Update from David Pollak. In essence, ignore this post. Worst article in the history of the blog:
Game 1 between the Sharks and Red Wings is Thursday night with a 6 p.m. start.
Game 2 at HP Pavilion on Sunday is an extremely safe bet, though the starting time is yet to be determined.
Looking at the reasons as to why the NHL wouldn't release the Western Conference playoff schedule yet, I can only come to one conclusion-- they are waiting on the Capitals and Canadiens matchup to be completed tomorrow night. There is no logical reason to restrict information on event dates from their paying customers if this was not the case.
Which leads me to believe the result from that series determines when the Sharks play.
We know that The Eagles* will be playing at HP Pavilion on Friday and Saturday. Since the Sharks have home-ice advantage and will play their first two games in San Jose, Thursday and Sunday are the two available days to start the series.
*Just another reason why I prefer Don Henley's solo career.
Detroit head coach Mike Babcock's post-game presser was shown on NHL on the Fly tonight, and he stated that it was his belief the series would start on Thursday. If Babcock is anything, he is a master of the media game. One of the best in the business. Mentally preparing his team for a quick turnaround is his number one priority right now, not offering rock solid schedule information. I don't read too much into those comments.
If the Capitals advance, they go with the big money American ticket of Washington-Philadelphia for NBC's Game of The Week on Sunday. The Sharks would then play the Red Wings on Thursday. If the Canadiens advance, NBC hops on the Detroit wagon and rides it all the way to a Sunday game one start time.
The latter situation obviously hurts San Jose as they will not have played a playoff game in exactly one week; nor will they be able to capitalize on tired Detroit team that just went seven games with Phoenix. In the spirit of the opposing fanbase, let us don the tin foil hats and reflect upon how the NHL is out to get us.
Another potential scenario involves NBC going with Chicago-Vancouver for their Sunday game in the event Washington bows out. Extremely unlikely considering Vancouver would generate zero interest in the American television market and NBC would want to stay in the East, but one I felt should be thrown out there for discussion nonetheless.
Again, purely speculation. But right now, it's the only thing that makes sense to me.
Could be the nerves.