As the regular season winds down and the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs approach, NHL Network U.S. and NHL.com are setting the stage with a slate of special programming over the next four days, including a preview show analyzing the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals will battle for playoff positioning and a Southeast Division title on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET on NHL Network U.S. Florida needs one point tonight to clinch the division and its first playoff berth in 12 years, but if Washington wins in regulation, first place in the Southeast will be decided Saturday, the final day of the regular season.
On Friday at 6 p.m. ET, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award Ceremony will air as part of the Cisco NHL Live show. The 2012 Hobey Baker Memorial Award, honoring college hockey’s top player, will be given out at a ceremony hosted by the Tampa Bay Lightning at the MacDill Air Force Base. This year’s finalists are Spencer Abbott, senior forward from the University of Maine; Jack Connolly, senior forward from the University of Minnesota-Duluth and Austin Smith, senior forward from Colgate University.
Abbott signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Smith, a fifth-round selection in 2007, signed with the Dallas Stars. During the award ceremony, Hobey Baker’s great-great-nephew Christo Morse will be accepting the Croix de Guerre (Cross of War) on Baker’s behalf, a military decoration of France honoring servicemen and women who serve on behalf of foreign military forces allied with France. The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Ceremony also will be streamed live on NHL.com.
On Saturday, the NHL Network and NHL.com will be working overtime on the final day of the regular season.
From 4 to 6:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network’s David Amber, EJ Hradek and Jamie McLennan will cut in at the top and bottom of each hour to provide instant analysis and commentary on the implications as postseason matchups continue to take shape. These segments also will be available on NHL.com.
Following that, a simulcast of CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada: Hockey Tonight will provide a preview of Saturday night’s games.
At 7 p.m. ET, NHL On the Fly will kick off a three-hour show with a number of playoff spots and positions still in play during the final hours of the 2011-12 regular season. Amber, Hradek and McLennan will provide up-to-the-minute coverage with Team-Cam interviews from arenas and live look-ins on the games as they’re being contested.
The busy day concludes at 10 p.m. ET with NHL Tonight. Host Kathryn Tappen will be joined by analysts Paul Maurice and Mike Johnson to take fans through the end of the night as the final matchups for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs are at long last revealed.
On Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, NHL Tonight Playoff Scheduling Show will take a deep dive into the schedule for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Host Brian Duff will be joined by analysts Paul Maurice, Hradek and McLennan to provide fans a first look at everything they need to know about the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including how and when to tune in to every game. This show also will be streamed on NHL.com.