I love hockey, but I am getting tired of watching the 2011 NHL playoffs, on a seemingly non-stop reel, on NHL Network.
I don’t know what the viewer surveys revealed, but I think the offseason is a great time to show some old-time programming. Show some classic hockey games from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Let young viewers appreciate the talents of Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier. (Yes, I know the NHL Network ran its series of Stanley Cup clinchers for a brief time in July).
Replaying every single NHL playoff game from last season, over and over, is a waste of time. The fans of the losing teams sure don’t want to watch, and the fans of the winning teams already know the results and, unless you are a fan of the Boston Bruins, you already know how your season came to an end.
Plus, with the talent pool available from NHL Network, Versus, plus TSN, Rogers and CBC in Canada, you would think a weekly studio show wouldn’t be out of the question.
Anyway, enough griping … The good news is preseason hockey is back and the NHL Network will be airing some upcoming games. Here’s a look at the current schedule (first airings, most live):
Monday, Sept. 19 — Ottawa at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 20 — Philadelphia at Toronto, 7 p.m.; Calgary at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 21 — Detroit at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.; Toronto at Philadelphia, 10 p.m.; Boston at Ottawa, midnight
Thursday, Sept. 22 — Chicago at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.; Vancouver at Edmonton, midnight
Friday, Sept. 23 — Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24 — Minnesota at Pittsburgh, 3 p.m.; Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.; Anaheim at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 25 — Chicago at Detroit, 5 p.m.; San Jose at Vancouver, 9 p.m.; Edmonton at Calgary, midnight
Monday, Sept. 26 — TBD, 7 p.m.; Rangers-Philadelphia, 11 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 27 — Islanders at Calgary, 9 p.m.; Toronto at Ottawa, midnight
Wednesday, Sept. 28 — Vancouver at Anaheim, 10 p.m.; Detroit at Chicago, 1 a.m.; Carolina at Winnipeg, 3 a.m.
Thursday, Sept. 29 — Tampa Bay at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.; Vancouver at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.; Phoenix at Calgary, 2 a.m.; Devils at Philadelphia, 4 a.m.
Friday, Sept. 30 — Pittsburgh at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.; Toronto at Detroit, 1 a.m.; Nashville at Winnipeg, 4 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 1 — Detroit at Toronto, 7 p.m.; Edmonton at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 2 — Chicago at Washington, 5 p.m.; Pittsburgh at Detroit, 9 p.m.