Interesting tidbit about the Flyers' tilt with the Rangers in Madison Square Garden on Sunday. You may want to pick up a case of beer for this.
The fourth of six meetings against New York is part of the NHL's special "Hockey Day in America," which includes three nationally televised games. It all culminates with the new Heritage Classic, another outdoor contest featuring teams from our neighbors to the north.
As part of Hockey Weekend Across America in 2011, NBC and the National Hockey League will salute roots of the game, as well as its traditions and pageantry with Hockey Day in America on Sunday, Feb. 20. The day-long event will celebrate hockey with a slate of NHL games that are scheduled to include Philadelphia, New York Rangers, Washington, Buffalo, Detroit, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Boston.
The Flyers will be batting from the lead-off position with a 12:30 start on NBC, although they'll share the spotlight with two other games. The Red Wings will take on the Wild in regional action, and the Capitals will face off against the Sabres, which can also be seen on the NHL Network. Jim Jackson will be calling the game in Buffalo, so it might be worth flipping over during commercials if you happen to get that channel.
At 3:30, the Penguins naturally take center stage in their collission course with the defending Cup Champion Blackhawks on NBC, then finally at 6:00, the puck drops on the Heritage Classic in Calgary, featuring the Canadiens and the Flames. The Versus Network's special event will be held at McMahon Stadium at the University of Calgary, home of the Canadien Football League's Calgary Stampeders. The venue holds up to 46,000 fans with temporary seating.
With the NFL going into hibernation, it's nice to see the NHL come along and fill the void during a typically boring Sunday in late-February. What else are you going to watch, the NBA All Star Game?
Frankly, the league deserves the additional exposure, and maybe a successful afternoon will translate into more double- and triple-headers in the future.