Like the Islanders, MSG Networks' Brendan Burke has advanced to the second round of the playoffs. But he will not do so with the Islanders.
Burke, a rising star in NBC’s hockey stable, was to call Game 1 of the Stars-Blues series – along with his sometime MSG partner A.J. Mleczko – on Thursday night and also is set for Game 1 of Avalanche-Sharks on Friday.
But that does not mean the Hurricanes-Islanders series will be without an announcer with particular expertise on one of the teams. It’s just that that announcer will be Carolina’s longtime play-by-play man, John Forslund.
Forslund, who has been calling Hurricanes games since before the franchise moved to Carolina from Hartford, is slated for the entire series, with analysts Ed Olczyk and Brian Boucher joining him for Games 1 and 2.
Then Olczyk will leave to tend to his Kentucky Derby duties for NBC while Forslund and Boucher work Games 3 and 4 in Raleigh.
Forslund is an NBC regular and would have worked the second round with or without the Hurricanes advancing.
MSG is not allowed to carry games live, but it will offer postgame shows after each game (simulcast on MSG and MSG Plus), featuring host Bill Pidto and analysts Butch Goring and Jennifer Botterill. (Regular host Shannon Hogan gave birth to a daughter on April 19 and is on maternity leave.)
Burke is expected to contribute to MSG's studio show when he can during the series.