This upcoming season, the Flyers will be on Versus 9 times, and have a few games that NBC might potentially pick with flex-scheduling. Here is the Versus schedule:
- Thu., Oct. 7 @ Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET
- Thu., Oct. 14 vs. Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 p.m. ET
- Tue., Oct. 26 vs. Buffalo Sabres, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Tue., Nov. 16 @ Montreal Canadiens, 7 p.m. ET
- Wed., Dec. 8 vs. San Jose Sharks, 7 p.m. ET
- Tue., Dec. 14 vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, 7 p.m. ET
- Tue., Jan. 11 @ Buffalo Sabres, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Tue., Jan. 25 vs. Montreal Canadiens, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Tue., Mar. 22 vs. Washington Capitals, 7:30 p.m. ET
It seems like a bunch of pretty good matchups. We get to see the unveiling of the Penguins new arena to open the season. Aside from Tampa, the other games are against some pretty exciting teams that we generally have a rivalry against. There are the exciting Washington Capitals, who keep choking in the playoffs, only to see us advance farther than them most years. The Canadiens have been a nice doormat for us to wipe our feet on for us the last few playoff seasons as well. The Sharks beat the crap out of us last season; I think we need some payback. And of course there are the Sabres, with all universe goalie Ryan Miller. They’re always a pretty decent team, with evenly balanced talent throughout their lineup, and they’ll provide a solid test for us.
With NBC’s rights to pick game late in the season, they have the opportunity to pick up games against the Blackhawks, Kings and Rangers (3 times). All three would probably put on a good show, especially the Stanley Cup Finals rematch against the ‘Hawks. Rangers games of course will be intense because of the division rivalry. LA is an up and coming team, which doesn’t get noticed as much because they’re on the West Coast. They have some awesome young players, so that could make for a fun game as well.
Overall, the NHL did a pretty decent job, but I think they missed a few opportunities. We play the Pens, Habs, and Sabres twice on Versus. I understand the game against Pitt., but we could have gone without the other two repeats. What about a game against Boston, Detroit, Colorado, Vancouver, or Phoenix. Aside from Boston, we rarely see those teams. I think it’s a treat for fans to witness rare matchups. I’m sure that of the three opportunities that NBC has to make Flyers-Rangersa game of the week, at least one will get picked up. Especially as the teams will be in a tigth playoff race, and the games will be pretty emotional.
Still, it’s pretty cool overall that the NHL considers us popular enough to put on national tv so often.
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