Today begins the official start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and while the Golden Knights won’t play until Monday, there are several games to keep your eyes on.
Vegas fans couldn’t get a true feeling of the NHL’s game presentation during Thursday night’s exhibition game against Arizona because the league used a fraction of what they have planned going forward.
We’re super excited about what we are going to be debuting and showing from Saturday all the way through the Stanley Cup Final. What you were seeing was probably five percent, ten percent of what you’re going to start to see on Saturday.- Steve Mayer, NHL Chief Content Officer
The NHL intends on making the television broadcast an experience for the viewing audience. They’ve added dozens of cameras for alternate views of the ice, creating a unique event, not just a typical hockey game.
Starting today, fans should keep their eyes open for some of the new additions the league will use throughout the entire postseason. They’re hoping fans will be entertained like they’re watching a movie or a television episode.
As a fan you’re not going to miss anything. Camera angles, the low angles, the replays, super slo-mo. There’s some really cool looks. The ability that we’ve had to really get inside of the game. It’s a made for television event. We don’t have fans here, so we essentially built a set. Every screen we’re going to highlight players. We’re going to highlight highlights, the history of the game, the statistics of the game. Visually I think you’re going to see things that you have never seen and probably never see again. -Steve Mayer
One of the newer gadgets the NHL will be using is the JitaCam, which is a mechanical camera on a large, 360-degree crane that can be positioned over the ice. The league has previously used the JitaCam at the All-Star game, but they plan on utilizing it much more since the arenas are empty.
Based on the fact that we just don’t have fans a lot of the ideas, and a lot of the things we’re doing are solely because of that… With no fans the ability to just put cameras where you want them because you’re not going to block a fan. To be able to put thirty foot high LED boards where fans would normally have been. To be able to put seat covers over seats, to take seats essentially out of play visually. To be able to put the amount of lighting that we’ve put into these buildings.-Steve Mayer
There is a slight issue with the new angles, effects, and views the NHL content department will display. Most will go away when fans are allowed back into arenas.
The JitaCam is right in the middle, if there were fans in the stands we’d get quite a few complaints… We can adjust as we go along as well in this new environment. What we start with we can keep getting better and better with every single game. So when we get to the Stanley Cup Final we have got the best telecast we’d could possibly have.- Steve Mayer
The league is apparently going all out for fans during this rare postseason. They’re not penny-pinching or trying to do more with less. The NHL’s intentions are to make the playoffs a one of a kind event. Not just for the fans but the players as well. They hope everyone will embrace the moment and chronicle this historic season.
Let’s pray it’s once in a lifetime, but because it’s a once in a lifetime it’s really up to all of us to document it and show it in a really unique way. Thirty years from now I think people are going to look back at this and go ‘what, really?’ and from everything from how the way it looks to how we’re presenting it is really meaningful.- Steve Mayer
Fans around the globe have been waiting months to watch their favorite teams compete in the playoffs, and the NHL hopes it’ll be the most memorable. So sit back in your comfy chair and enjoy the next couple of months of postseason hockey. For whatever we’re watching may end up changing the way we view sports in the future.