What To Watch: Fri. 3/4 – Sun. 3/6

All times are Pacific.

Friday March 4th

NY Rangers at Washington Capitals – 4pm NHLN: One of the best scoring teams in the league (Caps) go against one of the best defensive teams in the league (Rangers).

LillardPortland Trail Blazers at Toronto Raptors – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: Portland is coming on strong led by Damian Lillard but Toronto on a Friday night is very tough place to play.

 

Saturday March 5th

Tottenham vs Arsenal – 4:45am NBCSN: Great rivalry and it means a lot to who plays European soccer next year.

Bayern Munich vs Borussia Dortmund – 9am FX: Last minute addition by FOX. Now people can watch probably the best matchup of the Bundesliga this season. Oh, Bayern has stumbled as of late too.

Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche – 12pm NHL.TV: These two are in a battle for the two wild card slots in the Western Conference.

Anaheim Ducks at LA Kings – 1pm NHL.TV: These two are neck and neck in the Pacific division…oh and they hate each other.

Iowa State at Kansas – 1pm ESPN: Kansas already has the Big 12 sown up but this one is all about seeding in the NCAA Tournament.

UNC at Duke – 3pm ESPN: Heck the last one they played came down to the last shot. This one should too.

Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins – 4pm NHLN: These two could meet in the first round of the playoffs as it stands right now.

Louisville at Virginia – 5:30pm ESPN: The Cards aren’t going to the NCAA Tournament due to a self imposed suspension so they are looking to trip up UVA on their way to a high seed.

UFC 196 – 7pm PPV: Conor McGregor vs Nate Diaz and Holly Holm vs Miesha Tate. Good fights made even better by the fact none of these people really like each other.

 

Atlanta Hawks at LA Clippers – 7:30pm NBA League Pass: Forget for a second that both these teams are very, very good and think about Steve Ballmer dunking.

 

Sunday March 6th

Kobalt 400 – 12:30pm FOX: NASCAR heads to Las Vegas which is always a fun race to watch.

Timbers MLS CupPortland Timbers vs Columbus Crew -1:30pm ESPN: First game of the year and it is a rematch of 2015 MLS Cup. You can only imagine how much the Crew want to return the favor to the Timbers. Expect them to come out hard and fast and try to snag an early goal.

Maryland at Indiana – 1:30pm CBS: Indiana has a share of the Big Ten title and look to wrap up the whole enchilada.

NY Islanders at NY Rangers – 2pm NHL.TV: These two are within striking distance of each other and a win here could have dramatic consequences come playoff time.

Sporting KC vs Seattle Sounders – 4pm FS1:  Two of the better teams in MLS over the last few years and both have gone through some serious player overhauls. We’ll see what happens.

LA Galaxy vs DC United – 7pm UNIMAS: The Galaxy have some big superstars like Keene, Gerrard and Cole. But DC United is has some outstanding talent as well.

St Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild – 5pm NBCSN: The Wild are fighting tooth and nail for a playoff spot and the Blues have struggled a little lately. They need to turn it around to keep their spot.

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What To Watch: Fri. 2/19 – Sun. 2/21

All times are Pacific.

Friday February 19th

Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks – 5pm NBA League Pass: The top two teams in the Southeast go head to head in the ATL.

Toronto Raptors at Chicago Bulls – 5pm NBA League Pass: Bulls have been hurting as of late and the Raptors have been on a roll. Can the Bulls turn it around in the house that Jordan built?

Paul George DunkIndiana Pacers at Oklahoma City Thunder – 5pm ESPN: Inter-conference matchup with Paul George vs Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant which is basically part of the starting lineup for Team USA in the Olympics this summer.

 

Saturday February 20th

Duke at Louisville – 9am ESPN: It’s still strange to think that of this is as a conference game but it is. Duke is coming off a huge win at UNC this past week but they are a depleted bunch and this might be too much for Coach K and his Blue Devils.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Pittsburgh Penguins – 9:30am NHL.TV: These two are currently locked into the last two playoff spots in the Eastern conference.

Miami at UNC – 10am CBS: Huge matchup in the ACC. Carolina has to put the pieces back together after their crushing loss to Duke this past week. The Hurricanes are very, very good and could give the Tar Heels their second loss in a row at home.

Oklahoma at West Virginia – 1pm ESPN: Top 10 matchup with massive implications for tournament seeding and for the Big 12 title. Remember, the Mountaineers beat Kansas earlier this year at home.

LA Kings at Nashville Predators – 5pm NHL.TV: The Kings are atop of the Pacific division but they have some teams hot on their tail. Meanwhile the Predators are at the end of just a nasty swing of games against top teams.

Boston Bruins at Dallas Stars – 5pm NHLN: East meets West in a game of two teams headed for the playoffs.

Purdue at Indiana – 5:30pm ESPN: Purdue may be ranked higher but it’s Indiana that is tied for first in the Big Ten. It’s an in-state matchup with a whole lot riding on it.

Klay ThompsonGolden State Warriors at LA Clippers – 5:30pm ABC: Dub City vs Lob City from LA. Oh and they are first and second in the Pacific division. Seriously, is there something else you needed to do on a Saturday night?

 

 

Sunday February 21st

Chelsea vs Manchester City – 8am FS2: It’s an FA Cup weekend in England and this is one of the better match-ups.

Daytona 500Daytona 500 – 10am FOX: It’s that time of year again. Time for 200 laps and 500 miles of hard nosed racin. Buckle up and see if  Joey Logano can make it two in row. Boogity Boogity Boogity Let’s Go Racin Boys!

Chicago Blackhawks at Minnesota Wild – 12:30pm NBC: The division rivals head outside as part of the Coors Light Stadium Series. It won’t be snowing…or below freezing but it should be fun none the less.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Oklahoma City Thunder – 12:30pm ABC: These are two of the best teams in the league with the firepower to win it all.

Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks – 4pm NHL.TV: The Ducks are on fire right now and the Flames are looking to claw their way into playoff contention.

Detroit Red Wings at NY Rangers – 4pm NBCSN: You just can’t help but watch a game featuring two of the NHL’s Original 6.

What To Watch Thurs. 11/26 – Sun. 11/29

All times are Pacific.


Thursday November 26th

Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions – 9:30am FOX: Well, we’d like a better matchup but hey, it’s what we got.

Carolina Panthers at Dallas Cowboys – 1:30pm CBS: The Cowboys have Tony Romo and Dez Bryant back so this could actually be a good game.

Texas Tech at Texas – 4:30pm FS1: Texas has to win out to be bowl eligible and that’s a big deal for a young team. Texas Tech is good but beatable.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers – 5:30pm NBC: Awaken from the food coma in time to see if they Packers can win back-to-back games or if the Bears will finally put it together.

 

Friday November 27th

NY Rangers at Boston Bruins – 10am NBC: Ice, skates, rivals. Not a bad way to start Black Friday.

Keenan ReynoldsNavy at Houston – 9am ABC: Winner gets to represent the West in the American Atheletic Conference championship. Also get a chance to see the NCAA all time leader in touchdowns in Navy’s Keenan Reynolds.

Marshall at Western Kentucky – 9am FS1: Last year the final score was 67-66. Just sayin.

Washington State at Washington -12:30pm FOX: The Apple Cup is the most underrated rivalry in college football. Always a solid game.

Armstrong JRIowa at Nebraska – 12:30pm ABC: Nebraska is a lot better than there 5-6 record indicates. Iowa is undefeated and looking for a spot in the College Football Playoff. This rivalry will get a lot more heated after this game.

Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks – 2pm NBCSN: Both teams are better than their record indicates and still a whole bunch of talent on the ice.

Baylor at TCU – 4:30pm ESPN: It doesn’t really matter what quarterback plays for Baylor but it does for TCU. Points a plenty in this one.

Miami Heat at NY Knicks – 4:30pm NBA.TV: The Kicks aren’t bad this season but the Heat may be a little bit better.

 

Saturday November 28th

Ohio State at Michigan – 9am ABC: Our first taste of Meyer vs Harbaugh. Add in Ohio State having to put a tough loss behind them and this should be one heck of a ball game.

Louisville at Kentucky – 9am SECN: Kentucky is one win away from bowl eligibility and their cross state rivals would love nothing more than to keep that from happening.

UCLA at USC – 12:30pm ABC/ESPN2: Battle of LA and for the Pac-12 South.

Penn State at Michigan State -12:30pm ESPN: Michigan State controls it’s own destiny when it comes to winning the Big 10 Eastern division.

Wisconsin at Minnesota – 12:30pm BTN: Dude, it’s the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe! It also gives us a chance to show this video from 2003.

Ole Miss at Mississippi State – 4:15pm ESPN2: The Egg Bowl and if Alabama loses, a chance for Ole Miss to grab the SEC West crown.

Notre Dame at Stanford -4:30pm FOX: Huge game for the Irish against a very, very good Stanford team.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State – 5pm ABC: Bedlam is here. Winner probably has a legit shot at the College Football Playoff.

 

Sunday November 29th

NY Giants at Washington Redskins – 10am FOX: The winner controls first place in the NFC East.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Seattle Seahawks – 1:25pm CBS: Steelers have been able to keep it together and succeed despite a rash of injuries. The Seahawks looked like the Seahawks for once this season last week. Good luck hearing the play call Pittsburgh.

FC Dallas vs Portland Timbers – 2pm ESPN: 2nd leg and Dallas got an all important road goal in leg one. They did lose 3-1 however which should put the Timbers in the drivers seat.

103rd Grey Cup – 3pm ESPN2: Live from Winnipeg with Fall Out Boy as the halftime entertainment. Oh its the Edmonton Eskimos vs Ottawa RedBlacks.

NY Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew – 4:30pm FS1: The Crew won first the first leg 2-0. NYRB has it’s work cut out for them if they want to advance to MLS Cup.

New England Patriots at Denver Broncos – 5:30pm NBC: The best offense in football goes against the best defense. More or less. Broncos start Brock Osweiler for a second straight week.

What To Watch Fri. 2/6 – Sun. 2/8

All times are Pacific

Friday February 6th

Anaheim Ducks at Washington Capitals – 4pm NHL GameCenter: It’s a tough road trip for the Ducks who are the best team in the NHL by points. But Nashville one night and then DC the next might be too much.

LA Clippers at Toronto Raptors – 4pm ESPN: Two of the top teams in the NBA face off north of the border.

Golden State Warriors at Atlanta Hawks – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: This is the marquee game of the weekend. The Hawks once reeled off 19 wins in a row and the Warriors are just as good. In fact they only have 17 losses between them.

 

Saturday February 7th

Tottenham vs Arsenal – 4am NBCSN: It’s the North London Derby. Enjoy.

Everton vs Liverpool – 9:30 am NBC: It’s another Derby except this one is north of London and USA National Team Goalkeeper Tim Howard returns for Everton.

Notre Dame at Duke – 10am CBS: Top ten matchup and an ACC matchup which is still crazy to think about. All in one of the best venues in all of sports.

NY Rangers at Nashville Predators – Noon NHL GamerCenter: The Predators are one of the top teams in the NHL and are nearly unbeatable at home. The Rangers are coming off a big win against Boston but goalie Henrik Lundqvist isn’t 100% and they are going to need him against the Preds.

Louisville at Virginia – 4pm ESPN: Man is this a tough stretch for Virginia. They win this one and it’s 2-1 against Duke, UNC and Louisville. Not bad. Now they have to win.

Portland TrailBlazers at Dallas Mavericks – 5:30pm NBA League Pass: This is a playoff preview game. Enjoy.

 

Sunday February 8th

Chicago Blackhawks at St Louis Blues – 9:30am NBC: These two played a playoff series for the ages last year. Get a taste of it here.

LA Clippers at Oklahoma City Thunder – 10am ABC: It’s like watching an All-Star game but different.

Anaheim Ducks at Tampa Bay Lightning – 2pm NHL GameCenter: The best in the west takes on the best in the east.

Atlanta Hawks at Memphis Grizzlies – 3pm NBA League Pass: The Hawks have to play two divisional leaders one weekend. Ouch.

Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins – 4:30pm NBCSN: Original six matchup and one of the oldest rivalries in hockey.

What To Watch Fri. 1/30- Sun. 2/1

All times are Pacific

Friday January 30th

Portland TrailBlazers at Atlanta Hawks – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: The Hawks have been unreal but the Blazers are no joke themselves.

Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks – 7pm NHL GameCenter: The Blackhawks head west to take on the best team in the NHL as far as points are concerned.

 

Saturday January 31st

Chelsea vs Manchester City – 8:30am NBC: Five points separate Chelsea and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Yeah, it’s a big game.

Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadiens – 10am NHL Network: Two quality teams in one of the best venues in all of hockey.

North Carolina at Louisville – 1pm ESPN: It was fun when they played a few weeks ago. This should be too.

Los Angeles Kings at Boston Bruins – 4pm NHL Network: An east coast vs west coast showdown.

Duke at Virginia – 4pm ESPN: Duke is ranked in the top 5 but have to have this game is they want any shot of winning the ACC regular season title. UVA looks to keep their unbeaten season alive.

LA Clippers at San Antonio Spurs – 6pm ESPN: Lob City heads deep into the heart of Texas to take on the defending champs.

UFC 183: Silva vs Diaz – 7pm PPV: As long as Nick Diaz shows up we should have a fun fight. Even a 39 year old Anderson Silva coming off an extended layoff is something to marvel at.

 

 

Sunday February 1st

St Louis Blues at Washington Capitals – 10am NBCSN: The Blues have to be the most underrated team in the NHL. See how good they really are. Tough back to back stretch for the Caps too.

Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins – 11am NHL GameCenter: Predators have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season. Pittsburgh is a tough place to steal three points though.

Super Bowl XLIX – Seattle Seahawks vs New England Patriots – 3:30pm NBC: This should be an amazing game. We did think that last year too.

What to Watch Fri. 4/4-Sun. 4/6

Friday April 4th

Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets – 6:30pm ESPN: Because Kevin Durant is on a tear and it will be worth watching.

Saturday April 5th

Philadelphia Flyers @ Boston Bruins – 10am NHLN: The Flyers of trying to hold onto that last playoff spot and the Bruins would probably not like to see them in the playoffs.

Seattle Sounders @ Portland Timbers  – Noon NBCSN: It’s the first match up of the year for these rivals. Seattle is off on a good foot while Portland has yet to back three points in this young MLS campaign.

UCONN vs Florida – 3pm CBS: The Final Four is finally here and the upstart but traditional power UCONN gets the task of knocking off one of the top teams in the tournament in the Florida Gators.

Real Salt Lake @ Sporting KC – 5:30pm MLS Live: RSL returns to the scene of the crime so to speak. This time without Jason Kreis at the the helm. Will they get some sort of revenge in Blue Hell?

Wisconsin vs Kentucky – 5:45pm(ish) CBS: The second half of the Final Four will be set in what should be the better of the two games.

Sunday April 6th

Everton vs Arsenal – 5:30am NBCSN: Everton is still in the hunt for a spot in European football next year. The Gunners have got to regroup and put together some consistency if they want to hold onto their Champions League spot.

LA Galaxy @ Chivas USA – Noon UNIMAS: Chivas has five points already this season while LA only has one. What?

San Francisco Giants @ Los Angeles Dodgers – 5pm ESPN: Sunday night baseball and a battle between two arch rivals. Boom!

What to Watch Fri. 1/17-Sun. 1/19

Friday Jan. 17th

Anaheim Ducks @ Chicago Blackhawks – 5pm NHL Network: A battle between Western Conference leaders and possibly a preview of the Western Conference final. Chicago has struggles as of late and the Ducks are coming off of a 9-1 thrashing of Vancouver and are riding an eight game winning streak. But it’s in Chicago. Game on.

Saturday Jan. 18th

San Jose Sharks @ Tampa Bay Lightning – 11am NHL GameCenter: Not a bad game to start off your Saturday.

Oklahoma St @ Kansas – 1pm CBS: Another weekend and another big game for Kansas. While the tough run continues for KU the Oklahoma State must prove that they can win on the road against a top program.

Michigan @ Wisconsin – 3pm ESPN: Wisconsin looks to rebound from their first loss of the season at Indiana. They are still a quality team but as we’ve seen with Ohio State, if you start losing in the Big Ten it’s tough to get back on the good foot.

Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs – 4pm NHL Network: What better for a Saturday night then two of the most storied teams in NHL history squaring off in Toronto?

Sunday Jan. 19th

Manchester United @ Chelsea – 8:00am NBCSN: Manchester United is just not the same sine Sir Alex left but they still have quality. Problem here is that they have to go to Stamford Bridge. –Apparently Rooney and Van Persie will not play for United.

Boston Bruins @ Chicago Blackhawks – 9:30am NBC: A replay of years Stanley Cup final. Should be hard hitting and a hell of a game.

New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos – Noon CBS: Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning for a chance to go to the Super Bowl? Yes please.

San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks – 3:30pm FOX: What better way to end the NFL Playoffs then with arguably two of the best, who don’t like each other, meeting in Seattle. This should be one of the better games you’ve seen all season.

The Fans Came Back to the NHL. Sort of.

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

With the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs rapidly approaching we thought it would be a good time to look and see if the fans came back to the NHL. There was lot of concern in January when the lockout shortened season got underway that the fans would not return but it appears that those fears where all for not.

Many teams enticed fans to return with special promotions as we pointed out in a post earlier this year. Now we have some actual numbers to back up the consensus out there that hockey really is back, especially locally. According to Sports Media Watch some big hockey towns like Pittsburgh, Boston, Chicago, and New York have seen fans return to their TV’s in droves. NBC Sports Network has also seen an increase in it’s ratings with seven of the eight highest rated games coming this season.

Attendance appears to not have suffered as it was once feared. While nothing can make up for the business that was lost last fall when the lockout was in full swing, fans do appear to have returned.

It’s not all wine and roses however. NBC has seen a decline and surprisingly enough the Boston Bruins 1st round playoff battle against the Toronto Maple Leafs is down in the ratings compared to a year ago. That’s right, the Bruins TV partner NESN has seen a decline in the TV ratings.

There is still a long way to go for the NHL. The Phoenix Coyotes are still run by the league, Vancouver and Montreal were knocked out in the 1st round of the playoffs (not much the league can do about that though) and there is now the extraordinary challenge of putting on a hockey game outside in LA.

That’s right, the LA Kings will play the Anaheim Ducks outside at Dodger stadium next January. It’s one of several outdoor games planned for next season in the newly created Stadium Series. These stadium games do well ratings wise and attendance wise. It’s another way the NHL is trying to get fans back to hockey. Although, as we pointed out earlier, hockey fans apparently haven’t gone anywhere.

How Sports Can Bring People Together

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

Sports took a backseat during the tragedy in Boston. Games were been postponed or cancelled as hospitals treated the wounded and the authorities searched for the terrorists. Some of the initial shock has subsided and part of that is because of sports.

In baseball, teams around the league sang ‘Sweet Caroline’ during the 8th inning, a Boston Red Sox tradition. Neil Diamond even showed up in Boston to do it himself this past Saturday. Even the arch rival New York Yankees sang it earlier in the week. David Ortiz may have said it best though as he addressed the crowd at Fenway the day after the crisis ended.

Big Papi Addresses Red Sox Nation

BIG PAPI

Sports are important especially in a sports crazed town like Boston. Sports gives people, even if for only a few hours, a chance to think about something else. It gives us something to hold onto when your whole world is turned upside down. A conversation topic other than the pain and sorrow you may feel. Sports can bring a nation or city together.

Want proof? Look no further than Didier Drogba. He helped stop a civil war in his home country of the Ivory Coast.

Players always talk about representing a country or city. The Red Sox and the Boston Bruins both have extra motivation to win now. This can also be a burden though, especially when you’re talking about the grind of a major league baseball season. How the Red Sox handle the psychological weight of the events of the Boston bombings will be something to monitor throughout the 2013 season.

Mother Nature Strikes Again

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

It’s happened again. A weather event has affected the sporting world for the second time in 4 months. This time it was a snow storm in the northeast that dropped almost 25 inches of snow at Logan International Airport in Boston, MA.

TD Garden

What did it effect this time? The Boston Bruins first moved the start time of their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning then postponed it. The Duke University basketball team had to delay their travel from Durham, NC to Boston until Sunday morning for their match up against Boston College (which they won). The New York Knicks stayed an extra night in Minneapolis, MN before heading back home to play the LA Clippers (a game in which they lost). Finally the New England Revolution had to move around some travel so that they could make it to the much sunnier Tucson, AZ for some preseason matches.

It’s high time leagues, organizations, players, and fans come to the realization that this is going to be the norm and not the random. How coaches coach, how players pace themselves are going to be key if they are to compete on the road when travel plans are disrupted. This hiccup to the routine can cause some major issues mentally and physically. Just ask anyone who has had their flight delayed or luggage lost. It trumps everything else and not in the fun way. Teams would be wise to begin to study how last minute travel effects performance. It could mean the difference between a championship and a ‘oh, we almost had it!’

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