Sports Radio Boston – Bruins on The Sports Hub 98.5 Boston

Prime time players

By Douglas Flynn

The Bruins are ready for prime time.   Last year’s success has put Boston’s hockey franchise in the national spotlight, at least as far as the NHL’s network partners are concerned. The league announced its national TV schedule for the 2009-10 season, and the Bruins have earned a couple of prime spots.

They’ll kick off NBC’s coverage when they host Philadelphia in the Winter Classic at Fenway Park on Jan. 1. They’ll also play host to Washington before a national audience on Oct. 1, kicking off VERSUS’ coverage this year on the opening night of the season.   Bruins fans may want to put away the clicker that night, as the second half of the doubleheader features old friend Joe Thornton and the Sharks playing at Colorado.

Sports Radio Boston - Boston BruinsAfter the Winter Classic, the Bruins could be on NBC as many as five more times. NBC listed two or three possible games for each of its Sunday afternoon matinee showcases, with the final match-up to be decided 13 days before the broadcast. In the running are Bruins dates with Carolina (Jan. 24), Montreal (Feb. 7), Pittsburgh (March 7), the Rangers (March 21) and Washington (April 11).

The Bruins will also get plenty of exposure on VERSUS, playing seven games on that network – all featured as VERSUS excusive Game of the Week match-ups. In addition to the Washington opener, the B’s will play at Detroit (Nov. 3), vs. Pittsburgh (Nov. 10), at the Rangers (Jan. 4), at New Jersey (March 15), vs. Buffalo (March 29) and at Washington (April 5).

For fans north of the border, the Bruins will make seven appearances on CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada,” though only five of them will be in the traditional Saturday night timeslot. Those include 7 p.m. match-ups with Toronto on Dec. 5, Dec. 19 and April 3, along with a 1 p.m. matinee against Ottawa on Jan. 23 and at Montreal on March 13.

The Bruins play Montreal two other times on CBC: Friday Dec. 4, and Sunday Feb. 7.   Boston also has six games on TSN (Detroit Nov 3., Montreal Nov. 5, Pittsburgh Nov. 10, Rangers Jan. 4, Toronto March 4, Washington April 5), two on TSN2 (New Jersey March 15, Buffalo March 29) and three on the French network RDS (Montreal Nov. 5, Tampa Bay Dec. 2, Montreal Dec. 4). Both CBC and RDS will also televise the Winter Classic on Jan. 1.

The rest of the games will be on NESN as usual, as well as the new radio home at The Sports Hub 98.5 AM, but Bruins fans might need to keep their “TV Guides” handy this year with so many games landing on the network’s national schedules.   Guess that’s the price you pay for success. Douglas Flynn can be reached at feedback@hockeyjournal.com.