What To Watch: Fri. 2/26 – Sun. 2/28

All times are Pacific.

Friday February 26th

Minnesota Wild at Washington Capitals – 4pm NHL.TV: The Caps are the top team in the NHL and the Wild are fighting for a playoff spot. And what is a Friday night without Ovi?

Charlotte Hornets at Indiana Pacers – 4pm NBA League Pass: This one will go a long way in determining if and where the Hornets are in the playoff picture.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: LeBron and company head north to take on DeMar DeRozan and the Raptors.

 

Saturday February 27th

Oklahoma at Texas – 11am CBS: When isn’t an OU vs Texas game fun?

Louisville at Miami – 11am ESPN3: Somehow a major ACC and top 15 match up made it’s way to ESPN3. Strange.

Arizona at Utah – 11am ESPN: The Wildcats are coming off a tough loss in Colorado and now have to face the Utes. Tall order.

St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators – Noon NHL.TV: Divisional battle between two teams looking to improve their playoff position.

NY Rangers at Dallas Stars – 1pm NHLN: Inter-conference battle that features one team that is second in the NHL in goals per game (Dallas) and one that is 12th in goals against (NY).

Maryland at Purdue – 1pm ESPN: Big matchup in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers loss by 11 in Maryland a few weeks ago but things should be different and Mackey Arena will be rocking.

UFC Fight Night – 1pm UFC Fight Pass: Anderson Silva vs Michael Bisping live from London. Too bad this fight didn’t happen three or four years ago.

UNC at Virginia – 3:30pm ESPN: The Tar Heels head north to Charlottesville to take on UVA in a top 10 matchup and massive NCAA Tournament implications.

Detroit Red Wings at Colorado Avalanche – 5pm NBC: It’s not the most ideal conditions for an outdoor game, in fact it should be a balmy 60 degrees when the puck drops. Probably not what the NHL was hoping for when they scheduled this one.

DurantGolden State Warriors at Oklahoma City Thunder – 5:30 ABC: The Splash Brothers invade the house that Durant and Westbrook built. Rumors are swirling that Durant will join the Warriors in the off season but it’s a long time between now and then. This is going to be a stellar game.

 

Sunday February 28th

Manchester United vs Arsenal – 6am NBCSN: So Man U isn’t the team they once were…this is still a helluva soccer game.

Washington Capitals at Chicago Blackhawks – 9:30am: Dude….what an awesome game for a Sunday…or any day for that matter.

Iowa at Ohio State – 1pm CBS: Come for the basketball and stay to see why Iowa is going to make a lot of noise in the tournament.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Boston Bruins – 3pm NBCSN: These two are neck and neck in the Atlantic division.

Paul George DunkPortland Trailblazers at Indiana Pacers – 3pm NBA League Pass: Portland is a long way from home but a Damian Lillard vs Paul George matchup is too good to pass up.

 

 

LA Kings at Anaheim Ducks – 6pm NBCSN: The Ducks have really turned it around and are only two points back of the Kings for the top spot in the Pacific.

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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.

Out Thinking Viewing Habits

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

When you stop and think about it for a minute it can truly boggle your mind. Much like a brain freeze from drinking something cold too quickly. That might have been what people had when they thought they were making well informed decisions when it came to scheduling the Stanley Cup Final and the NBA Finals.

Game one of the Stanley Cup Final between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning was played on Wednesday evening. Game two….not until Saturday? Two full days off after playing one game. Strange but when the scheduling also cost the Tampa Bay area a few Garth Brooks concertswell we are pretty sure that there are some unhappy folks in the Tampa St. Pete area. While Brooks and the venue are trying to find dates to reschedule the shows, we’re pretty sure one show could have fit in if game two was played on Friday instead of Saturday.

2015 Stanley Cup Final

To add insult to injury, NBC Sports lies about the start time of the game…again. As we have pointed out many times on this blog, NBC Sports is a major offender when it comes to advertising what time a game of any kind is going to start. While the start time for game one of the Stanley Cup Final was advertised as 8pm EST, the puck was actually dropped at 8:22pm EST (6:22 MST as you can see.)

The NBA Finals are a whole nother story. The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers potential seven game series is scheduled to be played on Thursdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. It’s bad enough that both teams have been sitting for over a week which we assume is so that both teams could be “healthy”. But in all fairness, is anyone really healthy after an 82 game regular season and three playoff series?

There has to be somebody, somewhere who has numbers to back up these scheduling decisions (not to sure about the start time decisions though).The fact is, play the damn games. Do you really think no one watches TV on a Friday night? You also lose the energy around these series when you take these breaks. While it may seem like a smart idea on paper, not having a game on a Friday night and then scheduling one against ‘Game of Thrones’ is just plain dumb.

What To Watch Fri. 4/17 – Sun. 4/19

All times are Pacific

Friday April 17th

Oakland A’s at KC Royals – 5:10pm MLB.TV: Last time these two teams met it was in the AL Wild Card game.

Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators- 6:30pm NBCSN: This is going to be ‘that’ playoff series.

 

Sunday April 18th

Chelsea vs Manchester United – 9:30am NBC: Chelsea may be the odds on favorite to with the Premier League but Man U will have a say in how close it will be.

Minnesota Wild at St Louis Blues – Noon NBC: The Wild took game one of the series in St Louis. That may have only pissed off the Blues.

Real Salt Lake vs Vancouver Whitecaps – 6:30pm MLS LIVE: Two of the top teams in the West at one of the toughest venues to play at in all of MLS.

 

Sunday April 19th

Food City 500 – 10am FOX: A little short track racing from Bristol, TN.

Portland Trailblazers at Memphis Grizzlies – 5pm TNT: This is going to be the series to watch in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

What To Watch Thurs. 2/19 – Sun. 2/22

All times are Pacific

Thursday February 19th

Nashville Predators at NY Islanders – 4pm NHL Gamecenter: A battle of division leaders.

Vancouver Canucks at NY Rangers – 4pm NHL Gamecenter: Well if the game on Long Island doesn’t do anything for you than this one should.

San Antonio Spurs at LA Clippers – 7:30pm TNT: Just a fun match up.

 

Friday February 20th

Toronto Raptors at Atlanta Hawks – 4pm NBA League Pass: Division leaders square off in HotLanta.

Boston Bruins at St Louis Blues – 5pm NHL Gamecenter: St Louis is probably the best team in the NHL. The Bruins are fighting for a playoff spot. Should be fun.

Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames – 6pm NHL Gamecenter: These Ducks have to fly north for a night and try to knock off the surprisingly good Flames.

San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors – 7:30pm ESPN: Defending champs head into Oakland to take on one of the best teams in the league.

 

Saturday February 21st

Iowa State Cyclones at Texas Longhorns – 11am ESPN2: Frank Erwin Center in Austin can be a tough place to pay. Upset alert!

Pittsburgh Penguins at St Louis Blues – 5pm NHL Gamecenter: Tough back to back games for the Blues but if anyone can handle it it’s them.

Toronto Raptors at Houston Rockets – 5pm NBA League Pass: Plenty of star power in Houston for a Saturday night. n

UCLA Bruins at Arizona Wildcats – 6pm ESPN: Something tells us that Arizona should be careful.

LA Kings at San Jose Sharks – 6:30pm NBCSN: Outside at Levi Stadium. It would be more fun if it was at old Candlestick Park but we’ll take what we can get.

 

 

Sunday February 22nd

Southampton vs Liverpool – 8am NBCSN: If the season ended today, Southampton would be in the Champions League and Liverpool wouldn’t. Crazy

Dayton 500 – 10am FOX: Nascar is back. Jeff Gordon in his final season took the pole in Daytona. Let’s go racin’!

Ohio State at Michigan – 10am CBS: It’s usually a good football and a lot of times a better basketball game.

Boston Bruins at Chicago Blackhawks – Noon NBC: It’s hockey day in America. You’re welcome.

Memphis Grizzlies at Portland TrailBlazers – 6pm NBA League Pass: A nice way to end a great sports weekend.

 

 

What To Watch Fri. 2/13 – Sun. 2/15

All times are Pacific.

 

Friday February 13th

Arizona Wildcats at Washington Huskies – 6pm ESPN: This is a good basketball game for a Friday night. It’s no gimmie either for the #7 ranked Wildcats.

Boston Bruins at Vancouver Canucks – 7pm NHL GameCenter: Two teams battling to stay in the playoff picture in their respective conferences.

 

Saturday February 14th

Baylor Bears at Kansas Jayhawks – 10am CBS: Not many top 25 match ups but this should be the best of the bunch.

Villanova at Butler – 3pm CBS Sports Network: This is the other top 25 match up worth watching.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens – 4pm NHL Network: Well the Leafs aren’t very good this year but the Habs are.

Washington Capitals at LA Kings – 7pm NHL GameCenter: Alex Ovechkin and the Caps head out west to take on the defending Stanley Cup champs.

UFC Fight Night – 7pm FS1: Either Benson Henderson is going to grind out Brandon Thatch for 5 rounds or Thatch catches Henderson early. Take your pick.

 

Sunday February 15th

Pittsburgh Penguins at Chicago Blackhawks – 9:30am NBC: It’s on national TV for a reason. You get to see some of the biggest names in the NHL.

Tampa Bay Lightning at San Jose Sharks – 5pm NHL GameCenter: The Lightning hit that tough west coast swing coming off two hard fought games against Nashville and St Louis.

 

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. 11/14 -Sun. 11/16

All times are PST.

Friday November 14th

Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs – 4:30pm NHL GameCenter: One of those classic hockey match ups. Also a tough ticket to get in TO as Sidney Crosby returns to Canada.

Chicago Blackhawks at Detroit Red Wings – 4:30pm NHL GamerCenter: With the Polar Vortex comes good, classic hockey and this game epitomizes that.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Boston Celtics – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: LeBron James and the Cavs against Rajon Rondo and the new look Celtics. Cool.

Saturday November 15th

Ohio State at Minnesota – 9am ABC: Unexpected tough road matchup for Brutus and the Buckeyes. Let Down Alert Game.

Mississippi State at Alabama – 12:30pm CBS: So this is happening. It’s 1 vs 5.

Nebraska at Wisconsin – 12:30pm ESPN2: Strange but the folks in Wisconsin may already be looking forward to basketball season. If Nebraska’s Mr Everything RB Ameer Abdullah is only 50% it could be a long day for the Children of the Corn.

Kentucky at Tennessee – 1pm SEC Network: Both teams need this one to have a chance at a bowl. They also play for a beer barrell (even though that’s not politically correct to say).

Auburn at Georgia – 4:15pm ESPN: It’s one of the more underrated rivalries in college football. Good Ole Fashion Hate.

Sunday November 16th

BC Lions at Montreal Alouettes – 10am ESPN3: Yes BC is in the Eastern Conference Semi-Final (don’t think about it too much). The Al’s have been one the better teams in the CFL since Jon Crompton became the QB and now they take on a team that has to travel travel across Canada and then play outdoors. Yikes.

Seattle Seahawks at KC Chiefs – 10am FOX: The Seahawks have got to put it together or else an old nemesis, Alex Smith, may pull out a win.

Saskatchewan Roughriders at Edmonton Eskimos – 1:30pm ESPN2: Western Conference Semi-Final in the great white north. Both teams start the playoff without their main signal caller behind center. Being in Edmonton should help the Esks. And it will be F-You freezing. 

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers – 1:30pm FOX: Well the Packers have been on fire since Aaron Rodgers told everyone to relax. Can the Eagles fly with Mark Sanchez under center? It’s worked thus far.

Montreal Canadiens at Detroit Red Wings – 4pm NHL GameCenter: Talk about a big weekend in Detroit. Wow.

NE Patriots at Indianapolis Colts – 5:30pm NBC: This use to be the game of the year when it was Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning. Well just swap out Manning and insert Andrew Luck. Still a helluva game.

Not The TV Ratings You’re Looking For

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Lord Stanley

On Wednesday night the New York Rangers will square off against the Los Angeles Kings in the 121st edition of the Stanley Cup Finals. While on paper this may appear to be a great matchup for the NHL with the teams from the top two TV markets squaring off but it could have been better if neither team was in it.

The Kings defeated the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks in a thrilling game 7 overtime game on Sunday night. It would have been better for the NHL if the Blackhawks won because they are a bigger TV market when it comes to hockey. In fact Chicago out did the LA as far as viewers are concerned during game 7 by a wide margin.

The Rangers are the Rangers. New York has a tendency to rally around their teams, and not just in New York City. The Buffalo Sabers actually came in second as far as local TV ratings go in the NHL this seasons despite finishing dead last in the league.

The Rangers will probably hold their own but that doesn’t mean that the countries number one TV market always turns out in droves for a New York area team.

Take 2012 when the Kings won their first Stanley Cup at the expense of the New Jersey Devils (who play in Newark, NJ which is in the New York City TV market.) The highest rated game for that series was the decisive game 6. That game did a 3.1 rating. That only would have been the fifth highest rated game in the 2013 Final when Chicago defeated the Boston Bruins in six games.

If the NHL could pick the two teams in the Stanley Cup Final based on TV ratings in the US, it would be a matchup between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks. Both crush their local TV numbers and have players and brands that transcend the sport.

The fact is the NHL is happy with a Stanley Cup Final featuring teams from the two biggest TV markets in the US. Next time, they should look at their numbers and realize, like the NFL has, that LA isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and it’s better to have a matchup between Original Six teams.