Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin’s season is not over quite yet.
According to a source who asked not to be named, NBC Sports Washington will air Washington Capitals games in the round robin and the first round of the playoffs locally if the NHLPA approves the new CBA and return-to-play protocols. That means Beninati, Laughlin, and analyst Alan May will be back on our televisions for seven to 10 games before handing off to NBC Sports and Sportsnet for national coverage throughout the rest of the postseason.
The start of the 24-team playoff will see the best four teams in each conference play each other to determine seeding in the first round while the five thru 12 seeds will play each other in a best of five series to determine who advances. All four rounds of the playoffs afterward will be seven-game series. The East will play in Toronto while the West will take the ice in Edmonton.
Three games will be played in both Toronto and Edmonton to start the 24-team playoff, beginning at 12 PM (EST) and ending around midnight – a total of 15 hours of hockey per day. The league is aiming to start the postseason in late July or early August. Round robin games likely will begin at 4 PM. The Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Final are tentatively scheduled to be played in Edmonton.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski reported earlier in the day that the qualification and round-robin games of the NHL’s 24-team playoff will be aired on each team’s regional sports network.
“The NHL is still working on U.S. broadcast plans for its 24-team postseason restart. The qualification and round-robin games will be shown locally on regional sports networks,” Wyshynski wrote. “Discussions are ongoing this week about how many of those games will be shown nationally on NBCSN.”
In the past, NBC Sports Washington has aired games through the first round of the playoffs before handing off to NBC Sports and Sportsnet.
In the eight years previous, NBC Sports aired every NHL playoff game in the United States nationally on top of the local coverage that was provided in the early rounds. It’s unclear if they will do so again this year.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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