NHL on NBC

Ready for some hockey? Green Day song may be new NHL anthem

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The NHL could be on the way to its version of ”Are You Ready For Some Football?”

The league is announcing a two-year partnership with Green Day that includes an opening song for NBC Sports’ ”Wednesday Night Hockey.” The song, ”Ready, Fire, Aim” isn’t custom-made for the NHL and will be on Green Day’s next album, though it’s likely a matter of time until Green Day or another band follows what Hank Williams Jr. and later Carrie Underwood did for the NFL.

”That I think will probably be the evolution,” NHL chief content officer and executive Vice President Steve Mayer said. ”If you look at our season and how many times this thing is going to be on, it’ll become an anthem. The song, we’re using slap shots, it’s about scoring and speed – ”Fire, Ready, Aim” – I think people will start associating this.”

Green Day’s open will debut Oct. 9. The band will also perform at the All-Star Game in St. Louis in late January, and new singles from its album will be released on ”Wednesday Night Hockey.”

”We’re going to try some bold thing,” Mayer said. ”The performance that we’re talking about at All-Star will be epic.”

Green Day songs will be incorporated into arena mixes around the NHL and provide the soundtrack for much of the season on NBC Sports Network and NBC.

”We think it fits really well with hockey,” NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood said. ”The song and the way it’s executed is really fun.”

Fourteen of the band’s upcoming tour stops will come in NHL markets, including Seattle, which will join the league in 2021.

”Green Day, just the energy, how they have this great history but they keep on sort of reinventing themselves, they just work for us,” Mayer said. ”Their music is going to be part of a lot of what we’re doing.”

WATCH LIVE: Blues look to top Bruins, win Stanley Cup in Game 6

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Game 6: Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues (Blues lead series 3-2)
NBC
Call: Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
Stream here

The Stanley Cup will be in the building as NBC Sports’ exclusive coverage of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final continues with Game 6 on Sunday, June 9, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC from Enterprise Center in St. Louis. Vladimir Tarasenko and the Blues are on the brink of winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history after a Game 5 victory Thursday night, while Brad Marchand and the Boston Bruins look to stave off elimination and extend the series to a decisive Game 7.

Sunday’s coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN with a two-hour edition of NHL Live from St. Louis before moving to NBC at 8 p.m. ET.

NHL Live will feature outdoor sets in St. Louis to capture the scene amongst the fans, as the city hopes to welcome its first-ever Stanley Cup championship. Liam McHugh will anchor pre-game, intermission, and post-game coverage on-site, alongside analysts and former players Mike Milbury and Keith Jones. Kathryn Tappen will host pre-game and post-game coverage from outdoor sets in St. Louis, alongside analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick, Patrick Sharp, Brian Boucher, and Anson Carter.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

Here’s the full 2019 Stanley Cup Final schedule:

(All times ET, subject to change).

GAME 1Monday, May 27: Bruins 4, Blues 2
GAME 2Wednesday, May 29: Blues 3, Bruins 2 (OT)
GAME 3Saturday, June 1: Bruins 7, Blues 2
GAME 4Monday, June 3: Blues 4, Bruins 2
GAME 5Thursday, June 6: Blues 2, Bruins 1 (Blues leads series 3-2)
GAME 6Sunday, June 9: Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*GAME 7Wednesday, June 12: St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*If necessary

You can stream every single game of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final by clicking here.

MORE BLUES-BRUINS:
Barbashev will miss Game 6 of Stanley Cup due to suspension
Bruins’ Chara says there are ‘no limitations’ playing through injury

Tarasenko will be ready for Game 6 after birth of son
Three keys to Game 6
Blues keeping emotions in check with ‘big job ahead’ in Game 6
Pucks tell the story of Blues’ rollercoaster season

Doc is in: Emrick not slowing down in his dream job

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BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues’ morning skates are over and a handful of broadcasters have taken the ice to re-enact a play from this bruising Stanley Cup Final.

In the otherwise empty stands is a singular figure having a good chuckle at the retired players doing their best to go over the Xs and Os.

But Mike Emrick doesn’t sit still for long. It’s a rare moment of pause for a man seemingly always in motion. A car comes to take him back to his hotel seven hours before Game 2 so he can get a quick change of clothes for his on-air work. Then it’s back to work.

The man known as ”Doc” because he has a doctorate in broadcasting is working the 21st Stanley Cup Final of his illustrious career. He has been honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame and is the voice of the sport in America, a rapid-fire storyteller who is beloved from the Shark Tank to Madison Square Garden. Colleague Kenny Albert calls him the Vin Scully of hockey, and the admiration level in hockey circles is just as great.

At 72, still calling games on the NHL’s biggest stage, Emrick is in his prime and showing no signs of slowing down or stepping away from broadcasting the fastest game on ice.

”I really wanted to do it from the time I saw my first game, but a lot of people really want to do something and they don’t get to,” Emrick said. ”When you have a job like that, you’re never working the rest of your life. So it’s been 46 years. I don’t know when it’ll end. God only knows.”

Emrick is so enthusiastic on the air during games that New York Rangers president John Davidson wonders when his former broadcast partner is going to come up for air. Not during the most important time of year for Emrick. This love affair goes back a ways, to when he was a kid sitting at Fort Wayne (Indiana) Komets games, practicing calls in the corner on Wednesday afternoons with his reel-to-reel, battery-operated tape recorder from the music store his dad owned.

Down time for Emrick comes mostly in the summer when he and Joyce, his wife of almost 41 years, go on camping trips to small towns, mostly in Michigan or visit his brother and stepmother who still live in his Indiana hometown. He does like to watch his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates. During the season, they like going to lunch and at night sit together in the living room with their two dogs Joybells and Liberty – he’s watching hockey and she’s watching veterinarian shows.

”That’s a nice night for us,” Emrick says. ”It’s probably not a life many people would find really exciting, but we enjoy it.”

Joyce and dogs are the centerpieces of Emrick’s universe that has plenty of room for the people who consider themselves lucky to call him a friend. That includes broadcast partners of various vintages – Eddie Olczyk, Glenn ”Chico” Resch, Bill Clement and Davidson. He has helped many through difficult times by listening or simply lighting a candle in church for them.

”Just the support part of it from Doc is what is the most important thing,” said Olczyk, who leaned on Emrick when he was battling cancer. ”He doesn’t even have to say anything, but if you just get a text or a picture or whatever, you know he’s thinking about you. Having been through it himself, that’s what friends do. I look at Doc as a friend.”

Emrick is 28 years removed from prostate cancer. He got the call from Hershey Medical Center on a Friday night while he was on the road in Montreal doing play by play for the Philadelphia Flyers. He waited two days to tell Joyce in person – saying she was going to need to be a rock because he didn’t know what to expect – but right away he told Clement, who considers Emrick as close as a brother.

Clement’s admiration for Emrick as a broadcaster rivals only that for Doc the human being.

”When you listen to him on the air or see him on the air, he’s a real person,” Clement said. ”He’s a real person with an unbelievable gift that he grew himself to describe and to use the English language.”

Ah yes, Emrick’s style.

Hockey moves fast and all of its play-by-play announcers need to keep up. Doc loves his verbs – one fan famously counted 153 used in one game – and finding fun or interesting ways to describe the action. A pass isn’t just a pass to Emrick – the puck was squibbed, rifled, wanded, even soccered and the puck isn’t just stopped by a goaltender, it’s waffleboarded, gloved or sticked away. Goals usually get a big ”And he scorrrrrrrrrrrres!” from Emrick to match the moment and his deep knowledge of the game allows him to get just as excited by the little things that can turn a game – a puck ringing off a post, an a oh-so-close pass, a jaw-dropping save.

”Doc pushes himself to reinvent things and to be the best and to try new things and be different and yet not be a caricature,” Clement said.

Never is he off the rails. No less an admirer than the late Frank DeFord described Emrick as ”a connoisseur” whose eloquence is somehow the perfect balance for the frantic, scrambling nature of hockey.

Albert was a statistician for Emrick for games in the 1980s and used to write down quintessential Doc phrases he’d eventually take pieces of and he sat behind him during the call of Sidney Crosby‘s golden goal at the 2010 Olympics. Whenever Doc and Joyce Emrick decide he should call it a career, Albert may be the most likely person to succeed him as the top NBC Sports hockey play-by-play guy. That day does not seem imminent.

The Emricks don’t have kids but have raised several dogs always referred to as their canine children. He skipped the 2002 Olympics because one of their 4-year-old dogs, Katie, was sick; the Emricks have named two of their dogs Liberty after the veterinary surgeon who tried to save Katie. Emrick’s love for dogs , minor league hockey and the Pirates is far better known than his faith and involvement with hockey ministries, a huge part of his life.

”He doesn’t come across as super religious or come off as judgmental,” Resch said. ”But that’s really what motivates him. He’s got a calling on a lot of different levels. … He doesn’t want to let anyone down.”

Emrick doesn’t know when he was ”destined” to do this but his place in hockey broadcasting is clear.

”He’s a guy that’s found a way to become a major part of sports in the United States,” Davidson said. ”He’s worked for everything. He doesn’t want to be treated like a superstar, but he is in his own field.”

Emrick certainly gets the superstar treatment around the rink or at the airport when people ask for a photo or an autograph. As long as it doesn’t keep him from his work, Emrick has always obliged. Now going year to year on the decision of whether to call another season, Emrick has so far kept rolling.

”I always do,” he said, ”because I’ll miss it when it doesn’t happen.”

More AP NHL: http://www.apnews.com/NHL and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Sports

WATCH LIVE: Blues host Bruins in Game 4 of Stanley Cup Final

Game 4: Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues (Bruins lead series 2-1)
NBC
Call: Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
Stream here

Tonight’s pre-game coverage on NBCSN will begin at 6 p.m. ET with a two-hour edition of NHL Live, featuring outdoor sets amongst the fans to capture the crazy atmosphere in St. Louis. Liam McHugh will anchor pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage on-site, alongside analysts and former players Mike Milbury and Keith Jones. Kathryn Tappen will host pre-game and post-game coverage alongside analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick, Brian Boucher, Anson Carter, and Patrick Sharp.

Tonight’s coverage will include a number of St. Louis and Blues-centric elements, including features on 11-year-old Laila Anderson, a Blues super-fan who is battling a rare disease called HLH, a systemic inflammatory syndrome. There will also be features on Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, whose path to the Stanley Cup Final first took him through the Bruins’ minor league system, as well as Bruins defenseman Torey Krug, who made history for the Bruins in Game 3 with his power-play performance.

NHL Live pre-game coverage will also include interviews with top American 2019 NHL Draft prospects Jack Hughes and Alex Turcotte, leading up to draft day on June 21-22. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright is expected to join the set prior to Game 4 to discuss how the city of St. Louis has rallied behind the Blues throughout their playoff run.

Wayne Gretzky is also expected to join the set during first intermission of Game 4 tonight on NBC, and Emmy award-winning actor and Blues fan Jon Hamm will make an appearance during tonight’s second intermission.

Here’s the full 2019 Stanley Cup Final schedule:

(All times ET, subject to change).

GAME 1Monday, May 27: Bruins 4, Blues 2
GAME 2Wednesday, May 29: Blues 3, Bruins 2 (OT)
GAME 3Saturday, June 1: Bruins 7, Blues 2 (Bruins lead series 2-1)
GAME 4Monday, June 3: Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*GAME 5Thursday, June 6: St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*GAME 6Sunday, June 9: Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*GAME 7Wednesday, June 12: St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*If necessary

You can stream every single game of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final by clicking here.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

MORE BLUES-BRUINS:
• Vince Dunn back in Blues’ lineup for Game 4
Berube keeping the faith in Binnington after rough Game 3
Stanley Cup photos inside Bruins’ dressing room serve as inspiration
Conn Smythe Power Rankings entering Game 4
Fan runs 28 miles with giant Blues flag to attend Game 3

WATCH LIVE: Blues, Bruins face off in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final

Game 1: St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins
NBC
Call: Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
Stream here

Mike Tirico will host tonight’s Game 1 coverage from TD Garden. Liam McHugh will anchor pre-game, intermission and post-game coverage on-site, alongside analysts and former players Mike Milbury and Keith Jones. Kathryn Tappen will host pre-game and post-game coverage from outside sets in Boston, capturing the scene amongst the fans alongside analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick, Brian Boucher, Anson Carter and Patrick Sharp.

Pre-game coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN with two-hour edition of NHL Live.

Here’s the full 2019 Stanley Cup Final schedule:

(All times ET, subject to change).

GAME 1Monday, May 27: St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
GAME 2Wednesday, May 29: St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins | 8 p.m. ET,  NBCSN
GAME 3Saturday, June 1: Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues | 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN
GAME 4Monday, June 3: Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*GAME 5Thursday, June 6: St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*GAME 6Sunday, June 9: Boston Bruins at St. Louis Blues | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*GAME 7Wednesday, June 12: St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins | 8 p.m. ET, NBC
*If necessary

You can also stream every single game of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final by clicking here.

[NBC 2019 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

STANLEY CUP FINAL PREVIEW
Who has the better forwards?
Who has the better defensemen?
Who has the better goaltending?
Who has the better special teams?

X-factors for Blues, Bruins
PHT Power Rankings: Conn Smythe favorites
How the Blues were built
How the Bruins were built