Exclusive Coverage of Conference Finals Begins Saturday, May 14, on VERSUS with Game 1 Between Tampa Bay and Boston at 8 p.m. ET; NBC’s Coverage Begins Saturday, May 21, at 1:30 p.m. ET with Game 4 Between Tampa Bay and Boston
“Beware the hot goalie with experience—this describes both Tim Thomas of Boston and Dwayne Roloson of Tampa Bay. These two teams have blown out opponents with their offense so the stars are aligned for a magnificent Conference Final.” – Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick on Boston-Tampa Bay Series
NEW YORK (May 12, 2011)– The NBC Sports Group continues its wall-to-wall coverage of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs as NBC, VERSUS and Comcast SportsNet showcase the Conference Finals, set to begin this Saturday. Before any third-round game can be played though, the last Conference Semifinal series will be decided with a highly-anticipated Game 7 on VERSUS tonight between Detroit and San Jose at 9 p.m. ET. Prior to the game, VERSUS will televise an extended, one-hour version of Hockey Central at 8 p.m. ET.
VERSUS will begin airing the Conference Finals with Game 1 of the Tampa Bay-Boston series this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. Western Conference Final action continues Sunday on VERSUS with the winner of the San Jose-Detroit series facing Vancouver at 8 p.m. ET. NBC’s coverage will begin on May 21, at 1:30 p.m. ET, with Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final when Tampa Bay hosts Boston.
VERSUS’ coverage of the Conference Finals is exclusive and not subject to any local blackouts. VERSUS will air all Conference Finals games for both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals with the exception of Games 4 for each series, which will air on NBC. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2011 NHL Playoffs will culminate with exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final in primetime in June with NBC broadcasting Games 1-2 and 5-7 (if necessary), and VERSUS presenting exclusive coverage of Games 3 and 4.
Emmy-award winner Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play) and Eddie Olczyk (analyst) will anchor NBC and VERSUS’ coverage of the Tampa Bay-Boston series with Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass) for Game 1 and possibly Games 5-7. Joe Micheletti will serve as the “inside-the-glass” analyst for Games 2-4. Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (analyst) will be in the booth for all the Western Conference Final action along with Darren Pang inside-the-glass. NBC’s studio show will feature host Liam McHugh and analyst Mike Milbury.
Each night the network televises a playoff game, VERSUS will kick off the broadcast with a Hockey Central pregame show 30 minutes prior to puck-drop. Hosted by either Bill Patrick or Liam McHugh with Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick, Hockey Central will preview the night’s action in the Conference Finals. To wrap up each night, the Hockey Central postgame show will have the latest highlights, news, analysis, and player interviews. Throughout the Conference Finals, Hockey Central will continue to feature guest analysts, including Mike Keenan.
COMCAST SPORTSNET: Comcast SportsNet New England (CSN NE) will offer comprehensive local on-air and online coverage of the Bruins-Lightning series every night with Chevrolet SportsNet Central at 6 p.m. ET as well as Chevrolet SportsNet Central Extra on days/nights leading into VERSUS and NBC’s game coverage. Additionally, following each national telecast during the series, CSN NE will host a post-game show featuring in-depth analysis and player interviews.
If San Jose advances with a win tonight in Game 7, Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and California will have extensive on-air and online analysis of the Sharks during the Western Conference Final.
NBC/VERSUS hockey analysts will make periodic appearances on Comcast SportsNet’s expansive coverage throughout the Conference Finals.
DIGITAL: NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com have combined forces to create a single, robust destination for hockey fans during the NHL Playoffs. The NBC Sports Group consolidated NHL content from both the NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com’s hockey sections onto the rapidly-growing NBCSports.com site. One of the key content areas is ProHockeyTalk, one of NBCSports.com‘s popular “Sports Talk” platforms that also include ProFootballTalk, CollegeFootballTalk, HardBallTalk, ProBasketballTalk and ProGolfTalk.
During the playoffs on NBCSports.com, fans can follow all the NHL Playoffs action with live streaming of NBC games, NHL videos, cross-platform promotions, social media and more. Some of the features on NBCSports.com include:
- Online-only videos featuring VERSUS and NBC Sports hockey commentators previewing upcoming playoff games and wrapping-up all of the NHL action that day.
- “Star-Cam,” which follows marquee players in NBC games, and “Net-Cam,” which provides a unique perspective from behind the goalie.
- ProHockeyTalk, which recently had its most-trafficked month ever, will update NHL Playoff news around the clock.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Fans can also keep up with the NHL playoffs through a variety of NBC Sports and VERSUS social media platforms throughout the postseason. Content will include:
- Behind the Scenes: Through the joint “NHL on NBC and VERSUS” Facebook page and @NHLonNBC_VS on Twitter, fans receive exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, interviews and video.
- Commentator Tweets: Various NBC and VERSUS commentators will provide Twitter content throughout the playoffs, including occasional in-game Tweets.
- Fan Questions: Fans will have the opportunity to ask questions to NBC and VERSUS commentators via Facebook and Twitter.
- Team Tabs: Fans who “Like” the joint NBC and VERSUS Facebook page will have the opportunity to play a variety of games and upload fan photos based around each of their favorite teams who made the playoffs. As teams advance in the playoffs, new and more difficult games will challenge fans.
- News: Fans can follow NBC and VERSUS Facebook and Twitter accounts to receive the most up to date scores, reports and stories from around the NHL and ProHockeyTalk.
NBC SPORTS CONFERENCE FINAL SCHEDULE (all times ET)
Saturday, May 21
1:30 p.m. Boston at Tampa Bay, Game 4
Sunday, May 22
3 p.m. Western Conference, Game 4
VERSUS CONFERENCE FINAL SCHEDULE (all times ET)
Saturday, May 14
8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Boston, Game 1
Sunday, May 15
8 p.m. Western Conference, Game 1
Tuesday, May 17
8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Boston, Game 2
Wednesday, May 18
9 p.m. Western Conference, Game 2
Thursday, May 19
8 p.m. Boston at Tampa Bay, Game 3
Friday, May 20
9 p.m. Western Conference, Game 3
Monday, May 23
8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Boston, Game 5*
Tuesday, May 24
9 p.m. Western Conference, Game 5*
Wednesday, May 25
8 p.m. Boston at Tampa Bay, Game 6*
Thursday, May 26
9 p.m. Western Conference, Game 6*
Friday, May 27
8 p.m. Tampa Bay at Boston, Game 7*
Saturday, May 28
8 p.m. Western Conference, Game 7*