By Ryan Berenz
Let the NFL have Thanksgiving. The NHL will have the leftovers. NBC hopes to start a new Black Friday tradition this year with an afternoon NHL broadcast. The first ever NHL Thanksgiving Showdown on Friday, Nov. 25, at 1pm ET, has Nicklas Lidstrom, Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings visiting Zdeno Chara, Patrice Begeron, Tim Thomas and the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. Release from NBC below:
NBC SPORTS DROPS PUCK ON NHL COVERAGE WITH FIRST-EVER 2011 NHL THANKSGIVING SHOWDOWN ON FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25 AT 1 P.M. ET
Boston Bruins-Detroit Red Wings Showdown Marks Earliest NHL Regular Season Game on U.S. Network Television in More Than 20 Years
‚ÄúThis game is a great measuring stick for two of the League‚Äôs premiere teams.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Mike Milbury
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a combination of a terrific present and a glorious past.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Mike ‚ÄėDoc‚Äô Emrick
‚ÄúThis has the makings of an early season playoff game.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Pierre McGuire
NEW YORK (November 22, 2011)‚ÄĒ A new tradition will begin this year when NBC Sports drops the puck on its NHL coverage earlier than ever with the inaugural 2011 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown on Friday, November 25, at 1 p.m. ET between the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins and the Detroit Red Wings.
This will mark the earliest NHL regular-season broadcast on network television in more than 20 years and the only time these two teams will meet during the regular season. The Friday-after-Thanksgiving matinee is a local Bruins tradition that began in 1990.
‚ÄúThe NHL and NBC have a great partnership and we are always looking for new events to help showcase this sport,‚ÄĚ said Sam Flood, Executive Producer for NBC Sports and VERSUS. ‚ÄúAs a Boston native, I‚Äôm excited to take what has turned into a great local tradition ‚Äď a Bruins game on the Friday after Thanksgiving ‚Äď and introduce it to national audience by airing it on NBC, and simultaneously starting our broadcast coverage earlier than ever.‚ÄĚ
In an effort to provide an even better viewing experience for fans, the inaugural NHL Thanksgiving Showdown will feature a microphone on one of the referees (Kelly Sutherland) to capture on-ice audio for the first time in a regular-season game on NBC.
The team of Mike ‚ÄėDoc‚Äô Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (‚ÄėInside the Glass‚Äô analyst) will call the action in Boston. NBC will surround its game coverage with pre-game, intermission and post-game reports live from the arena with studio host Liam McHugh and analyst Mike Milbury.
EMRICK ON THE GAME: ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a combination of a terrific present and a glorious past. The Bruins are the defending Stanley Cup champions, and they just ran the table in a five-game home stand for the first time in 25 years. Detroit started the season winning the first five, and put together another streak of four straight wins. The styles contrast. These are the two oldest U.S.-based NHL franchises and two of the most prominent U.S. franchises in winning Stanley Cups. They have been playing each other for 85 years.‚ÄĚ
MCGUIRE ON THE GAME: ‚ÄúThis game pits two original six teams who have lifted the Cup recently. Both teams have to show urgency for points and because of that need, this has the makings of an early season playoff game.‚ÄĚ