The Boston Bruins playoffs 2012 have begun (click here to see the schedules for the other teams) and the race to possibly repeat as Stanley Cup champions is underway. Get ready as needed: stop shaving, clear your schedule, set your DVR, print your brackets, start your superstitions, whatever you need to do. Bring on the Washington Capitals.
The first two games of the series will be played in Boston on April 12 and April 14. The April 12 game will be at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and April 14′s 3 p.m. matinee is on NBC.
Then the series shifts to Washington for April 16 and April 19 games, each at 7:30 p.m., each on NBC Sports Network.
Should more games be necessary, they’ll be on April 21, April 22 and April 25. Only the April 22 game would be played in Washington and the April 21 game would also be a 3 p.m. NBC matinee.
If more games are needed, we’ll update with more information as soon as it’s available.
This is the first year that each and every quarterfinal game has been carried nationally on various NBC networks. NESN also has rights to the quarterfinal games that are not on NBC, but will lose broadcasting rights after that. Though most fans (myself included) dislike the commentary tandems on NBC networks, the fact that they are willing to put so much of their programming time into hockey is a good sign–they know it’s big and just going to get bigger, so they’re hoping to draw in new viewers and strengthen existing ones by showing all of the postseason.
It also comes as no surprise that these games are getting plush broadcasting perches, considering that they involve the Stanley Cup champions. Other series might be relegated to CNBC or NHL Network, but not the Bruins.
The Capitals are in an interesting situation: both Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth are hurt, so Braden Holtby is minding the net primarily. If those six 20+ goal scorers on the Bruins figure out how to solve him, things could go Boston’s way in this series. It’ll be fun to see if someone emerges to surprise everyone in the postseason. I’m predicting Benoit Pouliot, especially considering he’s part of a great third line.
Granted, it is hard to repeat as champions, and no one’s done it since 1997 and 1998, but let’s not count out the potential this team has. You never know what could happen. That’s the beauty, and sometimes the agony, of the playoffs.
Stay right here for up-to-date coverage of the Bruins’ playoff run.