NBC Hypes Sunday’s Bruins/Caps; No Edzo For This Sunday

NEW YORK – April 7, 2010 – The Washington Capitals, who are vying for the NHL’s best regular-season record, host the Boston Bruins, who are fighting for an Eastern Conference playoff berth, on the final day of the NHL regular season, Sunday, April 11 at Noon ET on NBC Sports.

Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), who is nominated for a 2010 Sports Emmy Award, and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) call the action. McGuire will pull double duty, hosting NBC’s studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury on site at Verizon Center.

With only five days remaining in the regular season, the Bruins currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and are attempting to hold off the New York Rangers, who are three points behind. The Capitals are first in the Eastern Conference with 118 points and are the strongest contender to win the Presidents’ Trophy, awarded to the team with the league’s best regular-season record.

Alex Ovechkin will likely be fighting to win the league scoring title and the Maurice Richard Trophy, awarded to the top goal scorer. Ovechkin currently is tied for the league lead in goals scored with 48 with Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and ranks second in total points with 106, just one behind Vancouver’s Henrik Sedin.

MCGUIRE ON THE BRUINS: “The Bruins are scratching and clawing for a playoff position. There are a number of scenarios for them on Sunday. They could be playing to get into the playoffs. They could be in a position to move up a playoff spot. They could also be set to play the Capitals in the first round, which makes Sunday’s game a live-fire exercise. If that’s the case, Boston will want to set the tempo, breakdown tactics and establish matchups that work.”

MCGUIRE ON THE CAPITALS: “There are a lot of Washington stories on the final day of the season. Winning the Presidents’ Trophy is a huge team accomplishment. Mike Green is the leading scoring defenseman and an obvious Norris Trophy candidate. The Capitals are going to want to get Ovechkin the scoring title and the ‘Rocket’ Richard trophy no matter what. Those are individual awards but they are team awards, too.”

EDDIE OLCZYK HERITAGE NIGHT: NBC Sports analyst Eddie Olyczyk will miss the Capitals-Bruins game because he is being honored that same day in Chicago. At their April 11 game, the Chicago Blackhawks will host Eddie Olczyk Heritage Night to honor the Chicago native, former player and current Blackhawks television analyst. The first 10,000 fans to enter the United Center will receive a limited-edition Eddie Olczyk Heritage Night hat.

CLOSE GAMES: All nine of NBC Sports’ NHL games this season have been decided by one goal, and five needed extra time to determine a winner. On Sunday, April 4, the Philadelphia Flyers handed the Detroit Red Wings their first regulation loss in nearly a month with a 4-3 victory.

The Boston Bruins defeated the New York Rangers, 2-1, on Sunday, March 21 on the strength of an impressive performance by goalie Tuukka Rask. On Sunday, March 14, the Washington Capitals defeated the host Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3, in overtime. Washington was trailing 3-0 in the final period before scoring three unanswered goals and ultimately winning the game with a fourth in OT. The Red Wings defeated the Blackhawks in Chicago, 5-4, on March 7 on the strength of five second-period goals. On Feb. 7, the Capitals defeated the Penguins, 5-4, in overtime on Mike Knuble’s goal. In the game, Sidney Crosby scored twice for Pittsburgh and Alexander Ovechkin registered a hat trick for Washington.

The week prior, on Jan. 31, the Penguins were on the winning end when they defeated the Red Wings in a Stanley Cup Final rematch, 2-1, via an overtime shootout. On Jan. 24, the Penguins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, on a power-play goal by Matt Cooke with 1:47 remaining. In NBC’s inaugural “Game of the Week” on Jan. 17, the Chicago Blackhawks needed a shootout to beat the Red Wings, 4-3, in Detroit.

The Boston Bruins needed overtime to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day in the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

NBCSPORTS.COM: NBCSports.com will again offer “Star-cam” this season, tracking a player from both teams throughout each of their shifts. Following the game, NBCSports.com will present bonus material, including “Star-cam” and “Net-cam” and bonus analysis from NBC Sports commentators.

THE STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS: NBC Sports coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs begins on Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18 with a broadcast of a conference quarterfinal game each day.

VERSUS Will Air 2010 Draft Lottery

VERSUS’ listings page says that the network will air the 2010 NHL Draft Lottery on Tuesday, April 13th at 8PM.

This is great, but would a Hockey Central playoff preview show for the half-hour following kill ya’?

Here’s the press release:

NEW YORK/TORONTO (April 7, 2010) – The National Hockey League Draft Drawing, a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, will take place Tuesday, April 13, at 8 p.m. ET.

The League, in cooperation with TSN, will unveil the results of the Draft Drawing live during a 30-minute program, 2010 LG NHL® Draft Lottery – produced and televised by TSN in Canada. The special presentation will also be simulcast on VERSUS and streamed live on NHL.com in the U.S.

Broadcast News: All the West Spots Clinched and a Minor East Change

Hey, I can actually use the segment I intentioned today!

East

#8 Boston vs. #1 Washington
#7 Philadelphia vs. #2 New Jersey
#6 Montreal vs. #3 Buffalo
#5 Ottawa vs. #4 Pittsburgh

West

#8 Colorado vs. #1 San Jose
#7 Detroit vs. #2 Chicago
#6 Los Angeles vs. #3 Vancouver
#5 Nashville vs. #4 Phoenix

Canadian Networks Draft

#1 (CBC): Los Angeles-Vancouver
#2 (CBC): Ottawa-Pittsburgh
#3 (TSN): Montreal-Buffalo
#4 (CBC): Colorado-San Jose
#5 (TSN): Boston-Washington
#6 (CBC): Philadelphia-New Jersey
#7-8 (TSN): Detroit-Chicago and Nashville-Phoenix

I still think CBC’d prefer Crosby vs. a Canadian team rather than go with the Habs.  You can debate this in the comments all you want, but it’s still my contention.  Perhaps CBC will prove me wrong, perhaps not.  I also think CBC takes Colorado-San Jose first out of all the American series because it gives them two nights of doubleheaders.  They take Philly-Jersey over a Detroit-Chicago series because they can put all those games at 7PM, whereas a Chicago-Detroit show would need games played at 8PM.  I imagine they go Philly/Jersey and Vancouver/LA one night, with Pittsburgh/Ottawa and Colorado/SJ.

NBC: Boston/Washington and Detroit/Chicago.  No substitutes.  Unless those series end quickly, then New Jersey/Philly and Colorado/San Jose would be.

VERSUS: Devils/Flyers and Bruins/Caps in the early slot, with Pittsburgh/Ottawa and some Detroit based games of Red Wings/Blackhawks getting in too.  Colorado/San Jose would likely be the VERSUS-produced late game, with LA/Vancouver getting the simulcast treatment.

Available VERSUS announcers:

Play by Play
1. John Forslund
2. Rick Peckham
3. John Ahlers

Color
1. Daryl Reaugh
2. Darren Eliot
3. Joe Micheletti

Reporters
1. Charissa Thompson
2. Bob Harwood
3. Lindsay Soto

VERSUS Picks Philly/Rangers Friday

VERSUS will air bonus coverage of the Philadelphia Flyers/New York Rangers game on Friday night at 7PM.  The viewers in Philly and New York will be blacked out due to market restrictions, but viewers in those markets will see the Atlanta Thrashers/Washington Capitals game.  All makets, save Chicago and Denver, will receive bonus coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks/Colorado Avalanche game once their early telecast is over.

How NHL Teams Were Doing Locally at the Midway Point

This article from SportsBusinessJournal wasn’t available when I wanted it, but it is now.  So here are the NHL’s rankings in terms of US local TV ratings, and then in household totals.  Reminder, these are numbers through January 2nd.  I just thought you’d find it interesting now.  The Hurricanes and Predators were not available.

Ratings

1. Pittsburgh Penguins (FS Pittsburgh) – 8.08 (Up 32.7%)
2. Buffalo Sabres (MSG) – 6.17 (Down 28.8%)
3. Detroit Red Wings (FS Detroit) – 4.06 (Up 10.6%)
4. St. Louis Blues (FS Midwest) – 2.27 (Up 46.5%)
5. Philadelphia Flyers (CSN Philadelphia) – 2.16 (Down 0.9%)
6. Boston Bruins (NESN) – 2.14 (Down 2.3%)
7. Chicago Blackhawks (CSN Chicago) – 1.94 (Up 79.6%)
8. Columbus Blue Jackets (FS Ohio) – 1.86 (Up 27.4%)
9. Minnesota Wild (FS North) – 1.57 (Down 31.7%)
10. Colorado Avalanche (Altitude) – 1.52 (Down 7.9%)
11. Washington Capitals (CSN Mid-Atlantic) – 1.17 (Down 1.7%)
12. San Jose Sharks (CSN California) – 1.09 (Down 12.8%)
13. New York Rangers (MSG) – 0.96 (Down 8.6%)
14. Dallas Stars (FS Southwest) – 0.72 (Up 38.5%)
15. Tampa Bay Lightning (Sun Sports) – 0.61 (Up 22%)
16. Phoenix Coyotes (FS Arizona) – 0.56 (Up 19.1%)
17. New Jersey Devils (MSG Plus) – 0.55 (Up 57%)
18. Anaheim Ducks (Prime Ticket) – 0.39 (Up 39.3%)
19. New York Islanders (MSG Plus) – 0.38 (Up 123.5%)
20. Atlanta Thrashers (SportSouth) – 0.34 (Up 47.8%)
21. Los Angeles Kings (FS West) – 0.30 (Down 21.1%)
22. Florida Panthers (FS Florida) – 0.26 (Up 73.3%)

Total Households


1. Pittsburgh Penguins – 93,000
2. Detroit Red Wings – 77,000
3. New York Rangers – 72,000
4. Chicago Blackhawks – 68,000
5. Philadelphia Flyers – 64,000
6. Boston Bruins – 52,000
7. New Jersey Devils – 41,000
8. Buffalo Sabres – 39,000
9. St. Louis Blues – 28,000
10. New York Islanders – 28,000
11. Minnesota Wild – 27,000
12. Washington Capitals –
27,000
13. San Jose Sharks – 27,000
14. Colorado Avalanche – 23,000
15. Anaheim Ducks – 22,000
16. Dallas Stars – 18,000
17. Columbus Blue Jackets – 17,000
18. Los Angeles Kings – 17,000
19. Tampa Bay Lightning – 11,000
20. Phoenix Coyotes – 10,000
21. Atlanta Thrashers – 8,000
22. Florida Panthers – 4,000

Wings/Flyers Local Ratings

Little late on these, but the Sunday afternoon Detroit-Philadelphia telecast drew an 5.6/15 average rating in the Detroit market, with an average of 106,000 households tuning in.  NBC also drew a 3.2/9 average rating in the Philadelphia market, with an average of 95,000 households tuning in.  The game peaked in Detroit from 2:30-2:45 PM ET with a 6.5/17 rating and 123,000 households, whereas the game peaked in Philly from 2:45-3:00 PM ET with a 4.2/13 rating and 124,000 households.

The 5.6 for Detroit is down from previous NBC telecasts in the market.  The March 7th game vs. the Blackhawks drew a 5.9, while the January 31st game vs. the Penguins hit a 7.8.  It’s also not too far above the 4.7 the Pittsburgh-Detroit game on VERSUS a couple of weeks ago drew in the city.  As far as Philly goes, the game is obviously down from the only other telecast I have on record, the Winter Classic, which hit a 6.0 rating in the market.

All numbers courtesy of Pifeedback.com

Steve Eats His Words A Little Bit: NBC Not to Skip As Many Dates As Originally Thought

Revised NHL On NBC playoff schedule:

April 17, 1PM – Conf. Quarterfinal
April 18, 3PM – Conf. Quarterfinal
April 24, 3PM – Conf. Quarterfinal
April 25, 2PM – Conf. Quarterfinal
May 1, 12:30PM – Conf. Semifinal
May 2, 2PM – Conf. Semifinal
May 16, 2PM – Conf. Final
May 22, 3PM – Conf. Final
May 23, 3PM – Conf. Final

NBC will air three conference final dates instead of two, missing May 15th due to the Preakness.  There’s still time for the network to throw another game on that date (It could be done at Noon), but for now, we’ll let it slide because NBC is actually airing one more conference final game than they did last season.  Kudos, I suppose.

Morning Music Breakdown

Hey all.  NBC news at 10AM, so Broadcast News gets pushed to Noon.  After that, I’ll try and do a little better than yesterday.

So enjoy the day.  I hope you don’t run into any scrubs.

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