Stanley Cup Final Starts Wednesday, Avoids NBA Competition


For the first time in three years, the Stanley Cup Final will avoid direct competition with the NBA Finals.

The NHL released the official schedule for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final on Thursday. Game 1 between the Canucks and the winner of the Bruins/Lightning series will take place on Wednesday, June 1, with Game 2-4 set for Saturday, June 4, Monday, June 6 and Wednesday, June 8.

Games 5, 6 and 7, if necessary, would take place on Friday, June 10, Monday, June 13, and Wednesday, June 15. As has been the case in the last two seasons, NBC will air Games 1-2 and 5-7, while Versus will air Games 3-4.

For the first time since 2008, the Stanley Cup Final will avoid airing directly opposite the NBA Finals, which has a Thursday-Sunday-Tuesday schedule.

Last year, Blackhawks/Flyers Game 5 aired opposite Celtics/Lakers Game 2. In 2009, Games 4 and 6 of Penguins/Red Wings aired opposite Games 1 and 3 of Lakers/Magic. In both years, the NHL game was outdrawn by the NBA game.

(Information from

  • Jason Clinkscales

    This bodes extremely well for both leagues, especially the NHL. The NHL may not get all-time numbers with this series from the start, but it’ll be easier for viewership to build if the games are close. Either Tampa Bay or Boston can give Vancouver a long series.