As we celebrate the fact that the 2014 Sochi Olympics are just 100 days away, NHL Live brings Brian Leetch into the studio. One of the most-decorated international players to ever wear a sweater for the United States, Leetch will discuss his Olympic memories, as well as his new duties with the NHL's Department of Player Safety.
As always, NHL Live also has the NHL action from a busy Tuesday covered as well. Thomas Vanek will make his debut for the New York Islanders in their game against the New York Rangers. Arthur Staple of Newsday will break it down during an Arena Cam hit from the Nassau Coliseum. Other Arena Cam guests include NHL.com's Dan Rosen from the Prudential Center and Eddie Olczyk from the United Center. Rosen will preview the Tampa Bay Lightning-New Jersey Devils game, as well as provide a sneak peek of his Wednesday notebook on NHL.com, Over the Boards.
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang and Toronto Maple Leafs right wing David Clarkson are returning Friday night and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will have live updates from Pittsburgh and Columbus from our Arena Cam. We'll also have a look at a #FlashbackFriday as the Ottawa Senators' Bobby Ryan is back facing his old team on NHL Network.
Plus, we'll have our first edition of the "Face-Off" as EJ and Barry Melrose debate three interesting topics: Best Team, Best Defenseman to Build Around, and Who's to Blame for the struggles in Buffalo.
Also, it's a fairly busy Friday night with six games in the NHL and it's even busier for eight of the 12 teams as they play the first or second of back-to-back games. Vancouver concludes a seven-game trip in St. Louis against a Blues team that hasn't played in a week. Meanwhile, the Carolina Hurricanes play the last of a four-game road swing in Colorado after being in Minnesota last night. The Avalanche have been off since Monday.
E.J. Hradek Game Picks Friday October 25th:
E.J.'s Season Record: 64-30-5
E.J. Hradek Game Picks Thursday October 24th:
Anahein Ducks vs Montreal Canadiens - Ducks
E.J.'s Season Record: 57-27-5
A big night in the NHL on Thursday as 10 games are on the schedule and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will also be celebrating Hockey Fights Cancer. We'll get live reports from Kenny Albert in Philadelphia, Billy Jaffe in Boston and Eddie Olcyzk in Tampa Bay.
Also, we'll get a full preview of the Minnesota Wild vs. Carolina Hurricanes game as Wild forward Jason Pominville will join us. Minnesota has won four straight against Carolina. On the Canes' side, defenseman Justin Faulk will join us as he returns to his home state, where he also starred for the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He's also expected to go head-to-head against his former Bulldog teammate Justin Fontaine, who is skating on Minnesota's top line.
It is Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN as the Boston Bruins and Buffalo Sabres square off and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will preview this Atlantic Division matchup. We'll go to the Arena and talk to NBCSN analyst Pierre McGuire, who will be "Inside The Glass" for the game.
The big story tonight is Daniel Alfredsson of the Detroit Red Wings facing his former team for the first time as Detroit takes on the Ottawa Senators at Joe Louis Arena. Alfredsson spent 17 seasons with the Senators and is off to a good start with his new team (nine points in 10 games). While it may not have the fanfare that's expected for his Dec. 1 return to Canada's capital, it should be a great game between two teams that advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year. It also features two of the best American-born goaltenders as Craig Anderson faces Jimmy Howard, who is 3-0-0 in his career against Ottawa.
E.J. Hradek Game Picks Tuesday October 22nd:
E.J.'s Season Record: 50-24-5
Eight games on the Tuesday schedule and NHL Live, at 5 p.m. ET on NHL Network, will get you ready for the action. The Anaheim Ducks go for an eight straight win tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs and we'll get a live report from our Arena Cam at Air Canada Centre as well as show the warm-ups of the early games in our Ice Pass.
But the highlight of Tuesday's show will be a very special live appearance from Hall of Famer Bobby Orr, who will be stopping by the NHL Store in New York to sign copies of his new book, "Orr: My Story."
Some of our younger viewers may only be familiar with him from black-and-white photos or grainy video, so here are a couple of facts just to put his amazing career in perspective: He won two scoring titles as a defenseman, and during an era of some outstanding forwards (Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, Phil Esposito, Stan Mikita, etc.). He also had a career plus-minus of plus-597, including plus-124 in one season. But the book is so much more than just a typical historical autobiography. We'll discuss its topics and his remarkable career on the show today.
NHL Live at 5 p.m. ET on Monday on NHL Network will get you ready for your hockey week. NHL Network analyst Barry Melrose will be on the show to break down each NHL division and NHL Network Insider Bob McKenzie will stop by to discuss the latest buzz around the NHL.
Also Monday, the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Colorado Avalanche in a game which features two of the NHL's best teams and brightest stars. In addition to the much-anticipated Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia showdown of Nathan MacKinnon and Sidney Crosby, five other top-three draft picks will be on the ice (Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury, Colorado's Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene, and Erik Johnson). MacKinnon will join us on the show to talk about his first impressions of NHL life, early recollections of Crosby and life as a tenant in the home of goaltender Jean-Sebastian Giguere. Giguere will start tonight for the Avs, who are a perfect 4-0-0 on the road, while the Penguins are 5-0-0 at home.