Your TV Guide and Open Thread For Night Eight of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs

This will appear every night to inform you of the TV networks and announcers that will be covering the games during the playoffs.  Enjoy all the local and national info, after the jump.

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What Is the NHL’s Emergency Plan For This Weekend?

Before we move on, here are NBC’s hockey listings for the weekend:

3 p.m. – 6 p.m. 
NHL CONFERENCE QUARTER FINAL: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Philadelphia Flyers (Game 6) (live) 
Commentators: Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Darren Pang, Mike Milbury 
Site: Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA 
*Available in High Definition

2 p.m. – 5 p.m. 
NHL CONFERENCE QUARTER FINAL: Washington Capitals @ NY Rangers (Game 6) (live) 
Commentators: Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire, Mike Milbury 
Site: Madison Square Garden, New York, NY 
*Available in High Definition 

So more Panger action for NBC.  But what happens if NBC doesn’t have those two games to go to this weekend?  The network has had to make replacements before in such a situation.  They had to replace regional action of Ottawa/Pittsburgh and Rangers/Atlanta due to early endings for both series with Game 6 of a Tampa/New Jersey set.  But other than that, it hasn’t come up for the net.

Mike Emrick and the NBC promos seemed to indicate that the network would shift it’s schedule around if need be, stating that they didn’t know where they’d be broadcasting from next week during the telecast of Pens/Flyers Game 5.  Now, with the Pens going home up 3-1 in the series, an open Saturday seems like a definite possibility.  If the Rangers come back from Monday’s defeat two win two straight over Washington, that series will also be over.

This is where things can turn dicey.  While Sunday it appears there is a logical succession plan of Devils/Hurricanes Game 6 subbing for Rangers/Caps Game 6 (As the time is still listed for the game as TBD), both potential replacement series for Saturday – Columbus/Detroit Game 5 and Anaheim/San Jose Game 5 – have listed start times, and are scheduled to be aired on VERSUS.  The network has even sent me announcer assignments for the games, so clearly they intend on going ahead and airing them.

Will NBC release a plan before Thursday’s Pens/Flyers game detailing their plans?  Will the teams be able to pull off the time change on such short notice?  Or will NBC just give the three hours of programming back to their affiliates, as they seem to care less and less about hockey these days (They’ve already dropped two of their four scheduled conference finals dates)?  We shall see in the coming days.


VERSUS IndyCar Numbers Improve with Round 2

From Anthony Schoettle of The Score (Indiana Business Journal Blog, not the Canadian network, just to clarify): 

The Grand Prix at Long Beach last Sunday scored a .5 TV rating for the Indy Racing League, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research. That’s the same rating the race earned last year on ESPN 2 when it was the swan song for CART.

Since the Versus cable channel isn’t carried in as many U.S. households as ESPN2, viewership was down slightly from last year. This year, 388,864 households tuned in, compared to 485,604 in 2008. Still this year’s Long Beach rating is a dramatic improvement over the .3 rating (233,000 households) the IRL earned for its debut on Versus April 5 at St. Petersburg. The TV rating for the St. Petersburg race was down 60 percent from the same race a year ago.

Those numbers are better than VERSUS’ NHL average households (Around 310,000) but are irrelevant as IRL is a once-a-week sport, whereas many people, like myself, can watch up to 10-15 games a week with VERSUS, NBC, Center Ice and regional sports networks in some weeks.  But good for IndyCar and good for VERSUS.  I’d be real interested to see what VERSUS drew for the two Stanley Cup Playoff games (Vancouver-St. Louis and Anaheim-San Jose) that followed.

Rangers Score Highest TV Rating in 12 Years

We always love to point to a story from Neil Best of Newsday:

Monday night’s Capitals-Rangers game was watched by an average of 2.72 percent of New York-area homes, the highest-rated Rangers game on MSG since April 22, 1997, when a first-round playoff game against the Panthers averaged 3.04 percent.

This doesn’t make a ton of sense to me.  The Rangers moved all the way to the Conference Finals in that year.  So none of the games MSG broadcast in Round 2 against the Devils drew higher ratings than a first-round game vs. Florida?  That’s really the only question I have here.  Otherwise, yay Cablevision.

Rich Man Buys Expensive Condo With Money Made From Quebec and Winnipeg Fans’ Tears


The Grand Beekman in Manhattan

The Grand Beekman in Manhattan

Because of course, Commissioner Bettman would buy a condo in a building that sounds a lot like his name.  Am I right, folks?  

Now you all know where Gary Bettman lives, and it’s all thanks to Blockshopper Manhattan’s Ginny Cox:

Gary B. Bettman and Michelle W. Bettman bought a two-bedroom, 2.5-bath condo at 400 E. 51st St. in Midtown East from Mariam Azarm for $1.95 million on Mar. 20.

The 1,504-square-foot, Unit #20B is in The Grand Beekman condominium building. It was built in 2003, and has 89 units on 32 floors.

Mr. Bettman has served as the commissioner of the National Hockey League since Feb. 1993. The league has added six teams during his tenure and he’s widely credited for putting the league’s stamp on the southern United States, with clubs such as the Nashville Predators and the Atlanta Thrashers.

He also oversaw the largest television contract in league history with ABC and ESPN in 1998, and helped negotiate the league’s deal with the Versus network after the lockout of 2004-05. He also hosts a weekly radio show on XM Satellite Radio.

Prior to joining the NHL, he served as a senior vice president and general counsel to the National Basketball Association. His brother is the commissioner of the World Series of Poker.

That last fact I was totally not aware of.  Can he get his brother to take a time machine to stop destroying our sport’s position on ESPN?  And why did his brother get the competent marketing genes?  Anyway, you now know where Gary Bettman lives.  Do with this information what you will.  Do not blame us in Mr. Bettman’s civil suit against you, we’re merely the messenger.

Rambling with Devils: Let’s Get it Over With

We were planning on not doing anything today.  We’re still not okay with how things went down last night (Highlights on the Compulsory as usual) but we’re willing to act our age about it and do some posting today.

But we won’t talk about the Devils.  At all.  Save for a conspiracy theory that Chris Wassel may post later, but we’re not certain.

We’re gonna’ go on with our day, and talk about how awesome stuff is.

Or… other.

Join me in an hour, won’t you?  And yeah, use this thread to rant about what happened last night, be it interfered goaltenders or other things.