Friday, May 19, 2017

Best Night of the Year

O.K., perhaps the headline is overselling it a bit, but not much.

We have, starting at 7 pm Eastern, the Showtime special "All Access: Quest for the Stanley Cup." The Lounge will have that stream via the Showtime app on the Roku stick.

At the same time, I will have a screen in the Lounge dedicated to the opening night of the Memorial Cup, the championship tournament for major junior hockey. Tonight's game features the host team, the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League against the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Windsor was knocked out in the first round of the OHL playoffs, but are in this four-team tournament because, well, they are giving the party.

The tournament runs through May 28. The other two teams in the tournament are the Seattle Thunderbirds, champions of the Western Hockey League, and the Erie Otters, champions of the Ontario Hockey League. You have to love it, two U.S.-based teams in the hunt for the championship of the Canadian Hockey League, the umbrella organization for the QMJHL, OHL and WHL. The last time two U.S.-based teams reached this event was in 2007, when the Lewiston Maineiacs of the QMJHL and the Plymouth Whalers of the OHL advanced to Vancouver.

The teams are loaded top prospects who have been drafted and more who will expect to hear their names called at the NHL Entry Draft next month. Most of these games can be seen on the NHL Network in the United States, though I am not certain of the exact schedule, as the games could run long and conflict with the "NHL Tonight" shows that go with the Stanley Cup. In short, check the listings for live coverage and replays of the games. (In Canada, all games are on Sportsnet.) And all games will be streamed live via the web because the Lounge has paid the $26 subscription fee to see all the tournament games.

At 8, the Lounge have Game 4 of the Eastern Conference final between the Penguins and Senators via the SlingTV app on the Roku stick, though I am always tempted to wait until the game is over to stream the Hockey Night in Canada feed through the app on the Roku stick or iPhone. We stream sports, movies and music in the Lounge, or we don't watch.

The eyes are in for a beating tonight, but when I finally close them, I'll be smiling.