Stadium Series is here.
The Chicago Blackhawks versus the Pittsburgh Penguins at the home of the Chicago Bears. It's a hockey game that's both local and national in it's magnitude. So it's fitting that we have two local Hawks icons involved in calling/previewing the game. Also, the NHL's primary broadcast partner, NBC, is parent company to the Blackhawks primary local broadcast partner, Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
It's the first outdoor NHL hockey game to be ever broadcast in prime time. So I enlisted the help of some Blackhawks and hockey experts to preview the Stadium Series. Throughout this preview, you'll be hearing from:
Blackhawks legend and NBC hockey Analyst Jeremy Roenick, NBC NHL Analyst Mike Milbury, Scott King, Contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal, RedEye Chicago (Facebook Hawk Crazy) Penguins star Sidney Crosby, icon of the NHL and Team Canada, His Olympic teammate and Blackhawks star Patrick Sharp, and Kevin Cross Comcast SportsNet Chicago News Director.
First question you may have is what is the difference between Heritage Classic, Winter Classic and Stadium Series?
The Stadium Series was just started this year, and is only for the three biggest American markets: New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Winter Classic started in 2008 and is only held in America while the Heritage Classic is Canadian only.
It's five years older, but there's only been a couple of them.
TV: NBC Saturday March 1st 7 PM CST Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call. NHL Live host Liam McHugh, and former players and analysts Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick do pregame.
Comcast SportsNet Chicago: Soldier Field remote editions of Blackhawks Pregame Live (6 PM) and Blackhawks Postgame Live, (approx. 8:30 PM 9:30 Saturday) “Stadium Series: Soldier Field,” a half hour special airs on CSN Chicago Monday at 5:30. Stadium Series Soldier Field is a must watch for any true Blackhawks fan, it included a time lapse video of the whole process of converting Soldier Field from football to hockey. It also explains how the rink is made, all the thousands of gallons of water, paint amounts and other materials that go in to it.
It's hard to exceedingly hyped for one regular season game, ans there are 80 of them, but Stadium Series is definitely the one to get hyped up for.
As Patrick Sharp said "the date is circled on everyone's calendars."
SOCIAL MEDIA: wins tickets to the Stadium Series Facebook.com/CSNChicago
When tweeting the game use hashtag #StadiumSeries14 #HawksTalk or #Chiberia
According to the reading at Meigs Field, which is of course right across the street, puck drop should see a temperature of 21, with a real feel of 6, winds out of the northeast at 17 mph, 10% chance for participation.
"We can't control the environment, but we can control with space heaters and keeping people warm, covering the event in a way that keeps people safe," Cross said.
Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Sharp, Jonathan Toews, Kris Versteeg, Nikolai Khabibulin, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa (with the Detroit Red Wings at the time) are the eight Hawks who play tonight that also played in the last outdoor game in Chicago, the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Puck drop for that one was just above freezing.
— Jeff Nuich (@JeffNuich) February 28, 2014
"It's very advantageous, NBC, the NHL, they've worked hand in hand with us in terms of planning and covering this event. It goes back even further than the Olympics, it goes back to the Stanley Cup run," said Cross.
Coming right off a Winter Olympics, when hockey interest is peaking, you'll get even more eyeballs on this Stadium Series game.
Sidney Crosby on his experience in Sochi:
“We played together the whole time. Great defensive hockey… We got better with each game and that was the most important thing…Just the way this whole group played and stayed poised
Roenick on his Sochi experience: “The venues were spectacular. I think the events were spectacular. We had great hockey. The people in Russia couldn’t have been more hospitable to us. I had a blast.”
Milbury on Jonathan Toews: “This guy has been a wonder in every situation – whether it’s a faceoff, penalty kill, power play – you just call his name and you can trust that he’s going to get the job done.”
By the way, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook actually appeared on one of NBC’s prime time dramas Tuesday night.
Stadium Series Game preview and Stadium Series Game Prediction
Stadium Series is the basis for a new seven-part documentary called NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other, premiering January 22, 2014, on the NBC Sports Network, and debuting in Canada the next day on CBC. The series is meant to differ from the pre-existing HBO 24/7: Road to the NHL Winter Classic with an added focus on star players' preparations for the 2014 Olympic Tournament in Sochi, Russia, of which NBCSN and CBC were major broadcasters.
Finally, you'll have both Roenick and Edzo being a part of this event."Blackhawks fans will be very happy to have 2 former Hawks calling this historic game. Eddie O has gotten the hang of calling big games and you have to love how Roenick tells it how it is," King said.
Paul M. Banks owns The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also a frequent analyst on news talk radio; with regular segments on ESPN,NBC, CBS and Fox. A former NBC Chicago and Washington Times writer, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)
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