to the Wild 3-2 after a shootout but then beat the Stars 2-1. They entered Saturday with a chance to make it a four-game point streak, but lost 7-1 to Colorado, allowing six goals in the second period.

Saturday’s 7-1 loss at the Avs was the team’s worst this season, as they lost the game by six goals (worst differential this season) and allowed seven goals, tied for the most allowed this season.

St. Louis last played on Saturday, beating the Senators 3-2 to earn their fourth victory in their last six games (4-1-1 record). They will face the Kings on Monday before playing the Ducks in Anaheim on Wednesday. Then, like the Kings, will have the All-Star Break and their bye week before playing next on Saturday, Feb. 2 at Columbus. The Blues next home game is Saturday, Feb. 9 vs. Nashville.

The NHL’s hottest player – David Perron – missed Saturday’s win over Ottawa with an upper-body injury. Head coach Craig Berube called Perron day-to-day, but said he would likely not make the trip to California.

Entering Saturday, Perron had a point in 13 straight games (6G-10A), the NHL’s longest active point streak. He has 17 goals this year (had 16 in 70 games w/ VGK last season) and has 19 points (9G-10A) in the last 18 games after recording 16 points (8G-8A) in his first 27 games of the season.

[WATCH LIVE – COVERAGE BEGINS AT 3 P.M. ET – NBCSN]

What: St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings
Where: Staples Center
When: Monday, Jan. 21, 3 p.m. ET
TV: NBC
Live stream: You can watch the Blues-Kings stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

BLUES
Pat MaroonRyan O'ReillyVladimir Tarasenko
Jaden SchwartzBrayden SchennAlexander Steen
Samuel Blais – Oskar SundqvistJordan Kyrou
Mackenzie MacEachernIvan BarbashevJordan Nolan

Carl GunnarssonAlex Pietrangelo
Jay BouwmeesterColton Parayko
Vince DunnRobert Bortuzzo

Starting goalie: Jordan Binnington

KINGS
Ilya KovalchukAnze KopitarDustin Brown
Alex IafalloJeff CarterBrendan Leipsic
Carl HagelinAdrian KempeTyler Toffoli
Kyle CliffordNate ThompsonAustin Wagner

Derek ForbortDrew Doughty
Jake MuzzinAlec Martinez
Dion PhaneufPaul LaDue

Starting goalie: Jonathan Quick