Tonight, hard core hockey fans will wait for their NHL eureka moment with breath held in anticipation. Their favorite NHL teams are scheduled to compete in the beginning of three game-seven matches that are soon to kick off the first bout of battles that ensue in the race for the 2014 Stanley Cup. Starting at 4 PM Pacific Time, the puck drops in Madison Square Gardens for the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers. The NHL games will be airing on NBCSN, TSN2 and French Canadian specialty channel RDS. The two NHL teams have been battling it out for a chance at the Stanley Cup in a close competition since they began playing against each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It has been 40 years since they played each other in seven games in the NHL, which the Flyers, nicknamed The Broad Street Bullies, won, and slipped into the Stanley Cup Finals.
Another NHL game starts at 6:30 PM, Pacific Time on CNBC, TSN2 and RDS. The Minnesota Wild forced a game seven rematch with the Colorado Avalanche when they won Monday’s contest 5-2. They will be coming to a head on home ice in Colorado where Minnesota is enthusiastic about winning and moving on to the NHL Finals. However, hockey fans of the Minnesota Wild may have to wait for their NHL eureka moment tonight as the Colorado Avalanche have two megastars on their roster. These two players, who were each given $98 million over a 13 year time frame, are expected to shine tonight for their NHL team. In the Avs corner is the Vezina Trophy Finalist, whom may have been inconsistent so far this season but whose game play is looked forward to as being exemplary. Waiting to put his best skate forward is another young go-getter of the NHL, who has a history of hitting it hard on home ice.
The third NHL game, featuring for a second straight season is, The Los Angeles Kings and The San Jose Sharks. The match begins at 7 PM Pacific Time and is also being aired on NBCSN, CBC and RDS2. In NHL history, only the L.A. Kings have rebounded from a 3-0 season shortfall and affected a seventh tie-breaking game. Last season the Kings played another seventh game with San Jose, which the Kings won 2-1 in overtime. Although they have been playing with lackluster agility lately, it seems the NHL team is ricocheting in the right direction now. A prominent member of the NHL team at one point had not been playing at his usual level. Now it looks like he may be perking up to the fact of how close his team is to having a shot at the Stanley Cup. Two other members of the Los Angeles Kings are former members of the Philadelphia Flyers, who back in 2010 led the Flyers to the NHL Finals against the Boston Bruins.
Meanwhile, people are carefully watching San Jose; they do not yet have the same conditioning as their opponent, the Kings. The NHL teams’ best forward players have only three goals in the past three matches. Yet there are still players on the Sharks roster to make for an exciting game tonight. Some injuries suffered by certain players may dampen the bravado of NHL fans, as they wait to enjoy a eureka moment while they watch the games tonight.
Commentary by Korrey Laderoute