NHL TV Schedule: Washington Capitals and Golden Knights lead week

Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images /
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Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images /

Welcome to Top Shelf TV, a preview of the week’s national NHL TV schedule. We comb through what’s airing on NBC, NBCSN, and NHL Network to tell you which games are worth your time and which ones to skip.

After three whole days without hockey, we have a short week for the national NHL TV schedule. Hockey returns from Christmas break tonight with a so-so doubleheader on Thursday, and a nice rivalry in the Central on Friday. This follows with a nice non-national schedule over the weekend

The action comes fast this week, so let’s get to it!

Thursday (Dec. 28)

Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET/ 4:30 p.m. PT on NBCSN)

The Good: The Bruins have won five straight games. They will try to beat the Capitals for the first time since 2014. Braden Holtby probably has a majority stake in the Bruins’ ownership considering how well he has done against them.

The Bad: This is the tail end of a back-to-back for the Capitals, and things don’t get much easier from here. Washington plays four games the week following their Christmas break. We could see Washington drop a few points heading into the new year.

The Verdict: Hard maybeThis is the second week in a row the Bruins are victims of poor TV scheduling. They’re a fun team to watch in a vacuum, but you’d do better to watch the Capitals on Wednesday.

Vegas Golden Knights at Los Angeles Kings (10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT on NBCSN)

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The Good: The top two teams in the West square off. Much has been made of Vegas’ schedule heating up down the stretch: they have two big road trips in late January and February that should make or break their season.

In the mean time, they lead the West as James Neal continues to defy expectations in his age 30 season. Jonathan Marchessault is showing Florida he’s one of many mistakes on the Panthers part. With a healthy Marc-Andre Fleury, Vegas looks to be a sure-fire playoff team.

The Kings are coming off a longer Christmas break than most. Unfortunately, after the Knights game, they head out for a Western Canada road trip. These are two big points for Los Angeles. While Vegas and Los Angeles are tied on 48 points apiece, Vegas has three games in hand.

The Bad: Vegas has pointy elbows? Anze Kopitar has “Man Hands”? Not a lot to criticize here.

The Verdict: Must watch.