VERSUS Will Air Two Consecutive Devils Games Instead of Two Consecutive Blues Games

Every season, around half-way through, we look for VERSUS to make some amendments to their schedule.  This is because of a game not looking as good as it would have at the start of the season, for whatever reason.  St. Louis-Columbus is that matchup this year.  With all due respect to Bethany and all the Blue Jacket fans, while your team is solid, it looks as if you got the short end of the stick, and it’s the NHL fans loss, as most of them will head to a potential playoff birth for the Jackets without having seen them.

What have the folks at VERSUS chosen in it’s place?  Well, it’ll be a much better tilt between Alex Ovechkin and the Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals taking on Zach Parise and the potentially Atlantic Division-leading (with a win tonight) New Jersey Devils.  While again I feel sorry for the Blue Jackets and their great fans and their great arena, this a better choice.  

Originally, the schedule for that week was St. Louis-Detroit on Monday night, Feb. 2, and Blues-Blue Jackets Tuesday night, Feb. 3.  Did anyone really wanna see the Blues two nights in a row?


More on J.R.’s Acting Gig

Via Comcast Sportsnet:

Why Aren’t More NHL Analysts Against Fighting?


NBC/TSNs Pierre McGuire is Against Fighting

NBC/TSN's Pierre McGuire is Against Fighting

We decided we wanted to follow up on William Houston’s column again, but do it in a second post, on a different topic he brought up.  We know a lot of you are probably gonna complain, but he brings up yet another good point in his column today, reacting to the dearth of NHL broadcasters passionately for a ban on fighting:


Milbury, on NBC’s telecast last Sunday, gave host Pierre McGuire a swat on the chest for arguing fighters should be thrown out of a game. Milbury bemoaned the “pansyfication” of hockey.

Given this sort of pushback, it’s hardly surprising other hockey broadcasters keep their views to themselves or throw their support behind fighting.

As far as we know, McGuire is only the TV broadcaster from the ranks of the NHL (as a coach) to propose a ban on fisticuffs. He’s by himself, but that speaks to his intestinal fortitude and perhaps a lack thereof among colleagues or hidebound attitudes.


That’s the strange thing: I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone talking over a hockey game, aside from McGuire, say they wanted fighting taken out of the game.  Have any of you?

Look, the likely reason for all of this is because most of the NHL’s current TV analysts come from a generation where fighting, and bench-clearing brawls, were pretty commonplace.  It’ll be much more interesting when guys like Jim Dowd, Jeremy Roenick, and other’s from the most recent era break into television to see what they think.  But for now, we’re stuck with the good ol’ boys who feel taking out fighting will turn every NHL player into a little girl.

Then again, with opposition like Don Cherry and Mike Milbury, maybe some of the newer analysts will just lie so they don’t get chewed out.  You know, it’s just so childish that we can’t have a serious debate about fighting in hockey on TV.

So let’s plan one.  

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NHL Doing Pretty Well on National Airwaves



NHL TV Ratings Are Up Everywhere, Including CBCs Hockey Night in Canada

NHL TV Ratings Are Up Everywhere, Including CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada"

William Houston of the Toronto Globe & Mail has a great piece on the NHL’s national TV ratings.  Let’s pull out a few notes from it:

  • Hockey Night in Canada, Game 1: 1.206 Million, Up 4%
  • Hockey Night in Canada, Game 2: 745,000, Up 8%
  • NHL On TSN: 481,000, Up 17%
  • Montreal Canadiens on RDS: 783,000, Up 22%
  • NHL On VERSUS: 308,695, Up 18%

All very encouraging numbers.  We’ll be sitting in on an NHL On VERSUS All-Star Game conf. call later today.  If you have any thoughts for some questions to ask the VERSUS folks, leave them in the comments.

Moving on, Houston also reports that the CBC’s experiment with not having a Toronto Maple Leafs broadcast open up “Hockey Night” has been fairly successful:

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