CanucksArmy’s guide to the NHL Frozen Frenzy
Photo credit:© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
Today is set to be a major day for the National Hockey League, as all 32 teams square off during the biggest hockey binge-watching event in history: the first-ever NHL Frozen Frenzy!
Consider this a primer for tonight’s festivities, answering a few of the most important questions surrounding the schedule, how the Canucks factor in, and which games you should have queued up tonight. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s not waste any time!
Sorry, the NHL is doing what?
The NHL will have all 32 teams in action tonight, but now with staggered start times! After the first game kicks off at 3:00 PM Pacific, another two teams will drop the puck every 15 to 30 minutes until 6:45, with the last couple of games saved for 7:30 and 8 PM.
Tying it all together – for American viewers, anyway – will be ESPN’s ‘NHL Frozen Frenzy‘ show, which will cycle through live look-ins and highlights from every game. It’ll basically be the hockey equivalent to ‘NFL Redzone’.
Wow, staggered start times? Finally!
I know, right?! The NHL seems to have come around to the way football and baseball have been operating for ages, where they try to make a whole day out of their league’s broadcast coverage as opposed to starting half their games at 7 PM Eastern.
Still, better late than never.
You mentioned ESPN, what does this mean for Canadian hockey fans?
So here’s the catch: Canadians probably won’t notice a big difference.
If you get your hockey fix through a cable package you’ll get your usual Canucks game and an extra dose of Flames/Rangers, but that’s it. For the other 14 games, you’ll still need the usual streaming service subscription.
So when are the Canucks playing exactly?
The Canucks are in Nashville to take on the Predators, with puck drop scheduled for 6:15 PM Pacific. This game’s going to be the 13th to get going, so you’ll have about three hours of hockey beforehand to enjoy.
Games to watch
Now that we’ve sorted out the basic idea, there’s a lot of hockey games for you to choose from today. So we’ve taken the time to group them out into three categories to help sort out your viewing experience!
First, a couple less important games if you have the time or screen space to fill…
Ducks @ Blue Jackets – 3:30 PMLast year’s tank bowl is now a battle for… I don’t know, the middle? At the very least, it’s an opportunity to watch the most recent second and third overall picks, Leo Carlsson and Adam Fantilli, go head to head for the first time.Sharks @ Panthers – 4:45 PMThe Sharks are in full tank mode, while the Panthers are in full Stanley Cup Final hangover mode. San Jose’s odds are pretty slim in this game by design, but if they pull a rabbit out of the hat there could be some tough early questions in South Florida.Blues @ Jets – 5:45 PMThe Blues and Jets are both sitting in the bottom half of the Central Division standings, and neither is playing a particularly thrilling brand of hockey at the moment. The one thing that might make this game worth watching from a Vancouver perspective is to see just how dire Winnipeg’s attendance woes actually are.
The best head-to-head matchups…
Leafs @ Capitals – 3:00 PMFor any player not named Alex Ovechkin, zero goals in four games wouldn’t sound any crazy alarms. But for the man chasing Wayne Gretzky’s goals record, it’s at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds. Tonight Ovi will get to face a former teammate in goal, Ilya Samsonov, and the one NHLer capable of challenging for his goal scoring crown some day: Auston Matthews.
Hurricanes @ Lightning – 4:00 PMThe Canes and Bolts have been running the Eastern Conference table for years, but both are currently showing some cracks in the armor. For one of these teams a win today might be enough to turn their season’s fortunes around, or in Tampa’s case, help them tread water until Andrei Vasilevskiy comes back.Stars @ Penguins – 4:30 PMBoth the Penguins and the Stars enter tonight with something to prove. Pittsburgh is currently sporting a 2-3 record, while all but one of Dallas’ games have needed more than 60 minutes to sort out. This is a great opportunity for an early statement win from either team, plus Sidney Crosby vs. Jason Robertson is a solid superstar matchup.
For the local storylines…
Sabres @ Senators – 3:45 PMThe Sabres and Senators are two teams who look a lot like what the Canucks want to be: a lot of potential upside with just a few holes on defence that need to be plugged. This game has all the trappings for a high-scoring barnburner.
Devils @ Canadiens – 4:15 PMIt’s Tyler Toffoli and the Brothers Hughes versus current Canadiens scoring leader – and noted Toffoli BFF! – Tanner Pearson. The Devils brand of high octane play (imagine saying that to someone in 2000) up against a rebuilding Habs squad should make for some real fireworks.Avalanche @ Islanders – 5:00 PMBo Horvat is currently tied for third in Islanders team scoring with three points in five games, and tonight his team hosts an absolutely scorching hot Avalanche team. The goaltending matchup of New York’s Ilya Sorokin and Colorado’s Alexander Georgiev should be incredible, too.Bruins @ Blackhawks – 5:30 PMConnor Bedard’s already made his fellow Vancouverites proud by scoring his first NHL goal against the Bruins and taking his first penalty against Brad Marchand. We can’t wait to see what he has planned for an encore.
Games with Pacific Division stakes on the line…
Kraken @ Red Wings – 5:15 PMThe Canucks’ archrivals(?) in Seattle are looking a lot more like the first year team that missed the playoffs than the sophomores who beat Colorado in the first round. Meanwhile, the Red Wings have already scored 30 goals in six games thanks to Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Larkin. Are both these teams the real deal or an early season mirage? Maybe we’ll get some clarity today.Oilers @ Wild – 6:00 PMThe Edmonton Oilers are already in panic mode after the Canucks, Flyers and Jets all put the fear of god into them. Now they’re up against Kirill Kaprizov and the Wild, who’re getting scoring from him and the likes of Joel Eriksson Ek and Mats Zuccarello. If Minny can show up the Oilers, Edmonton might be set ablaze before the night is out.Rangers @ Flames – 6:45 PMAs one of the few games on the schedule available to a national TV audience, a lot of eyes will be on the Flames as they try to prove 2023-24 won’t be a repeat of last season. Meanwhile the Rangers are trying to keep pace with a very even Metro Division. Would you believe that these teams are only separated by a point?Coyotes @ Kings – 7:30 PMThe Kings are chugging along at 2-2-1, and are sitting only a single point behind the Canucks for second place in the Pacific. Standing in their way is Logan Cooley and the Arizona Coyotes, who’ve had a surprisingly good start at 3-2-0. These two side already played twice in Australia last month, so they’ll need to bring a few extra tricks to this game.Flyers @ Golden Knights – 8:00 PMFun fact: the Philadelphia Flyers are currently leading the Metropolitan Division! But they’re still five whole points behind the defending Stanley Cup champions, who’ve yet to lose a single game. This game will either be a complete shellacking by Vegas or a shocking upset for Philly. There’s absolutely no in-between.
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