Your Announcers and Open Thread for Sharks-Hawks

San Jose vs. Chicago, 8PM, VERSUS
Play by Play:
John Forslund
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Reporter: Billy Jaffe 

CSN To Attempt to Get Flyer Fans in Winter Classic Spirit

Philadelphia, PA (December 22, 2009) – Comcast SportsNet, the leader in local sports coverage, today announced comprehensive coverage of the Philadelphia Flyers preparations for the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, pitting the Flyers against the Boston Bruins on New Year’s Day in Fenway Park.  Comcast SportsNet will air daily “Countdown To a Classic” reports in SportsNite beginning on Saturday, December 26, plus a 30-minute special recounting the history between the teams and previewing the game, and live game day pre- and postgame shows.

Countdown To A Classic Special
Neil Hartman hosts a 30-minute special on Wednesday, December 30 at 10:30 p.m. Countdown to A Classic delves into the long and often heated rivalry between the Flyers and the Bruins. John Boruk takes viewers on a tour of Fenway Park and its transformation from a ballpark to an outdoor ice rink. Fans will also hear from Winter Classic veterans including the Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, the Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane and the Sabres’ Ryan Miller, who describe their experiences playing in the outdoor game.

Winter Classic Practice Coverage
Comcast SportsNet will air the NHL Network’s NHL on the Fly: 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Practice Coveragefeaturing the Flyers on Thursday, December 31 at 6:30 p.m.  Comcast SportsNet’s John Boruk and Bill Clement will be reporting on the Flyers’ reaction as they take to the ice for the first time, plus provide in-depth analysis of the Flyers-Bruins matchup on New Year’s Day.

New Year’s Day Coverage
Comcast SportsNet will air Flyers Pregame Live beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, January 1. Gregg Murphy will host the program with John Boruk, Bill Clement and Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio reporting live from Boston. Flyers analyst Al Morganti will be live in studio. Immediately after the game, Flyers Postgame Live will hit the air with reaction to this historic game.

Wednesday, December 30
5 p.m.                     Daily News Live
6 p.m.                     SportsNite
6:30 p.m.               Flyers Pregame Live
7 p.m.                     Flyers at Rangers
9:30 p.m.               Flyers Postgame Live
10 p.m.                  SportsNite
10:30 p.m.            Countdown to a Classic Special

Thursday, December 31
5 p.m.                     Daily News Live
6 p.m.                     SportsNite
6:30 p.m.               NHL Network 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Practice Coverage
8 p.m.                     The Orange Line
8:30 p.m.               Building a Memory
9:30 p.m.               Countdown To a Classic Special Replay

Friday, January 1
11 a.m.                  Building a Memory
12:30 p.m.            Flyers Pregame Live
1 p.m.                     NBC: Winter Classic Flyers vs. Bruins
4 p.m.                     Flyers Postgame Live
5 p.m.                     Best of Daily News Live
6 p.m.                     SportsNite
Flyers Insider Tim Panaccio will be reporting live from Boston beginning on Thursday, December 31, where he will be covering the Winter Classic for Comcast SportsNet’s news programs including SportsNite and Daily News Live. Panaccio’s exclusive stories, videos and photos will also be available online on’s Winter Classic page:

Winter Classic Sweepstakes Winner Announced
Brian Conway of Downingtown, PA was selected from more than 60,000 entries submitted to and won a sweepstakes package that includes: a trip for two to the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, complete with two tickets to the game, travel via Amtrak, two nights hotel accommodations, a Flyers Winter Classic jersey, VIP tickets to the House of Blues New Year’s Eve party and a Winter Survival Gear package. Comcast SportsNet promoted the contest to Flyers fans via social media applications Facebook and Twitter, online advertising and email.


Highlights of the NBC Conference Call

NEW YORK – Dec. 16, 2009 – NBC Sports will broadcast the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers, on New Year’s Day, 1 p.m. ET at historic Fenway Park. This marks the third outdoor NHL game played in the United States. Last year’s event at Wrigley Field between the Blackhawks and Red Wings was the most-viewed NHL regular-season game in 34 years.

Bob Costas will host the event for NBC Sports and will be joined for coverage by Mike “Doc” Emrick, (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (game analyst), Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass analyst), and Mike Milbury (studio analyst).

NBC Sports conducted a media conference call today with Costas, Emrick, Milbury, McGuire and Sam Flood (coordinating producer). For a complete replay, dial 719-457-0820 and enter passcode 7945125. Follow are highlights:

COSTAS ON THE BUZZ AROUND THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC: “The buzz for it is like nothing I’ve seen.”

MILBURY, A BOSTON NATIVE, ON THE BUZZ IN BOSTON: “The energy has been building since the announcement. It’s the toughest ticket to get that I have seen in all of my years in Boston, including Bruins playoffs, Red Sox playoffs, Patriots championships and Celtics championships. This is an event. It’s going to be a spectacular event and I’m proud to even be a little bit a part of it.”

COSTAS ON THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC AS AN EVENT: “This really is an event. It attracts a lot of people who don’t necessarily follow hockey closely throughout the course of the year.”

EMRICK ON HOW PAST PLAYERS FEEL ABOUT THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC: “I spoke with Ryan Miller, the goalie from Buffalo just this past fall almost two years after the first Winter Classic. He still has a big smile on his face when he talks about it. And his team didn’t win! Ryan Whitney and Colby Armstrong, now former Penguins, were walking in with the bagpipes and the fire salutes and one tapped the other on the shoulder and said ‘Lifetime memory right here. Take it in.'”

COSTAS ON THE HISTORY OF THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC: “The first one turned out even better than we thought it would. It snowed in Buffalo and was a tremendous atmosphere with that snow globe affect on camera; Sidney Crosby wins it with the winning goal in a shootout. And then we go to Wrigley field last year and the rivalry between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings. And now we take it to Fenway Park.”

FLOOD ON PRODUCING OUTDOORS: “We almost have twice as much equipment as we have for a regular-season NHL game. We have an airplane, which is not normal for a hockey game. For the first game, it was one of those ground breaking moments in TV — a replay from an airplane of a hockey game. It never happened before and can only be duplicated.”

MILBURY ON GROWING UP PLAYING OUTDOORS: “We lived on the ponds. The excitement was there because there was nobody to tell you where to go, where to line up. It was just mayhem. You played until you couldn’t play anymore and were frozen. You maybe brought an orange and broke it open and had that incredible smell of the fresh cold air.”

FLOOD ON THE WEATHER MAN: “It’s an event. It’s much more than a game. It’s the only hockey game in America or the world where you have a weather man working for you. Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel will be there. We’ve had a weather man at every game.”

MILBURY ON THE FREEDOM OF PLAYING OUTDOORS: “The players will be incredibly excited walking into that venue. The whole sense of playing outside is a sense of joy, pure freedom without any restrictions, no rules, no regulations. Just go beat around a puck and try to put it in between two old boots and have some fun.”

EMRICK ON THE PLAYERS: “You should’ve seen Brian Boucher this summer. He’s from Woonsocket, R.I. When he was at Fenway Park for the press conference, you could see in his eye he didn’t want to think anything ill of Ray Emory or anyone else. But he wants to play in this game for the Flyers. We were talking with Flyers coach Peter Laviolette, another New Englander who grew up spending a lot of summers at Fenway Park, and how he’s excited getting to coach a hockey game there. On skates and with this his stick raised to maximum heights, Zdeno Chara can get one third of the way up the Monster. Not bad.”

MILBURY ON FENWAY: “You walk into that place and it’s a museum.”

COSTAS ON HIS FIRST GAME AT FENWAY PARK: “I think it was the Red Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers. I know that John Tudor was pitching for the Red Sox.”

COSTAS ON FENWAY PARK’S HISTORY: “All the history. The idea that someone sat there and watched Babe Ruth pitch or Ted Williams bat or Lefty Grove or Jimmy Fox plus all the visiting players through the years and the specific games and events. Fisk and Dent and the Impossible Dream and Yaz. The only thing missing is that when the Red Sox won the World Series in ’04 and ’07, they clinched in St. Louis and then in Colorado so they never had the chance to put the finishing touches on it at Fenway Park.”

COSTAS’ MOST VIVID MEMORY OF FENWAY PARK: “One that stands out the most was Carl Yastrzemski hitting a home run. It wasn’t that important in terms of the context of the game, but it was his last season in the major leagues. It had to be his second- or third-to-last home run in the big leagues. There was something about him that was so timeless. I was doing the game with Tony Kubek and called that home run hit by a guy the first time you saw when you were only 10 or 11 years old. That was pretty cool.”

FLOOD ON CAMERA PLACEMENT: “The camera baskets are designed for a baseball game, not a hockey game, so we spent a lot of time figuring out what the right angles were and what the right places were to put all of our cameras to make the game shine. We also shoot this bigger and wider than a normal game because its about the place as much as the game.”

MILBURY ON THE BRUINS-FLYERS: “Ultimately this game should be a really good hockey game between two teams that should be among the elite of the conference.”

MCGUIRE ON THE BRUINS-FLYERS: “This is going to be a ton of fun. It’s energy on both sides. It’s one team that is clearly desperate to get points in the standings, the Philadelphia Flyers. It’s another team that’s so proud, the Boston Bruins, and the internal leadership that they have with Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Mark Greci. There’s going to be villains on both sides. You’ve got Shawn Thorton with the Boston Bruins and you have Danny Carcillo on the Flyers. You are going to have Scott Hartnell and his wild hair flying all over the place. This game is going to be about energy.”

MILBURY ON THE RIVALRY BETWEEN BRUINS-FLYERS: “This rivalry goes back to the late 1960s, early 1970s and right through that decade in particular. It got its roots there. These were some of the nastiest battles that I’ve ever been involved with. Both teams, in their own way, have adapted to the new rules, but they listen to their fans and kept it constant. They want hard-nosed hockey. They want physical hockey. They want people to show up saying that we want to prove to you that we’re tough players and we’ve come to play every night.”

MCGUIRE ON THE PHYSICALITY OF BRUINS-FLYERS: “When you bring a player like Zdeno Chara into the mix, at 6-9 and a whole lot of nasty, and on the other team guys like Scotty Hartnell, Mike Richards and Danny Carcillo, who like to push back, that leads to a lot of physical altercations.”

EMRICK ON HIS HEALTH (HE MISSED LAST YEAR’S GAME WITH LARYNGITIS): “I started on the Vitamin C around Thanksgiving, as I was urged to do by a number of people. It’s worked out pretty well so far. It was quite disappointing to miss it last year.”

NHL Network to Present Pre-Game, Post-Game, Movies, College Hockey as Part of Winter Classic Coverage

NEW YORK – NHL Network™ is providing hockey fans an unprecedented amount of exclusive programming surrounding the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the much-anticipated outdoor match-up between longtime rivals the Philadelphia Flyers® and Boston Bruins® at Fenway Park, on New Year’s Day.  NHL Network’s planned coverage of this one-of-a-kind event includes a variety of pre- and post-event programming, complete live coverage of the team practices, and special outdoor and pond hockey-themed shows.  For a complete program schedule, visit

On game day, NHL Network’s pre- and post-event coverage includes the NHL On The Fly: 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Pregame Show presented by Vizio at 11:00 a.m. ET and the NHL On The Fly: 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Postgame Show presented by Vizio immediately following the game.  Both programs will be presented in HD.  The live, 90-minute pregame show will preview the game and break down key match-ups.  The postgame show will feature highlights, interviews and press conferences with all the major players.  Also, U.S. Olympic Team General Manager Brian Burke will be on the NHL Network’s Fenway Park set minutes after the U.S. Olympic Team roster is announced.  NHL Network’s hockey experts follow with analysis and a breakdown of what to expect in Vancouver.

NHL Network’s on-site presence at Fenway Park begins on Thursday, December 31, when it televises NHL On The Fly: 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Practice Coverage presented by Vizio at 11:00 a.m. ET.  The network presents four-and-a-half hours of live coverage, all in HD, including both team practices in full, as the Flyers and Bruins hit the ice at Fenway for the first time.

As a special tribute to hockey played outdoors, on Wednesday, December 30 at 6:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network televises Pond Hockey: A Documentary Film.  This celebration of outdoor hockey, lovingly crafted by filmmaker Tommy Haines, centers on the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship in Minneapolis.  The HD documentary features interviews with hockey luminaries like Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby.

The 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic programming begins Christmas Day when NHL Network televises an outdoor game marathon featuring re-broadcasts of the first two NHL Winter Classics in Buffalo and Chicago as well as outdoor events played in Las Vegas and Edmonton.  The marathon will include behind-the-scenes documentaries on the 2008 and 2009 NHL Winter Classic events.

The special programming on NHL Network continues well after New Year’s Day with special hockey events such as Sun Life Frozen Fenway – the outdoor games between the Northeastern and New Hampshire women’s teams and the Boston College and Boston University men’s teams Jan. 8 at Fenway Park for U.S. viewers.  Both games will be presented in HD.  Also, special encore presentations of the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic are scheduled for Saturday, January 9 starting at noon ET, with the NBC telecast followed by the CBC telecast at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Hartnell, Savard to Appear on Drew Carey-hosted Game Show Where Points May or May Not Matter


Boston Bruins center Marc Savard and Philadelphia Flyers left wing Scott Hartnell are guests on the Wednesday, Dec. 23 edition of the Emmy Award-winning “The Price Is Right” (11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET; 10 a.m.-11 a.m. PT) on the CBS Television Network.

Savard and Hartnell will help host Drew Carey present a special 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® showcase.

The 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic-themed showcase includes a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Boston’s Fenway Park, including air travel and hotel accommodations, two tickets to the outdoor game and other assorted NHL prizes. Each studio audience member will receive an NHL Winter Classic puck.

You Stay Classy, Paul Steigerwald

Paul Steigerwald is generally not one of my favorite broadcasters.  Last night, however, he used his opportunity to call Marty Brodeur’s all-time shutout record setting game to make fun of one of the game’s legendary characters, Hobey Baker.  Pensburgh has the scoop:

You think that was a bad joke? Listen to this zinger by Paul Steigerwald on FSN (with about 1:40 left in the game) Referring to how hard former Hobey Baker trophy winner Mike Mottau got hit, Steiggy quiped: “Not as hard as Hobey Baker went down though — he went down in a plane crash!” He then laughed and apologized for joking about “how he left us” before laughing some more. Yes!

In what world does Steigerwald think this is funny?  In what world does anyone find this funny?  We typically have a pretty sick sense of humor, but come on man.  Not cool.

Here’s the video of it.  Sigh:

ESPN Clearly Not Taking the Whole “Let’s Get More Into Hockey!” Thing

As I write this, it’s 12:23 AM and I’m performing an act of severe self-harm: I’m watching SportsCenter.  See, after the Devils MSG Plus post-game coverage of Marty Brodeur’s 104th shutout, I turned on ESPN to watch my Giants finish off the Redskins on Monday Night Football.  I figured, heck, let’s see how they treat Marty’s record.

They opened SportsCenter at 11:38 PM, with a brief mention of the University of Kentucky’s basketball win, their 2000th in history.  Then a 10-second mention of Brodeur, with promise of highlights later.

It is now 12:25 AM, and those promised highlights… still not there.  Some topics deemed more important:

  • Brett Favre’s arguing with coach Brad Childress
  • Redskins head coach Jim Zorn’s job security
  • Endless talk of the Monday Night Football game, which was a 45-12 Giant win
  • Mike Holmgren taking the Cleveland Browns Presidency job
  • Another celebration of Kentucky’s 2000th win, including a “behind the numbers” segment.
  • The Colts pursuit of 16-0
  • Shaq’s return to Phoenix
  • More talk about Giants-Redskins, including an Osi Umenyiora interview

…and finally, at 12:36 AM, 58 minutes after the show began, there are the highlights of the game.

Thanks ESPN.

(H/T to Legend of VinnyT on Twitter)

HNIC Settling In Audience-Wise

William Houston, as always, has the floor:

CBC Hockey Night In Canada pre-game: 900,000 viewers.

Hockey Night Game 1, Boston-Toronto, Minnesota-Ottawa, Montreal-New York Islanders, 1.876 million.

Hockey Night Game 2, Washington-Edmonton, 729,000.

Regional hockey, Rogers Sportsnet: Nashville-Calgary, Saturday, 214,000; St. Louis-Vancouver, Sunday, 418,000.

We’ll get back to updating the season-long numbers next week.