Being a local television announcer come playoff time often means having to miss out because of national networks’ rights.
Mlcezko will be in the booth alongside play-by-play man Kenny Albert for Games 1 and 2 on NBCSN and Game 3 on NBC, which will show Sunday’s game exclusively.
She also will contribute to MSG’s postgame coverage for Games 1, 2 and 3. MSG will do a postgame Sunday even though it cannot carry the game. And for Game 4, Mleczko will be an analyst and rinkside reporter for MSG. Pending her NBC duties, she might work Game 5 back in Uniondale, if there is one.
In between Games 3 and 4 in Pittsburgh on Sunday and Tuesday, she will fly to Dallas to work Game 3 of the Stars’ series against the Predators on Monday.
Jen Botterill, Mleczko’s college teammate at Harvard and fellow MSG analyst, will work the entire first-round series alongside Shannon Hogan. (Hogan is unable to travel by plane because of her advanced pregnancy, so she and Botterill will work from a New York studio when the Islanders are on the road.)
For Mleczko, who is in her first year as an MSG analyst, the fact that NBC assigned her to the Islanders made life both easier and more interesting.
“Although it’s a whole new season, I know the personnel, I know the personalities,” she said. “I didn’t have to spend a lot of time getting up to speed.”
Mleczko said on the national telecasts she has to be 50-50 in her approach to the teams, but naturally she has an added understanding of what the Islanders have done.
“Watching the story unfold with a front-row seat has been so amazing,” she said. “Not knowing the team as well as some of the fans and media have over the last couple of years, I can still appreciate what an incredible turnaround it was . . . Being able to watch this season unfold and be able to be here now and watch them play the first playoff series in this building since 2015, it’s a thrill personally.”