Tuesday, April 11th, 2017


Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire, and Jeremy Roenick Weigh In on Key Storylines and Preview First-Round Series

“This is the time for the Washington Capitals. “ – Olczyk

“It’s a great opportunity to expose these two young stars.” – Executive Producer Sam Flood on Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews

“I’m going to be right across the street to watch Connor McDavid.” – Emrick on plans following his call of Blue Jackets-Penguins Game 1

“Everybody expects Chicago to come out of the West. But I don’t think they could have a tougher matchup in the first round than Nashville.” – Roenick

“He hasn’t had the best of seasons, but I do think he’s one of the most intense competitors you’ll find in the league.” – McGuire on Henrik Lundqvist

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 11, 2017 On Monday afternoon, NBC Sports’ NHL commentators Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire, and Jeremy Roenick, as well as Executive Producer Sam Flood, previewed the upcoming 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs on a media conference call. Following are excerpts. Click here to read the full transcript.


Emrick on the Stanley Cup Playoffs: “At this time of the year, it’s when the actual reward is a ring that you can’t wear. You get a name on a trophy that you’re not allowed to keep. The actual pay that you get is miniscule compared to the regular season and nobody even mentions it. But it’s when they play the hardest.”

Flood on Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews: “We think it’s a really unique postseason setting up, particularly getting two of the young stars with Connor McDavid, who led the league in points, and Auston Matthews getting their first crack at the Stanley Cup Playoffs…it’s a great opportunity to expose these two young stars…we’re out to build these stars and change the way you watch hockey.”


McGuire on Henrik Lundqvist: “Father Time catches up to everybody, but that just shows you the timeframe that he’s been in it. He hasn’t had the best of seasons, but I do think he’s one of the most intense competitors you’ll find in the league.”

Olczyk: “(The Rangers) are obviously going to have to defend better than they’ve done over the course of the season…I don’t think that’s a bad thing that they’re starting in Montreal…Lundqvist has to be more consistent…but I think they have to help this guy out because he’s been the face of this franchise for a long, long, long time.”


Emrick: “Columbus was not terribly strong down the stretch…but I remember a team in 1995 that only won two of its last seven going into the playoffs and they stumbled down to the fifth seed. Yet when the playoffs started, something happened over the three days, and they only lost four out of 20 playoff games and they won the Stanley Cup, and that was New Jersey.”

McGuire: “Mike Sullivan’s familiarity with John Tortorella. They coached together in Tampa. They coached together with the U.S. World Team in 2008 and Halifax in the World Championship in North America. They coached with the Rangers, they coached in Vancouver, and they coached in the World Cup. So they’re very familiar with one another. That’s going to help Mike in terms of shielding Crosby from some of the matchups.”



Roenick: “Washington has played so differently coming into this year than they did last year. They came in playing hard, playing together, playing gritty…Washington is my early favorite because of that different mentality.”

Olczyk: “This is the time for the Washington Capitals…if they’re not able to do it this year, and I think they have seven or eight unrestricted free agents on their team, how drastic or how big will the transformation be for their team moving forward.”

McGuire: “It’s not just Auston Matthews – it’s Mitch Marner, it’s William Nylander…last Tuesday with Toronto playing Washington in Toronto on a Tuesday night, and the physical dimension that Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals brought to that regular season game, how are they going to play against those kids?”



McGuire: “(Ottawa) is 23rd on the power play and penalty kill. If you look at Boston, first in the league during the regular season on the penalty kill, and in the Top 10 on the power play. If Ottawa plays an undisciplined game – and their trademark is playing a disciplined game – but if Boston can get them to play an undisciplined game, then special teams are going to matter.”



Roenick: “Everybody expects Chicago to come out of the West, but I don’t think they could have a tougher matchup in the first round than Nashville. They’re playing really good hockey…if Chicago can get past that first round of Nashville, which is probably the worst matchup they could have thought of, look out for them.”


Roenick: “It’s very, very difficult to lose two of your most important players, especially down the middle. Joe Thornton is the playmaker, one of the best in the history of the game…Joe Pavelski’s production really relies on a Joe Thornton. The power play relies on Joe Thornton. Not having him 100% really diminishes the Sharks’ chances against a team like the Edmonton Oilers, who are going to be absolutely flying on excitement.”

Olczyk: “Todd McLellan to me is the ‘Coach of the Year’ in the National Hockey League. Obviously, when you have the Most Valuable Player in the league, it goes hand in hand. But he’s going to get his chances. So I think that for San Jose, if they can identify where he is on the ice and let somebody else be the guy carrying that puck.”

Roenick: “This is a tough matchup for San Jose, especially going into Edmonton where they know that building is going to be as electric and loud as any building in the National Hockey League with the excitement of getting back to the playoffs after 10 years.”



Olczyk on the danger of playing long series: “That was the downfall last year with the St. Louis Blues – where they had the chance to eliminate their archrival in Chicago early and they couldn’t do it. They went the distance. Then they go up against Dallas, and they had a chance to eliminate them early and they weren’t able to do it, and that ended up taking its toll.”



Olczyk: “Calgary is a deceptively quick team…there is no doubt that the Pacific Division is certainly changing.”

McGuire: “Anaheim has again shown that they can stay on top of their division, and I agree with Eddie. Calgary is a team that’s coming up in the ranks and coming up fast.”