NBC To Air Caps/Penguins February 7th

The NHL announced last night that the NBC Game of the Week on February 7th at Noon ET will be Pittsburgh vs. Washington.  This will be the third appearance of the season for Pittsburgh, and the first for Washington.

NEW YORK – The Sunday, Feb. 7, Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals game has been flexed as NBC Sports’ “Game of the Week” and will be played at Verizon Center at the special time of Noon ET, the National Hockey League and NBC Sports announced today. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin last spring delighted the sports world with a memorable seven-game playoff series, including both superstars recording a hat trick in Game 2, that elevated what had been a rivalry between individuals into what many are calling the NHL’s best current team rivalry.

Both the teams and superstars are at it again this season.  Ovechkin has 65 points in 41 games, including 15 in his last seven games.  Crosby has 63 points in 50 games, including 14 in his last seven games.  Ovechkin has 30 goals this season, tying him for third in the NHL.  Crosby has 32 goals this season, second in the League behind San Jose’s Patrick Marleau who has 34.  Ovechkin had five points against Toronto last Friday. Crosby had six against the Islanders Tuesday night.

The surging Capitals, who have won seven of their last eight games, currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings.  The Penguins have won five of their last eight games and reside in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Capitals and Penguins face each other for the first time this season tonight, Thursday, Jan. 21, at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh.  The game will be televised locally on FSN Pittsburgh and Comcast SportsNet in Washington and nationally in the U.S. on NHL Network.

ADDITIONAL “GAME OF THE WEEK” MATCHUPS

This Sunday, the Penguins travel to Philadelphia to face the Flyers at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC.  This Keystone State rivalry has reached the boiling point after the Penguins eliminated the Flyers from the playoffs in two hard-fought series each of the past two seasons.

Sunday, Jan. 31, features a rematch of the last two Stanley Cup Finals when the Detroit Red Wings visit the Penguins in Pittsburgh.  Another great NHL rivalry was forged when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup last spring in seven games to dethrone the Red Wings, who had won in six games the previous season against the Penguins.  Jan. 31 marks the first meeting between Pittsburgh and Detroit this season.

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING

At least 13 days prior to the scheduled game, one game is selected for broadcast on NBC.  All NBC games will be broadcast on Sundays and all games will be presented in HD.  Games not flexed to NBC will be available to the teams’ regional carriers and remain at the originally announced start time.

Upcoming 2010 NBC Game of the Week Regular-Season Flexible Schedule

Jan. 24  PITTSBURGH AT PHILADELPHIA 12:30 p.m. ET
Jan. 31  DETROIT AT PITTSBURGH 12:30 p.m. ET
Feb. 7  PITTSBURGH AT WASHINGTON Noon ET
Mar. 7  Boston at Pittsburgh OR Detroit at Chicago OR Carolina at Atlanta 12:30 p.m. ET
Mar. 14  Philadelphia at NY Rangers OR Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay OR Washington at Chicago OR
Colorado at Dallas 12:30 p.m. ET
Mar. 21  NY Rangers at Boston OR Buffalo at Carolina 12:30 p.m. ET
Apr. 4  Detroit at Philadelphia 12:30 p.m. ET
Apr. 11  Boston at Washington OR NY Rangers at Philadelphia OR Detroit at Chicago

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Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

13 Responses to NBC To Air Caps/Penguins February 7th

  1. nosferatu says:

    I think it’s now safe to say that we’ll be seeing Carolina at Atlanta on March 7th!

    I just hope NBC doesn’t get sucked in by the big market potential of Rangers-Flyers on the 14th and instead goes with what likely will be a much more entertaining game–the Caps at the Hawks.

  2. Chris says:

    Snooze

  3. Chris says:

    would love to see the Sharks more on national tv

  4. Rindu Muncie says:

    So Pittsburgh every week for three weeks? lol

    Chris: I would love to see the Sharks FINALLY be shown on an NBC National Game of the Week. Since NBC moved to the one national game format, the Sharks have ZERO appearances, although been one of the best regular season teams in that span.

    If last season you had the best record in the NFL, the next season you’d be on SNF and MNF a ton. Last season the Sharks were the NHL’s best team, still no appearances (And currently #1 in the NHL league standings again, mind you). It’s a complete joke.

  5. nosferatu says:

    Let the Sharks air a home game on NBC–and keep it at 12:30 ET! I could see that. 9:30 a.m. local time opening faceoff. The logic involved in NBC’s scheduling would certainly dictate that.

    It’s really embarrassing, though. Basically the league west of Chicago doesn’t exist.

  6. Colton says:

    They pick markets that are strong locally.

    The Sharks get like a 1.5 rating per game even though they’ve been at the top of the standings for 5 years.

    It’s not good enough.

    • nosferatu says:

      While those numbers are accurate (maybe even a little kind to the Sharks), the notion that they pick teams with strong local ratings isn’t entirely accurate. The Rangers, for instance, get worse local ratings than the Sharks, around a 1.0. The Wild, in such a great TV market for hockey, are barely above 1.5 this season. And those darlings in Chicago and Washington are just now moving past that type of figure.

      I think it’s also important to look at the type of market being discussed. In a market like New York, you’re not going to get high ratings because of the large and diverse population. In Buffalo or Pittsburgh? Different story. Looking at the Sharks, a 1.25 rating isn’t all that bad considering this takes into account the entire Comcast SportsNet viewing region–territory that includes all of the Bay Area, which has a large and diverse population similar to New York, and other cities, such as Sacramento, where the Sharks have never merited more than fleeting media coverage and compete with the NBA’s Kings, often on the same night and same channel.

  7. Colton says:

    1.0 rating in New York and a 1.0 rating in San Jose are completely different.

    How many people outside of San Jose care about the Sharks? Their fanbase is growing every year, but it pales in comparison to the other bigger markets.

    A couple of teams that SHOULD be on national tv more is Buffalo and St. Louis.

    • nosferatu says:

      I agree that the fanbases are different–obviously the Rangers’ is much more widespread than the Sharks’–but your argument proposed that they choose teams based on local ratings.

      I think this gets to the larger issue of, as you said, how many people outside of San Jose care about the Sharks. Substitute several other cities and teams and it’s the same story. But wouldn’t it go a long way to getting people outside San Jose to care about the Sharks if they were actually televised nationally, at least a couple times a year? Even if you include Versus, the number is pitiful. The ONLY way their fan base can grow is with exposure, and you’d think a team consistently at the top of the standings with some true star power in the lineup would warrant that.

      I don’t disagree that Buffalo deserves more attention with their success and strong fan base, but while St. Louis does have a very impressive local audience, I wouldn’t say they deserve much more attention until they’re doing better in the standings consistently.

      • Josh says:

        They do pick games based on local ratings. It’s just that a local rating point in New York means many, many more people than a local rating point in San Jose.

        In Canada, it means the Leafs are on nationally more often than other teams. In the US, it means the Yankees and Rangers are. I mean, really, these are pretty basic calculations.

  8. nosferatu says:

    Josh–I’m not arguing the fact that local ratings and national reputation are why they choose teams for the NBC telecasts. I’m just saying that I’d like to see some other factors at play here, because I’m sick of seeing the same five or six teams rotated in and out of all the NBC games. And if NBC gets San Jose or L.A. or Anaheim in the Cup Final and the ratings plummet, part of the blame for that will fall on their own scheduling decisions.

  9. CapsFan1975 says:

    If they choose the Rangers vs Flyers to be televised on March 14, the fans could be treated to the battle for the last playoff slot in the Eastern Conference.

  10. Mikey says:

    Pittsburgh much?

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