Daily Sports: The Fight For The Cup Starts In Chicago

The Stanley Cup Finals get underway tonight, as the Boston Bruins pay a visit to the Windy City. NBC has to be loving the matchup, with the nation’s third and fourth-largest markets involved, and both having large and passionate hockey fan bases. The puck drops at 8 PM ET. TheSportsNotebook’s NHL analysis previewed the Finals yesterday.

Wednesday’s daily sports menu is subordinate to the Bruins-Blackhawks, but there are other options. ESPN will have baseball action, with the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers meeting at 7 PM ET. The Tribe is really slumping right now, and while I love Terry Francona and believe he’ll get the job done over time, there’s just no starting pitching depth. I think things get worse here before they get better.

ESPNU will have its focus on the University of Miami football program. A 30 for 30 documentary looks at the rise of “The U”, and that starts at 7 PM ET. Then you get a little more down to earth and modern, with a replay of the school’s spring game from this year. TheSportsNotebook did a historical feature on the Hurricanes back in December 2011.

And for the completely silly feature of the night, NBA-TV is actually going to give out social media awards, for what players best engaged on social media this season. Does Kobe Bryant’s critique of his Lakers on Twitter as he sat out the playoffs injured qualify for an award?

I should admit that I don’t know if the league is giving these awards, or if it’s just a network show. If it’s the latter, then it’s the kind of goofy, fun thing that makes for good TV. If the league is really giving out awards, then somebody has blown a fuse. I suspect it’s the former.

TheSportsNotebook’s focus today will be our NBA commentary, as we look back at last night’s Game 3 between the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs.  The last installment of MLB coverage came over the weekend with a look at the Arizona Diamondbacks.