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The first round of the playoffs is underway from the bubbles in Canada.
After "Elimination Friday," this weekend has a full slate of games in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
  The National Hockey League (NHL) returns to play on Saturday, August 1, with a modified, expanded Stanley Cup Playoffs. Instead of the typical 16-team bracket, 24 teams in two bubble cities will compete for the Stanley Cup. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs will be broadcast on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, NHL Network, and regional sports networks. Certain out-of-network games are available to stream through NHL.TV, but are subject to local blackouts. For full access to the NHL's return to play, we suggest a streaming service with live TV, like Sling TV or Hulu + Live TV.  Each of these services carries NBC, NBCSN, and USA, so you'll be able to watch nearly every game.   Like many major sports leagues, the National Hockey League (NHL) paused play in March — a month before the typical April start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs — due to dangers presented by the novel coronavirus. Because the league was so close to the end of the regular season when the pause was announced, its return to play format will jump right into a modified, expanded playoffs kicking off on Saturday, August 1. Instead of the typical 16-team bracket, the tournament has been expanded to feature 24 teams — including several on the cusp of making the playoffs when the season was paused. Following the example of the NWSL, MLS, WNBA, and NBA, the NHL has opted to host teams in a two-city bubble in its return to play format. Eastern Conference teams will live and play in Toronto, while the Western Conference will find a home in Edmonton. The Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Finals will both be played in Edmonton, which means that eventually, a selection of Eastern Conference teams will have to switch cities. Teams have been allowed to bring a total of 50 personnel into the bubble including a roster of 31 players. The top four teams in each conference — the Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Philadelphia Flyers in the East, and the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Vegas Golden Knights, and Dallas Stars in the West — get an automatic bye into the first round of the playoffs. These teams will play a three-game round-robin for seeding. The remaining 16 teams will play a best-of-five qualifying round to determine who moves on. Subsequent rounds will be the typical best-of-seven format. How to watch the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs NHL games will be shown nationally on NBC, NBCSN, and USA Network with many being shown on the specialty cable channel, NHL Network, as well. Games will also be shown locally on regional sports networks, so check your local listings. If you don't have cable, your best bet to watch as many of the games as possible is to subscribe to a streaming service with live TV access. All the major streaming players, including Hulu + Live TV, Sling TV, FuboTV, and AT&T TV, carry NBC, NBCSN, and USA. In addition, the latter three services all offer packages that add NHL Network as well. At $40 a month, Sling TV's Blue plan with the Sports Extra add-on is going to be the most affordable way to watch the playoffs on every major channel — just be sure to check that NBC is part of the package in your area as it's not available in certain smaller markets.  NHL.TV, the league's own streaming service, is also carrying many of the games — but only for the initial qualifying round, and not all of them either, so be sure to check the schedule. For a one-time payment of $4.99, you'll gain access to 21 games, but beware that NHL.TV is subject to local blackouts. If you live in the area your team plays, you won't be able to watch through this service. It's a great deal if you watch an out-of-market team, but you'll have to find a way to watch via live TV for later playoff rounds. Because games are being hosted in only two arenas, we'll see tournament-style hockey with up to three games being played per day per arena — that means a total of up to six televised games per day during the initial qualifying round. The league has released a handy schedule of all the qualifying round and round-robin games including the national and local networks on which you can watch them. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off this Saturday, August 1, at 12 p.m. ET when the New York Rangers take on the Carolina Hurricanes. Major storylines One of the silver linings to the extended pause was that injured players got plenty of time to heal up and rehab before play resumed. In as grueling a tournament as the Stanley Cup Playoffs where athletes often grit their teeth through sprains, tears, and other various — sometimes severe — bumps and bruises, being able to start with a full roster of healthy players is a true novelty. It also means that several key players who would have normally missed the playoffs due to injury are back to contribute to their team. This long list includes the Cup-defending St. Louis Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko, Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jake Guentzel, Columbus Blue Jackets number one defenseman Seth Jones, and New York Islanders shutdown defenseman Adam Pelech. Though the Tampa Bay Lightning hoped their top-line center and captain Steven Stamkos would be among this list, the injury-prone veteran got hurt again during a voluntary skate prior to training camp and is still questionable, though the team is hopeful he'll be ready. Last season, the St. Louis Blues stunned the hockey world by going from second-to-last place in the league to Stanley Cup Champions for the first time in franchise history, all in the span of half a season. While there is certainly pressure on the Blues to repeat, there may be even more eyes on Stamkos' Lightning. In 2019, the Lightning won the league's Presidents' Trophy — awarded for the most points earned by the end of the regular season — by a landslide and were easily favored to win the Cup. Yet, they found themselves swept out of the first round by the underdog Blue Jackets. They'll be looking to prove that last year's embarrassment was just a fluke. Eyes are also on the Boston Bruins, this year's recipient of the Presidents' Trophy, albeit one awarded for a shortened season. They've been a dominant force this year and are expected to be Cup contenders. But fully rested teams, healthy rosters, an expanded format, and the sheer weirdness of bubble life all have the potential to really blow these playoffs wide open. Any team can play spoiler and hoist the Cup.   Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: How waste is dealt with on the world's largest cruise ship
New England Patriots Champions Ring – let's Have A Closer LookOn the victory of Stanley Championship, the winning team, executives, and coaches are provided with the New England Patriots Champions Ring that symbolizes the glory and pride of the winning moment and the play.But does the ring only reveal victory?Let’s have a closer look at the Stanley Cup Ring for further details.The ring celebrates the Blues as well as the city of St. Louis and the committed fans that have upheld them.The group and creator endeavor to catch that relationship in the structure of the ring; utilizing jewels and authentic sapphires, the tale of the Blues and St. Louis becomes animated through the ring's extraordinary subtleties and perplexing narrating.Created in 14-karat white and yellow gold, the St. Louis Blues 2019 Championship Ring commends their excursion and gives proper respect to the group, their fans and their city.Meaning the number of postseason triumphs earned along their way to the Cup, 16 certifiable, specially cut blue sapphires is unpredictably masterminded on the ring top, shaping the Blue Note logo.In a dumbfounding presentation of exactness, each is gently shaved inside millimeters for a careful fit inside the logo's yellow gold framework.Additionally, featured in yellow gold are the words, STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS, emphasized with custom blue antiquing.
As this $21 billion television upfront marketplace wraps up negotiations between the networks and media buyers, it may come as a surprise to some that the networks are commanding actual price and revenue increases, landing somewhere north of 8–9% in pricing for primetime, according to some reports.After all, TV’s death—or at least irrelevance as an ad medium—has been predicted for more than a decade now.Truth is, all the options available to the modern media agency have a role to play, something of a team sport: digital’s the sharpshooter; radio, mobile and out of home are all stout defenders; social’s the boost off the bench; and TV is your playmaker, tying all the other elements together.Consumer interaction with TV content on these newer platforms creates new data and information streams that enable more efficient and effective investment by agencies for their clients.Add to that addressability and more advanced cross-measurement tools that show off exactly how central TV is to most marketing mixes.There’s a reason Live Ramp just agreed to spend $150 million to buy Data Plus Math: It’s because data-driven TV has helped marketers target more effectively while still getting reach.
We cover a wide range of topics, with a focus on sales development and inside sales priorities.Spotify, iTunes, Blubrry, Google Play, iHeartRADIO, or StitcherThis time we have one of the most famous, one of the most, in my perspective, inspirational sales authors, speakers in the circuit today, Mike Weinberg, who is the author of New Sales Simplified and the new book Sales Truth.It’s going to sound weird, but the simplest way I can explain it is the motivation to write this book was that what I was reading online, particularly on LinkedIn, which I think can be a cesspool for sales advice, what I was reading online from supposed sales experts about what it takes to succeed in sales today was so contradictory and so different from what I see with my own eyes in companies where I consult and train and coach, that I thought I need to compare these two, because there’s this trend right now from the nouveau sales experts, right, and the self-proclaimed thought leaders of today that can be very popular.You’ve got thousands of sales tool vendors, right, and it behooves them to have messaging along the lines, “If you don’t have my new tool and incorporate this in your process, you’re going to be left behind.” I’ll tell you, and I was just discussing this with another sales guru, the reality is I have never with my own eyes seen a sales team or a salesperson that was struggling or failing because they didn’t have the latest, greatest tool or process.I even wrote this in Sales Truth somewhere, that some people are so untethered to the truth because their own livelihood is tied to what they’re pitching you, that they can’t even have a rational argument with you about what’s working and what’s not because they can’t see clearly because they need what they’re promoting to succeed.
Not only did the St. Louis Blues capture the Stanley Cup—the team also dominated Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the National Hockey League Stanley Cup Final series when compared with the runner-up Boston Bruins, according to social marketing firm Unmetric.Unmetric analyzed the Blues and Bruins on the three social platforms from June 1 through 13, and the results were far more lopsided than those of the actual hockey games.The good news for the Bruins: The club led Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in audience size and paced Twitter in comments.The bad news for the Bruins (other than the obvious): St. Louis swept the three social platforms in growth, engagement, posts and likes, and it led Facebook and Instagram in comments.
Sometimes the best accompaniment for a cold beer is a catchy tune.That’s the thinking behind Wieden + Kennedy’s latest spot for Bud Light, anyway.On June 12, St. Louis Blues fans sang loud and proud to Laura Branigan’s “Gloria,” the unofficial championship anthem, as the NHL team skated to its first Stanley Cup victory.Bud Light was first introduced in St. Louis in 1876, and the company continues to hold the city close to its heart and, by extension, the local NHL team.“We’re so proud of our hometown Blues for bringing home their first Stanley Cup,” said Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing at Bud Light, in a statement.Goeler also reflected on how “Gloria is already ingrained into Blues history and the city of St. Louis, so Bud Light is toasting our hometown team by doing what we do best: brewing beer.”
Well this is a turn up for the books - the St. Louis Blues have the chance to beat the mighty Boston Bruins at the Scottrade Center tonight and walk away with the first Stanley Cup in the franchise's history.The two teams are facing off in a best-of-seven final to see which will take 2019's top honours.Since the Bruins are from Boston and the Blues are from St. Louis, the best of seven series to decide which team will take home the Stanley Cup will be split between the two cities.However, by adding interim coach Graig Berube, the team entered into a months-long run that put them into the playoffs and now the Stanley Cup Final.The Bruins on the other hand, have been considered a favorite for years and had a helping hand from the Columbus Blue Jackets who knocked the Tampa Bay Lighting out of the playoffs with a four-game sweep.The Blues haven’t made it to the Stanley Cup Final for 50 seasons while the Bruins expect to be there every year.You should also check out our MLB live stream guide
The St. Louis Blues had not been part of the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Final since 1970 until this season, and the team’s rise also captivated people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in May, according to social marketing firm Unmetric.The Blues posted the most growth on Facebook and Instagram for the month, as well as leading all three social platforms in posts, topping Facebook in likes and pacing Facebook and Twitter in comments.St. Louis’ opponent, the Boston Bruins, had a strong May performance as well, leading all three platforms in total audience size—overtaking the Toronto Maple Leafs on Twitter and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Instagram—and tallying the most likes on Twitter and Instagram.Unmetric examined its cross-channel reports for all 31 NHL teams from May 1 through 31, and it also found that:The Carolina Hurricanes had the most Twitter growth in May and topped all three platforms in engagement.The San Jose Sharks led Instagram in likes for the month.
Another season of hockey is coming to an end, but the most exciting moments are yet to come.On May 27, the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins will take to the ice to battle it out for the NHL’s top prize, the Stanley Cup.On one side, the come-from-behind Blues will be challenging for the Cup for the first time in 49 years, making the stakes awfully high.On the other, the Bruins hope to ride goalie Tuukka Rask’s resurgence and the Patriots and the Red Sox recent success in bringing gold back to Boston.Put on your favorite sweater, sit back, and enjoy — but don’t forget your wallet.Sling TV’s Blue package, which includes both channels, is the cheapest at $15 for your first month (which should get you through the whole Stanley Cup, no problem), but YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV, PlayStation Vue, FuboTV, and DirecTV Now should all work, too.
The Carolina Hurricanes were not downgraded to a tropical storm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in April, as the club topped all National Hockey League teams in growth across the three social platforms and engagement on the first two, according to social marketing firm Unmetric.The Vegas Golden Knights also had a strong April, leading in Instagram engagement and likes and comments on Twitter.Unmetric examined its cross-channel reports for all 31 NHL teams from April 1 through 30, and it also found that:The Chicago Blackhawks lost their crowns for top audience size on Facebook and Twitter to the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively, while the Pittsburgh Penguins remained atop Instagram.The Maple Leafs also tallied the most likes on Instagram and the most comments on Facebook and Instagram.The St. Louis Blues had the most posts and likes on Facebook.
It's that time of year when record companies roll out box sets by their brightest stars.The Beatles White Album 2018 RemixThere were four Beatles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr – and here on the White Album, more than any other of the band's albums you hear them as four individuals.One of the six CDs in the box set is called the Esher Demos, a collection of 27 acoustic demo songs recorded in George Harrison's home prior to the studio sessions.The box set features a 164 page hardcover book loaded with essays, session photos, track by track notes, and a lot more.I always loved the White Album, but I felt it showed early signs of the Beatles breakup.
The San Jose Sharks have thus far dispatched the Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues in the playoffs.Yet, now they are set to face off against possibly their most formidable opponent:Andrea Bocelli.Yes, the acclaimed Italian tenor is set to perform on June 4 at the SAP Center in San Jose, which is also the same day that the Sharks will battle in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals.It's a moot point if the Tampa Bay Lightning win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of their series -- because that would mean the Sharks would have home ice in the finals.Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli sings beside Leicester team manager Claudio Ranieri, right, ahead of an English Premier League soccer match in Leicester, England, on Saturday, May 7, 2016.Matt Dunham/Associated Press Obviously, both the Bocelli concert and the Sharks game can't happen on the same night.That would create a one-of-kind doubleheader -- power plays and arias!We are still awaiting word from the Sharks on how this issue might be addressed.We will update this story once we have more information.Follow Jim Harrington at twitter.com/jimthecritic.
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