REMINDER: Zack Phillips & Charlie Coyle On NHL Network Tonight
Posted by Nathan Wells on Saturday, May 19, 2012
One of the pitfalls of trying to follow drafted prospects from a NHL team is that unlike the NFL or NBA where prospects are in US colleges, hockey is an international game. Outside of the World Junior Championships every December-January, there isn't a chance to have all the top 18, 19 and 20 year-old hockey players in the world in one place. Unless a prospect plays nearby, more junior, collegiate and European teams have online streams or you have enough money to budget a NHL scouting staff, the chances of watching every Minnesota Wild prospect are few and far in between.
After all, Minnesota's top 10 prospects include players in Finland, Sweden, the WCHA, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Western Hockey League, the BCHL and the AHL.
Luckily, the NHL Network is broadcasting the Memorial Cup in the United States (and in HD too! I probably shouldn't be surprised but after seeing so many grainy prospect videos that look like they were shot by the high school AV Club, it's good to see a first world problem solved) which means fans in the State of Hockey can watch Charlie Coyle and Zack Phillips.
That's right, live (at least for tonight) and without having to watch it online. Saint John kick off their chance to repeat as Memorial Cup champions tonight (Saturday May 19th) at 6 p.m. CT against the OHL champion London Knights on NHL Network.
Both Phillips and Coyle have been integral parts of the Sea Dogs' run through the QMJHL Playoffs. Phillips, Minnesota's first round pick in 2011 (28th overall) had the most assists in the Q with 23 playoff helpers (along with 9 goals). Coyle, San Jose's first round pick in 2010 (28th overall) acquired in the Brent Burns trade, has made a major impact for the Sea Dogs since arriving in January. He averaged 2 points per game with 34 (15G-19A) in 17 postseason games - tied for the most points with Stanislav Galiev and second in assists - en route to being named the QMJHL Playoff MVP.
London, meanwhile, defeated Windsor, Saginaw, Kitchener and Niagara to reach their first Memorial Cup since 2004-2005. The other two teams in this year's Memorial Cup, which awards the champion of the entire CHL, are Edmonton (WHL champions) and Shawinigan (host team). Each team faces the others once before a semifinal and championship round.
Saint John Sea Dogs Memorial Cup Schedule
Saturday May 19 - Saint John v. London 6 p.m. CT (LIVE on NHL Network)
Monday May 21 - Saint John v. Edmonton 6 p.m. CT (12 p.m. Tuesday on NHL Network)
Wednesday May 23 - Saint John v. Shawinigan 6 p.m. CT (12 p.m. Thursday on NHL Network)
Thursday May 24 - Tiebreaker*
Friday May 25 - Semifinal*
Sunday May 27 - Championship*
*To be determined
-Saint John is looking to be the fourth team to repeat as Memorial Cup champions since the tournament expanded to four teams in 1983. Windsor (2009-2010), Kamloops (1994-1995) and Medicine Hat (1987-1988) are the others.
-Yahoo! had an article this morning on Charlie Coyle and finding a new home after leaving Boston University.
-Hockey's Future has a preview of the Memorial Cup.
-The Pipeline Show has an article on the amount of offense all 4 teams have.
-Coyle is the first American to win the QMJHL Playoff MVP since Pat Lafontaine. Not bad company to be in.
Photo Credit: Wild.com