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Curious no-calls and playoff scheduling.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006
That missed call on Briere near the tail end of that power play was brutal. Just brutal.

Obviously this is one of those "hindsight is 20/20" things, as well as the fact that unlike referees, we the fans -- and the players on the bench (or in the penalty box) -- have a bird's eye view of what is going on on the ice. But even so, seeing that mass of hockey player pile near the blue line as Briere wrapped himself around one (maybe even two) 'Canes players, then got the game winning goal. It's rather ... eh. I'll hold my tongue on the issue.

Either way, now we have a game seven to look forward to on Thursday, down in Raleigh. I tend to absolutely hex myself when I make predictions, so you won't get one out of me. I just hope the game is good.

Now that there's a Thursday game, it also means that we don't have to sit around too long for the Stanley Cup Finals to start after the end of this series. Had it ended tonight, we'd be stuck waiting just about six days before puck drop. Now we have an extra game between then and now.

Though I need to be honest that I don't like how far they're putting off the final series from now. The general census around the places I frequent seems to be that it's pressure from NBC, so that the first game air will be on a Saturday.

But putting off the series like this can't be a good thing, especially when you have to compete with the NBA. I can understand wanting to get the word out about the series schedule as soon as possible, since springing the schedule on people too suddenly and near the start of the series can be detrimental to ratings and people being wise to when to tune in. But I also feel that it wouldn't have hurt to see how long the NBA's own semifinals might be lasting, just from how things went tonight. The earliest the NBA conference finals can end is Saturday.

Then again, it seems like a pretty bad lose-lose situation. If the NHL finals started Saturday, they'd be up against one of two teams in the NBA West attempting a series clincher. Worse, if it goes to Monday? Well, fighting against the ratings of a game seven is pretty tough.

But then again, I'm just a writer ... not a marketing analyst.
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