NHL Playoff Picture: April 1, 2012

Today is the first day of April. The NHL regular season ends in a week. The playoff picture is becoming clearer by the day. Last night two Canadian teams (Winnipeg and Calgary) were officially eliminated. That is bad news for TSN. They won’t get to show a Canadian team in the first round for the second straight season.

12 teams have clinched a playoff spot. The Ottawa Senators will clinch one with a regulation win in any of their last four games (or a Buffalo loss). Here is how I think the Canadian networks would choose which series they would air if the playoffs started today.

1) San Jose Sharks @ Vancouver Canucks – CBC (Jim Hughson & Craig Simpson)
2) Ottawa Senators @ Boston Bruins – CBC (Bob Cole, Garry Galley & Glenn Healy)
3) Philadelphia Flyers @ Pittsburgh Penguins – TSN
4) Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers – CBC (Dean Brown & Greg Millen)
5) Nashville Predators @ Detroit Red Wings – TSN
6) Chicago Blackhawks @ Los Angeles Kings – CBC (Mark Lee & Kevin Weekes)
7) Phoenix Coyotes @ St. Louis Blues – TSN/TSN2
8) New Jersey Devils @ Florida Panthers – TSN2/TSN2

I think everything is quite straightforward. CBC would want the two Canadian teams, then TSN would take Crosby (it helps he’s playing Philly). Caps and Rangers is the best Eastern series left, and TSN like the Wings. Lastly, the Blackhawks and Kings are both more attractive than the Coyotes and Blues.

4 thoughts on “NHL Playoff Picture: April 1, 2012

  1. I am probably biased towards the Red Wings, but I think Detroit is a more attractive choice for CBC than Washington or the Rangers. However, CBC likes to have the National at 10 pm ET, and with Nashville being in the central time zone, game times would start at 8 pm, and run late. But, if Detroit is the 4th seed, only one of Nashville’s home games would be during the week, so only one night would have potential conflict. With all that, I think you’re right.

    • The problem is, I think, that CBC has to take 2 East and 2 West series. If they took NSH-DET, they’d have a ton of conflicts (and they’d be stuck with Florida-New Jersey probably). They would have to do a lot of regional coverage. The Kings give them doubleheaders.

  2. Penguins/Flyers is going to be great, and for TSN, if they can’t show a Canadian team, I’m sure they’re more than happy with this one.

  3. This is going to be a crazy week as we see where teams will finish. The Bruins are the only team that know where they will finish. The 2 games on Monday did nothing to make the playoff pairings any clearer. The western conference will have the Blues and Canucks in either 1st or 2nd. The 4th, 5th and 6th place teams will all be Central Division teams. The remaining three spots will be Pacific Division teams but the Avs could still finish 7th or 8th. In the east, the Bruins are locked into #2. The rest of the seedings are a mess. The battle of Pennsylvania is not a sure thing. Could we have a guess the 1st round playoff pairing contest? LOL.

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