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The waiting was the hardest part for San Jose Sharks fans.
The Sharks haven't played since before Mother's Day. They didn't even know they'd be facing the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL Western Conference Finals until Tuesday night. And they woke up Thursday morning still not even knowing whether they'd be playing game one the very next day.
They won't. The NHL, who are not exactly enthusiastic about advance planning, announced that the first meeting between the Sharks and the Blackhawks Western Conference Finals is scheduled for Sunday, 12 Noon PDT at HP Pavilion. The game will be broadcast live on NBC.
The wait was no fun, but be proud of the thought process. San Jose plays the early game Sunday because NBC decided that Sharks vs. Blackhawks would get better ratings than the Montreal Canadiens vs. a team to be determined.
"For NBC, it’s all about delivering eyeballs to advertisers," writes David Pollak on his Mercury News Sharks blog. "It does feature teams in two of the nation’s Top Five television markets."
The alternative? 4 p.m. on the Versus Network, immediately before "Professional Bull Riders."
Better for Sharks fans to have been steered to NBC.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who just blew his chance at his own World Extreme Cagefighting show on the Versus Network.