So That’s It

That’s our week, folks.  With no football to distract us, we’ve planned a busy weekend.  We’re off to a show tonight, and then likely out to Devils-Ottawa on Sunday.  Please read all our favorite stuff from this week, and thanks to Hipster’s United, for being easily the weirdest site we’ve ever been linked at.

See you all on Monday.

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Puck the Media’s NHL Tournament of Announcers, Round 2, Match 8, Dick Irvin Bracket: Joe Bowen vs. John Forslund

 

Joe Bowen

Joe Bowen

 

John Forslund

John Forslund

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing Wednesday’s result, we have Bob Miller beating Ken Daniels to move to Round 3.  Final matchup of the Sweet Sixteen, as Maple Leafs play-by-play man Joe Bowen faces VERSUS/Hurricanes announcer John Forslund.  Voting ends at 5:30 PM Saturday, so hurry!

Great Moments from The NHL On FOX: Konstantinov’s Emotional Return to the Joe

Hockey is often a game of emotion, but very rarely ones that involve tears.  After the tragic crash that paralyzed Vladimir Konstantinov and Sergei Mnastikonov following the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals, they finally returned home to the Joe Louis Arena for Game 4 of the 1997 Western Conference Finals vs. the Dallas Stars.

Everything about it screams the emotion and class of hockey people.  From longtime PA announcer Budd Lynch’s cracking voice and inspirational words, to Mike Emrick being on the verge of tears and pointing out a great thing about reactions and emotions.  It’s one of my favorite hockey moments ever, and it doesn’t involve anything on the ice.

Your Remaining NHL National TV Schedule

Since it’s the start of 2009, I figured I’d give everyone something to look forward to in the new year.  It’s every network’s remaining telecast schedule.  Things are subject to change, particularly with VERSUS and obviously with NBC, but here’s how things stand for the rest of the season, beginning with the Canadian networks.

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BREAKING NEWS: NBC Draws 2.9, Up 12% From 2008, For Winter Classic

 

The NHL On NBC drew a 2.9 for its Coverage of the Winter Classic

The NHL On NBC drew a 2.9 for it's Coverage of the Winter Classic

 

 

This comes to us from Gene Laverty of Bloomberg:

The game at the home of baseball’s Chicago Cubs was the third annual outdoor contest and had an overnight rating of 2.9, according to Nielsen Media Research. That tops the 2.6 rating for last year’s match in snowy Buffalo, New York, between the Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins, which had the biggest television audience for an NHL game since 1996.

Ratings points are the percentage of the estimated 111.3 million U.S. households with televisions that watched the broadcast. Preliminary local ratings were 11.8 in Chicago and 10.5 in Detroit, according to Nielsen data.

We predicted a 3.0 for the Classic, so this is certainly good news for the NHL, once again topping some of the highest ratings for any non-Finals/All-Star hockey telecast in decades.

UPDATE: Sports Media Watch points out that the game his the fourth-highest rated telecast in NBC’s three-plus years of hockey.  For all of them, head post-jump.

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How the MLB Network took About 2 Hours to Become Better than NHL Network

On a day when hockey went into a baseball team’s territory and put on a show, it should be noted that baseball went into the territory of the three other major sports leagues in entering the world of 24-hour cable channels.

It’s remarkable that the NBA, NFL and somehow the NHL have gotten this running in the U.S. before the Major Leagues did, but the best was certainly saved for last.  MLB Network, in it’s first two programs, became better than all four of them, and should serve as a guide to NHL Network, NFL Network and NBA TV as far as how this should be done.

First of all, the studios are glorious salutes to both the game and modern technology.  The studio show features analysts, reporters and insiders all with an in-look at what’s going on around the world of baseball.  The Don Larsen perfect game was fascinating to watch, complete with Bob Costas interviewing Yogi Berra and Larsen himself (Bob was all over TV yesterday).  For someone who’s tired of baseball over the last few years, this reinvigorates the spirit of even the most disconnected fan.

So the question is: How does the NHL match it?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  We have a few suggestions after the jump.

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Phun with Photos: Celebs at the Winter Classic

This is Phun with Photos.  It’s not really a regular feature, we just felt like using the title.  This’ll show off some of the star power at Wrigley at the Winter Classic.  For a complete report on the “talent” who bought tickets, check out Brian Compton’s story at NHL.com.  On with the images, all courtesy of Getty Images!

Filmmaker John Hughes reminiscing about that Red Wings jersey in Ferris Buellers Day Off

Filmmaker John Hughes reminiscing about that Red Wings jersey in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

 

Former Cubs Outfielder Billy Williams, or as Dave Strader calls him, "Fergie Jenkins", heads to the ice with Hawks legend Tony Esposito

Former Cubs Outfielder Billy Williams, or as Dave Strader calls him, "Fergie Jenkins", heads to the ice with Hawks legend Tony Esposito

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