STAMFORD, Conn. – June 3, 2015 – NBC Sports Group began its exclusive coverage of its 10th consecutive Stanley Cup Final tonight with Game 1 featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning on NBC.
Three-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator and Sports Illustrated 2014 Media Person of the Year Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire had the call of Game 1 tonight from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. This marks the ninth consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire will combine to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports Group.
Coverage began at 6:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live led by host Dave Briggs, alongside analysts Jeremy Roenick, Anson Carter and Brian Boucher on-set outside of Amalie Arena. Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:15 p.m. ET with host Liam McHugh, who was joined by analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones, and NHL insider Bob McKenzie.
Tonight’s pre-game coverage on NBCSN also featured sit-down interviews with Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews. In addition, Briggs and Roenick interviewed long-time Lightning fan and wrestling legend Hulk Hogan on-set outside of Amalie Arena.
Click here for McGuire’s interview with Stamkos.
Click here for McGuire’s interview with Toews.
Click here for segment with Hogan.
NHL Live on NBCSN (6:30-8 p.m. ET)
Roenick on the Blackhawks: “They’re probably as close as you can get to a dynasty in the modern cap era. They win big games in key moments – that’s what the Chicago Blackhawks are about.”
Carter on the Lightning: “What makes this team so exciting is their ability to score goals at will. They are never out of the hockey game.”
Roenick on Jonathan Toews: “Call him ‘Captain Serious’ or ‘Captain Clutch’ – Jonathan Toews is the best captain in all of sports.”
McKenzie on news of Pittsburgh Penguins ownership, including Mario Lemieux, possibly selling stake in club: “The Pittsburgh Penguins, or maybe a part of (ownership of the team), may be for sale. Owner Ron Burkle and Mario Lemieux have contracted Morgan Stanley to get a valuation on the club. The sense seems to be right now that of the two owners, Mario Lemieux more than Ron Burkle, would be interested in divesting his equity…will Mario Lemieux simply walk away from the Penguins? It’s been suggested to me that that won’t necessarily be the case, that even if he does sell, he’ll retain some minority stake, or continue some arrangement with the team.”
Hogan on the Lightning: “The Rangers and a lot of other teams know the power of the Lightning, brother. When the power of the bolt hits you, there’s nowhere to go but down.”
Roenick on Stamkos: “He’s one of the most humble players in the game. He never brings any attention to himself, yet he goes out there and produces every single night.”
Boucher on value of Stanley Cup Final experience: “What’s different is what happens off the ice. That’s where the distractions lie. It’s a zoo. If you have the experience going through that, it can go a long way towards helping you win.”
Jones on Blackhawks’ defensemen Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook: “They have shown no fatigue. They have made intelligent decisions. This is who (Lightning defenseman) Victor Hedman wants to be.”
Milbury on Blackhawks: “The Chicago Blackhawks are playing for their legacy. I think their loss to Los Angeles last year really stung them.”
Game 1 on NBC (8 p.m. ET)
Emrick: “For the first time ever, a playoff series between the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning. Even better, it’s for the oldest trophy competed for by professional athletes in North America.”
McGuire on series-opening goal: “An unbelievable display of hand-eye coordination by Alex Killorn, batting it out of the air and past Corey Crawford.”
Milbury on strong start by Lightning: “This was a well-coordinated sneak attack by the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nobody saw this coming. This is totally new, very aggressive – and sometimes dangerous.”
Milbury on Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford: “In the absence of their fire power, he has to be better than consistent, and he’s been terrific after Chicago frittered away three power play chances.”
Jones on Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman: “Hedman has been an absolute monster in this game, as he’s been throughout the playoffs.”
Milbury on Hedman: “We knew he could play offensively, but I’ve been really surprised by how well he’s played in his own zone.”
Milbury on Blackhawks: “They’ve been the prey, not the predators, for most of the night.”
Emrick on increased pressure by Blackhawks early in third period: “A certain concern going through the arena here.”
Olczyk on tying goal by Chicago’s Teuvo Teravainen: “Ben Bishop can’t see this puck. He has no idea because of the screen in front of the net by Marcus Kruger and Valtteri Filppula.”
Emrick on Teravainen after assisting on eventual game-winner: “The kid’s only 20, he has a goal and an assist, and has swung the game for the Blackhawks – two in 1:58.”
Olczyk on turnover in Lightning zone, leading to eventual game-winner: “When you bring the puck into the middle of the ice in your own zone, more times than not, something bad is going to happen.”
Olczyk on Crawford: “The game could have easily been 2-0 or 3-0 before his team got on track…Crawford was the key guy to give his team an opportunity when they really didn’t have their best game.”
Milbury on Lightning: “They took the lead, and then they just sat back and waited for disaster to happen – and sure enough, it did.”
Jones on Lightning: “The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to be kicking themselves because of the way they played in the third period.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–