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Or should I say Party Ruiner.
For those of you that haven’t heard, the NHL has moved the start of the Stanley Cup Finals to accommodate NBC. NBC has the rights to the first two games and they do not want to take the chance of an overtime game infringing on Conan O’Brien’s first week as host of the Tonight Show.
The result of the scheduling is that games one and two will take place on back-to-back nights this weekend with game three taking place on Tuesday. Yes, that’s three games in four days.
This is an obvious advantage for the Pittsburgh Penguins since they swept the Hurricanes out of the finals and the Detroit Red Wings took five games to send the kids from Chicago home. Pittsburgh gets three days rest before the finals and Detroit gets two.
The lack of rest could have a dramatic effect as Detroit is dealing with several players injured. Selke Award and Lady Bing Award finalist Pavel Datsyuk, Norris Trophy finalist and Team Captain Nicklas Lidstrom, veteran Kris Draper, and defense-man Jonathan Ericsson highlight the list of broken Wings.
If the golden boy, Sidney Crosby, were nursing an injury would the NHL allow NBC to rush them into these finals?
On a side note, NBC doesn't even pay the NHL to broadcast its games. In fact, the NHL has to wait until NBC has recouped its production costs before getting anything from the network.
Good News for WingNuts
No thanks to the league, but the Wings look to be on the mend.
- Ericsson plans to be back from his appendix surgery in time for game one.
- Lidstrom, who has missed games four and five against Chicago; Datsyuk out since game two; and Draper also out games four and five all took to the ice in this morning’s skate.