Media Roundup: The Bruins Are In The Conference Finals, And They Have All Of Boston's Attention

BOSTON, MA - MAY 06: Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins celebrates the win with Andrew Ference #21 after Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden on May 6, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-1 to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

With the Celtics eliminated, all eyes in Boston will turn to the Bruins, who have the potential for their first Stanley Cup win since 1972. Over the next couple of weeks, fans will have plenty of options to get the latest news and analysis of each game.

With the Celtics now officially on summer (and perhaps fall) vacation, all eyes in Boston will turn to the Bruins as they continue their quest for their first Stanley Cup Championship since 1972.

Coverage of the Bruins is likely to reach unprecedented levels in the coming weeks, as the local sports media outlets compete to bring you the latest on the happenings both on and off the ice. You can even expect to see special coverage during television newscasts. 

However, the most extensive local coverage of the Bruins will be coming from an outlet better known for its Celtics programming. 

The Bruins are in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1992, and, due to the huge corporate merger between Comcast and NBC, Comcast SportsNet, VERSUS and NBC will offer expanded coverage of the series.

Comcast SportsNet New England will start their nightly coverage of the Bruins-Lightning series at 6 p.m. ET with Chevrolet SportsNet Central. Mike Giardi and CSNNE.com's Joe Haggerty will provide extensive reports. The Boston Globe's Kevin Paul Dupont, 98.5 The Sports Hub's Bob Beers and VERSUS/NBC hockey analysts are expected to contribute to Comcast SportsNet's game-night coverage.

As a lead-in to VERSUS' and NBC's game night coverage, Comcast SportsNet will also host Chevrolet SportsNet Central Extra at 7 p.m. with Michael Felger and Tony Amonte in-studio previewing the game, and Giardi and Haggerty reporting live from inside the arena.

VERSUS is airing Games 1, 2 and 3 of the series and prior to each exclusive telecast, the network will present comprehensive pre-game coverage with Hockey Central at 7:30 p.m. NBC will present pre-game coverage for Game 4 on Saturday, May 21, beginning at 1:30. Local product Jeremy Roenick and former Bruins coach Mike Keenan will be among the analysts on the show.

Emmy-award winner Mike ‘Doc' Emrick (play-by-play) and Eddie Olczyk (analyst) will anchor NBC and VERSUS' coverage of the Tampa Bay-Boston series with Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass) for Game 1 and possibly Games 5-7 (if needed). McGuire has been a frequent guest on 98.5 The SportsHub's Felger and Massarotti show, and has been extremely informative and likeable in those appearances.

Of the Bruins/Lightning series, Emrick says, "Beware the hot goalie with experience -- this describes both Tim Thomas of Boston and Dwayne Roloson of Tampa Bay." He adds that, "These two teams have blown out opponents with their offense so the stars are aligned for a magnificent Conference Final."

Following every VERSUS and NBC national high-definition telecast, Comcast SportsNet will host a post-game Chevrolet SportsNet Central Extra, which will feature in-depth analysis and player interviews along with player and coach press conferences.

Comcast SportsNet's coverage will also extend to CSNNE.com where Giardi and Haggerty will file post-game editions of the Great American Hockey Show after each Bruins-Lightning game. CSNNE.com will also feature an in-depth "Game Story" package following each game that features a game summary, player(s) of the game profile; analysis on the game's "turning point" and a "by the numbers" breakdown.

There will be no shortage of options for information, insight and analysis. Over on NESN, the broadcast home of the Bruins, it will continue with its own pre- and post-game coverage.

Prior to game one on Saturday, NESN will air a special 90-minute show featuring Kathryn Tappen and Gord Kluzak at the TD Garden studio, along with NESN's analyst Andy Brickley and rink-side reporter Naoko Funayama. Jack Edwards and Barry Pederson will be stationed at the NESN Television Center.

After the games, NESN will deliver Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE with interviews and instant reaction from NESN's team of hockey experts.

The combined VERSUS, NBC, Comcast SportsNet  and NESN coverage through Game 4 is as follows:

Saturday, May 14
6 p.m. - SportsNet Central - CSNNE
6:30 p.m. - Bruins Face-Off LIVE (90 min. show) - NESN
7 p.m. - SportsNet Central Extra - CSNNE
7:30 p.m. - Hockey Central on VERSUS
8 p.m. - Lightning vs. Bruins Game 1 on VERSUS
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE (Following game) - NESN
11 p.m. - SportsNet Central Extra - CSNNE

Tuesday, May 17
6 p.m. - SportsNet Central
6:30 p.m. - Bruins Face-Off LIVE 
7 p.m. - SportsNet Central Extra
7:30 p.m. - Hockey Central on VERSUS
8 p.m. - Lightning vs. Bruins Game 2 on VERSUS
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE (Following game)
11 p.m. - SportsNet Central Extra

Thursday, May 19
6 p.m. - SportsNet Central
6:30 p.m. - Bruins Face-Off LIVE
7 p.m. - SportsNet Central Extra
7:30 p.m. - Hockey Central on VERSUS
8 p.m. - Bruins vs. Lightning Game 3 on VERSUS
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE (Following game)
11 p.m. - SportsNet Central Extra

Saturday, May 21
12:30 p.m. - Bruins Face-Off LIVE
1 p.m. - SportsNet Central Extra
1:30 - Bruins vs. Lightning Game 4 on NBC
Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE (Following game)
4 p.m. - SportsNet Central Extra
6 p.m. - SportsNet Central

In addition, NESN made news this week by re-signing play-by-play man Jack Edwards to a multiyear-contract extension.

Edwards has been the subject of much discussion, even wrath, from certain fans and Saturday morning sports radio hosts for his well-documented post-game monologues. However, he is rock-solid as a play-by-play man and his enthusiasm for his job and the Bruins is undeniable. 

Nationally, NHL Network will host a one-hour NHL On The Fly: Conference Finals Preview show from 6-7 p.m. Host David Amber will mediate an all-goalie panel with regular contributor Kevin Weekes and special guest analyst, Chicago Blackhawks netminder Marty Turco, who is joining the cast throughout the Conference Finals.

The preview show, which will also be streamed live on NHL.com, will include special features on top playoff performers, player interviews, predictions, keys to playoff success and historical moments from the first two rounds of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

With the Bruins potentially making history over the next few weeks, fans both diehard and casual will have plenty of options to get the latest news and analysis of each game.

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