Now that Boston and Vancouver are set to battle it out for the Cup it’s time to take a breath and realize what a great Stanley Cup Playoffs it’s been so far this year. Most of the series were well contested except in the East where the best two teams were swept in the Conference semi finals and the Conference finals were just one great game after another. Definitely the year of the veteran goaltenders with Thomas and Luongo with honorable mention to Roloson. And last night Steven Stamkos illustrated why hockey players are the toughest and most committed to their game more than any other professional sport (with the possible exception of Rugby). Even the Predators made it to the second round and battled the Canucks with their stingy defense and team offensive play (or offensive team play in the opponents end as they say in Nashville).
My opinion might be a little biased for this year’s playoffs because I have been able to watch many more games than usual by signing up at Hockeystreams.com for their playoff package ($30 US for playoffs/stanley cup, full season + playoffs is $89 Euro right now). In previous years I’ve been stuck with trying to watch on VS and/or NBC. Now that I’ve cut the satellite cords, Hockeystreams is the perfect solution. I was prepared to jump in with the NHL’s Gamecenter Live but the high cost and the blackout restrictions (they get your computers IP address and blackout any/all games in your area) were just too much to stomach. I know their are licensing issues to work out but why o why do they not even attempt to put together an online package where you get all your local teams games?
A few other bonuses to the Hockeystreams package are streaming in HD-720p for some games (it’s been about half to one-third of the games in 720p, regular feed is pretty good anyway), most feeds are from TSN/CBC rather than VS or NBC, streaming to your iPhone, and they also streamed games from the World Hockey Championships and multiple other minor league playoff games.
The Cup Finals schedule is below. I don’t have any horses in this race but any team that beats the Blackhawks gets my vote. Canucks in 7!
- Game 1: Jun 1 8:00pm EDT @VAN (TV: NBC)
- Game 2: Jun 4 8:00pm EDT @VAN (TV: NBC)
- Game 3: Jun 6 8:00pm EDT @BOS (TV: VS)
- Game 4: Jun 8 8:00pm EDT @BOS (TV: VS)
- Game 5: Jun 10 8:00pm EDT @VAN (TV: NBC)
- Game 6: Jun 13 8:00pm EDT @BOS (TV: NBC)
- Game 7: Jun 15 8:00pm EDT @VAN (TV: NBC)