The 5 Best Games NBC Has Passed On. Yes, Most Involve the Devils

5. Rangers vs. Devils, April 6, 2008

This is the first of many examples of NBC choosing against games that make no sense to pick against.  This is a fairly well-recognized rivalry nationally, and the game mattered as far as playoff positioning.  Instead, the network took a listless Chicago-Detroit game that didn’t affect any playoff stuff at all.

4. Red Wings vs. Sabres, March 2, 2008

We get it, Flyers-Rangers games are nice, but this was a dream Stanley Cup possibility for the league and network at one point.  This would’ve drawn very well in both local markets, and provided at least as good as the 1.1 rating New York/Philly did.  The game was a pretty entertaining 4-2 Red Wings winner, too.

3. Sharks vs. Devils, February 15, 2009

This is one of the more recent NBC flex scheduling fouls, as the network went with a dull, boring Rangers-Flyers blowout instead of this exciting contest between the NHL’s two best teams.

2. Bruins vs. Capitals, March 16, 2008

An exciting, energy filled, low-scoring shootout winner for Washington.  Both teams were chasing playoff spots at the time.  NBC went with the Pens blowing out the Flyers.

1. Islanders vs. Devils, April 8, 2007

The Devils bias totally doesn’t count here.  You might remember this one.  The Maple Leafs and Canadiens had played the night before, and this game would decide the Leafs’ fate, if the Devils won, they’d make the playoffs, but the Isles could themselves join the chase for Lord Stanley’s Cup if they could beat New Jersey on their home ice.  Instead of Marty Brodeur, the Devils started a little unknown named Scott Clemmensen, and the rest is history.

Why did NBC not televise it?  This was in fact scheduled to air as part NBC’s old regionalized scheduling policy.  They just felt it wouldn’t be much of a ratings gainer.  TSN ended up picking up the game in Canada, and it became the highest rated game between two American teams in the network’s history.


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One Response to The 5 Best Games NBC Has Passed On. Yes, Most Involve the Devils

  1. Bryan says:

    Ah, the days when we weren’t totally awful. I love Jaffe’s rampant homerism in the final minute of that clip.

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