The National Hockey League playoffs are off to a strong start for the two-month-long tournament, but there’s some more hockey to be watched at the end of the month.
The NHL Network will be airing games from the IHHF World Championships, being held in Slovakia, from April 29-May 15. Also, Versus will be carrying the Team USA games, as announced by USA Hockey.
Traditionally, players from the NHL clubs that do not make the playoffs, or make early exits, make up the rosters for most of the international teams, including the United States and Canada.
The early American roster has goalies Ty Conklin (Blues) and Al Montoya (Islanders), defensemen Mark Fayne (Devils), Mike Komisarek (Maple Leafs), Kevin Shattenkirk (Blues) and Mark Stuart (Thrashers) and forwards Mike Brown (Maple Leafs), Chris Kreider (Boston College), Andy Miele (Coyotes), Nick Palmieri (Devils), Chris Porter (Blues), Ryan Shannon (Senators), Jack Skille (Panthers), Tim Stapleton (Thrashers), Yan Stastny (CSKA Moscow) and Blake Wheeler (Thrashers).
The Canadian roster has goalies Devan Dubnyk (Oilers) and James Reimer (Maple Leafs), defensemen Brent Burns (Wild), Marc Methot (Blue Jackets), Dion Phaneuf (Maple Learfs), Alex Pietrangelo (Blues) and Luke Schenn (Maple Leafs) and forwards Cal Clutterbuck (Wild), Matthew Duchene (Avalanche), Jordan Eberle (Oilers), Evander Kane (Thrashers), Andrew Ladd (Thrashers), Rick Nash (Blue Jackets), Jeff Skinner (Hurricanes), Jason Spezza (Senators), Chris Stewart (Blues), John Tavares (Islanders), Antoine Vermette (Blue Jackets) and Travis Zajac (Devils).
An NHL spokesman said he did not have specifics of the NHL Network schedule, only to say he believed the Americans’ games would likely be aired in the United States, and he did not know about the status of the Canadian games.
The preliminary round schedule for USA and Canada (all times Eastern):
April 29, Canada vs. Belarus, 2:15 p.m.; April 30, USA vs. Austria, 10:15 a.m.; May 1, Canada vs. France, 10:15 a.m.; May 2, USA vs. Norway, 10:15 a.m.; May 3, Canada vs. Switzerland, 10:15 a.m.; May 4, USA vs. Sweden, 2:15 p.m.
Qualification-round games, featuring the top three finishers in four divisions, will be held May 5 (two games), May 6 (4), May 7 (4), May 8 (2) and May 9 (6). The quarterfinals will be held May 11 and 12 (10:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.). The semifinals will be held May 13 (10:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m.). The medal games will be held May 15, with the bronze game at 10 a.m. and the gold game at 2:30 p.m.