Blues Name-Dropped in Confusing, Action-Packed TV Show

Don’t ask how I found this, but the Blues were apparently featured on FOX’s Prison Break last night.  Gail Pennington of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the deal:

My colleague Brian Nehring, a sharp-eyed “Prison Break” fan, spotted something unusual on this week’s episode: the names of St. Louis Blues players in the address book of Gretchen’s (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) phone. What was up? Studying the opening credits offered an answer. The episode was written by Christian Trokey, who grew up in St. Charles and got away with slipping in a shout-out to a hometown team.

One of the commenter points out that the last names used were “Stastny, Oshie, Tkachuk, Johnson, Backes and Brewer.”

Cool.  We have no opinion what-so-ever on Prison Break (except for the one in the headline, we guess) but it’s cool that hockey fans are paying tribute to their sport.


The Happy Recap: That’s It, The NHL Needs to Bring in Petey, The Sexual Harassment Panda to Resolve Avery Situation

It’s been a long day for us.  A lot of posting, a lot of work, and about five hours without internet connection.  We figured we all just needed a good laugh, and for me, that headline just does it.

But seriously, when you look at all the people involved in the NHL-Avery hearing, why not?

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Could the Possibility of a World Cup Bring ESPN to the Bidding Table Next Time Around?

We forget why we didn’t put this in our Doc Emrick tribute post awhile back.  We really should have.  It’s Emrick at his absolute best, calling the biggest non-“Miracle” win in U.S. hockey history.  It’s hard to believe that game aired on an even pre-“Son of the Beach” FX Network.  FX’s broadcast of World Cup of Hockey 1996 was supposed to show off the network as a future cable home for the NHL, but we all know what happened to that.

Anyway, I wanted to show that because it’s a great segway to talking about one of the lost traditions in hockey: The Canada/World Cup.  The last one took place in 2004, prior to the lockout, and was largely forgettable, aside from providing Jeremy Roenick a chance to break into the TV analyst biz:

“They eat nice pills all the time”.  Thanks for making us look like geniuses, J.R.  

I bet you all couldn’t help but notice that event being televised by ESPN.  As hockey bloggers, it is our sworn, solemn duty to keep talking about the NHL and ESPN coming back together until it actually happens.  Which brings on the question:  Would this new World Cup the league has been proposing recently in place of the Olympics get ESPN to pony up more cash then VERSUS for rights to the NHL?

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Omigod Omigod Omigod: Mike Milbury, Jack Edwards, Andy Brickley Get Talk Show, Use Cheesey Cop Show Theme to Promote It!

We would pay dearly to see this in person.  I am so despondent that I don’t live in Boston right now.  Can the NHL please, please, pretty please get this simulcasted on NHL Network?  Here are the details, from Larry Barret at Multichannel:

NESN Thursday will debut The Instigators, a weekly show featuring Boston Bruins’ studio analyst Mike Milbury, color analyst Andy Brickley and play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards debating and discussing the most controversial national hockey topics of the day.

The series drops the puck Thursday, Dec. 4 at 6 p.m. ET on the regional sports network and will air at both 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. each week.

“This is a breakthrough show for hockey fans and an opportunity to expand our commitment to the coverage of the sport,” Joel Feld, NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer, said in a statement. “Mike, Andy and Jack are nationally respected hockey minds, and withThe Instigators we are giving them an exciting new forum in a weekly half hour format to voice their opinions on the NHL.”

This is amazing.  I will do pretty much anything anyone asks if they can get me a decent YouTube clip of this show.  And this amazing promo, which was clearly shot in the NESN offices, but still is a terrifically lame parody of a cop show.  Please YouTube it for us!  But watch it at this link.

Dear God, please let us see this show at some point.

Local TV Ratings, Canada Style: Uh, Not So Good, Eh?

William Houston is the guru for TV ratings, Canada style.  I prefer him to most American counterparts because he usually reports an actual number of viewers.  Today, he had a piece on Canadian TV ratings.  They are not great, to be frank.  Let’s go bulletpoint on this:


  • Toronto: 341,000 viewers per game, down 17%
  • Vancouver: 228,000 viewers per game, down 19%
  • Ottawa: 88,500 viewers per game, down 18%
  • Calgary: 130,000 viewers per game, up 11%
  • Edmonton: 145,000 viewers per game, up 29%
  • Montreal (Games available nationally): 773,000 viewers per game, up 21%


So obviously, you see that while there is some good news in Alberta and Montreal, everywhere else is trending downward.

However, there is some good stuff nationally in Canada, where ratings are going up, and among key demographics.

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Emrick’s Reaction to Hartnell’s Glove Throw: Priceless.

Mike Emrick is typically the consummate professional play-by-play man, simply describing what’s going on on the ice (with ample detail), but occasionally cracks a joke (usually in self-deprecation) and knows how to lighten the tone.

But rarely do you see him in the mode he was while calling the Tampa-Philly game on Tuesday: incredulous.  As many of you know, Scott Hartnell threw his glove at Ryan Malone while on a break-away, as you can see in replays on the video above.

Emrick’s reaction was hilarious, and showed off why – at times – you almost wish he’d call the game without an analyst, because you’ll certainly come away watching this remembering what Doc said, and not whoever the analyst was (Okay, it was Eddie Olczyk and we know it) had to say about it.

“You just don’t do that, it’s in the book!  It’s just an obvious, you don’t do that. There are specifics in the book that cover just that thing!”

Emrick then let Eddie O. get his opinion in and went back to doing what he does best: calling the game.  But we can’t say we didn’t enjoy the ol’ guy getting on a player’s case for doing something idiotic in a key situation.

TV Ratings Cavalcade: Mostly Positive News League-Wide, Avery Drums Up Good Numbers For Stars-Flames


The TV Ratings Cavalcade is a semi-regular feature that we hope to have appearing monthly here at Puck the Media.  It’s simply a compilation of local and national television ratings for the NHL’s 30 teams.  We’ll do our best to put these numbers in realistic terms for you, the reader.’s TV Ratings blog has a big post on NHL local ratings today, and we’ll break down what we thought was most interesting:


  •  11 U.S. Teams have increases in ratings of 10% or higher so far this season.  In a crowded Fall and Winter marketplace, that is certainly good news.
  • #1 in local ratings?  No surprise, it’s the Sabres, who draw an 8.9 on MSG in Buffalo, which comes out to a little over 70,000 viewers.
  • However, the Pittsburgh Penguins trump the Sabres in market size, and their #2 mark of a 5.7 on FSN Pittsburgh comes out to a little over 200,000.  
  • Other teams doing well year-to-year: Detroit, Minnesota, Philadelphia, St. Louis.
  • Teams in huge markets showing big-time growth just this year: No surprise, it’s Washington (up an astonishing 140% to a 1.2, #9 media market), Chicago (up 71% to 1.2, in the #2 media market) and San Jose (up 50% to a 1.2, #6 media market)
  • Other teams with big increases: Colorado, Los Angeles, the Rangers, Tampa, Boston.

In other local ratings news, Sean Avery – in the end, we suppose – did draw some buzz for the Stars-Flames game.  Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News Sports Media Blog, who was all over hockey stuff yesterday, reports:

Rating for the Stars-Flames game on Channel 27 was a 1.5. That’s 37,350 homes.
Rating for the Clippers-Mavericks game on Fox Sports Net was a 1.1 That’s 27,390 homes.

Yes, I know that broadcast television draws better ratings than cable and the Mavericks were home but any time a Stars game in low-def outscores a Mavericks game in high-def played on the same night that’s news. My inside ratings guru calls it “very unusual.”

I just don’t know what to think of this.

Anyway, we’re sure for every positive note, there’s a negative one, but it’s certainly good news when the NHL is doing solid business locally in Top 10 TV markets.  Gary Bettman must be salivating at having the Hawks up 70%+ going into the Winter Classic.

Breaking News: Barry Melrose is Going Back to ESPN

Thanks to Sean Leahy at Going Five Hole for directing us towards this story from Barry Horn at the Dallas Morning News Sports Media Blog.

Who knew we’d turn into hockey central today?

Looks like Barry Melrose, fired after 16 games in his return to coaching this season, is moving back to Bristol. I think this is breaking news. I don’t know because I seldom recognize it.

Melrose worked 12 years as an ESPN hockey analyst after coaching the Los Angeles Kings. The Tampa Bay Lightning thought so much of his work, it hired him to coach the team this season. That gig lasted about one-fifth of a season. Melrose’s new ESPN deal is for three years.

Does this mean the return of “Eh or Neigh?”  More thoughts on this tomorrow.