The die is cast: Playoffs round one schedule is finalized

Three Canadian teams are still in it to win it.

The NHL is undergoing one of its most complex Playoff formats in recent years, starting with 24 teams and shedding eight in last week’s qualifying round. Now, the official tournament has begun to take shape.

Three Canadian teams remain on the board – Montreal in the East and Calgary and Vancouver in the West – and at least one of them will play every day between Aug. 11 until about Aug. 17, and possibly until Aug. 23 (with as many as three Canadian teams playing on Aug. 14 and 16).

Rogers Sports and Media’s Sportsnet will serve as the official English-language national broadcaster of the games. Jim Hughson will provide play-by-play commentary and Craig Simpson will provide analysis in the Eastern conference games, which take place in Toronto. There, Montreal will play Philadelphia on Aug 12 (8 p.m. EST), Aug. 14 (3 p.m. EST), Aug. 16 (8 p.m. EST) and Aug. 18 (3 p.m. EST). Depending on the series, there are potential games on Aug. 19, 21 and 23. CBC will also carry all games on television.

Other match-ups in the Eastern conference series include Columbus versus Tampa Bay (Aug. 11 through 17 with the possibility to extend to Aug. 23), New York Islanders versus Washington (Aug. 12 through 18, possibly extending to Aug. 23) and Carolina versus Boston (Aug. 11 through 17, possibly extending to Aug. 23).

In the West, Chris Cuthbert will provide play-by-play and Louie DeBrusk will provide analysis. The Calgary Flames will face the Dallas Stars on Aug. 11 (2:30 p.m. PT), Aug. 13 (7:30 p.m. PT), Aug. 14 (7:30 p.m. PT) and Aug. 16 (11 a.m. PT). Potential further games could also air on Aug. 18, 20 and 22. CBC will also carry all of Calgary’s matches.

Vancouver will face off against the St. Louis Blues starting Aug. 12 (7:30 p.m. PT), Aug. 14 (3:30 p.m. PT), Aug. 16 (7:30 p.m. PT) and Aug. 17 (7:30 p.m. PT). The series could also include games on Aug. 19, 21 and 23. CBC will carry games one and four of the series. Other match-ups in this round include Chicago versus Vegas (Aug. 11 to 16, possibly extending to Aug. 22) and Arizona versus Colorado (Aug. 12 to 17, possibly extending to Aug. 23).

In addition to the first round broadcast, Sportsnet will deliver coverage of tonight’s NHL Draft Lottery at 6 p.m. EST.

Digital coverage on Sportsnet’s website and app will include The Insiders news and analysis series; Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts column and podcast, the various sponsored Sportsnet Fantasy series, the new Inside the Bubble vlogs, which depict life inside the Edmonton and Toronto “bubbles” for teams and highlights on social.