TV Schedule For Tuesday’s Quarters

Belarus vs. Switzerland, 3:00 PM, USA Network/Sportsnet

Germany vs. Canada, 7:30 PM, CNBC/CTV

Latvia vs. Czech Republic, 10:00 PM, CNBC/TSN

Norway vs. Slovakia, Midnight, CNBC/CTV

BREAKING: MSNBC Draws Massive Viewership For USA-Canada Classic

According to Darren Rovell on Twitter:

8.2M[illion] viewers watch USA-Canada on MSNBC.  Record MSNBC night was 8.23M for 11/4/08 election coverage.

The USA-Canada game has outrated Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC last season.  It would also be the second most-watched hockey game in America since the Miracle on Ice (The US-Canada Gold Medal game in Salt Lake drew 10 million viewers).  It’s a great day for hockey, folks.

From NBC:

8.2 MILLION AVERAGE VIEWERSHIP FOR WATCH USA-CANADA HOCKEY GAME ON MSNBC: An average audience of 8.22 million watched the USA hockey team defeat Canada, 5-3, nearly matching the best average viewership for a program on MSNBC. (Election Night Coverage, 8.23 million on Nov. 4, 2008).

· The hockey game on MSNBC received a national household rating of 4.3, the third highest-rated program in MSNBC’s history behind the Democratic Presidential debate (2/26/08, 4.9 rating) and the analysis following the debate (4.4 rating).

UPDATE: We’ve now got word that the game drew 10.8 million viewers in Canada on CTV, the most watched sporting event in Canadian history.  19 million people watched the game across the continent.


Whirlwind Media Tour Begins Tonight

Sort of.

I’m guesting on both Preds on the Glass radio and Rink Side Radio tonight.  POTG will be at 8PM, while Joe and Brandon have me slotted for 9:30 PM.  Do tune in.

Celebs, Politicians, Newsmakers Weigh In Via Social Media on USA-Canada

Bill Simmons, ESPN: “Our new ceiling for “Best sporting event of 2010.”  That game was tremendously tremendous.  Nice work passing it off, NBC!!”

Jason Whitlock, “Last three minutes was like the greatest round of Frazier-Ali fight.  Wow.  Hockey is what soccer wishes it was”

Kevin Smith, Guy Who Once Linked to This Blog: “I wish EVERY hockey game was played like last night’s USA/CANADA Olympic match.  Jesus, that was awesome.  AND NO COMMERCIALS!”

Sarah Palin, Former Political Thing: “Congratulations to Team USA’s men’s hockey team for a sensational game this evening. We needed this! It made us so proud to be fans of this team, this sport, and this great country. America’s Olympic team of hard working, selfless team players – with no individual superstars – is an inspiring story for all. Now on to the next chapter in this great sports story… Go Team USA!”

Angela Ruggiero, Team USA Women’s Hockey: “Inspired by our American boys tonight!  Gonna use that energy toward Sweden tomorrow @ noon PST!”

Seth Rogen, actor/comedian: “This is stressful, man, we don’t get to beat America too often in any sport, so we’ll take wherever we can get it.”

Alyssa Milano, actress: “Miller almost makes me want to be a Sabres fan.  Almost”

Ryan Seacrest, American Idol host: “USA beats Canada 5-3!!! Millercle on Ice!!”

Gregg “Opie” Hughes, Host of “Opie & Anthony”: “I don’t know how I go back to watching the Islanders after Olympic hockey.”

Jim Carrey, Actor/Crazyperson: “Oh Canada!  My heart goes out to thee!  Congrats USA!  Hockey and Molson may be Canadian but tonight’s Miller Time!”

William Shatner, Professional William Shatner: “First US victory over Canada in men’s Olympic ice hockey since 1960.  USA!”

MSNBC Outrates NBC In Buffalo

From Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News:

Locally, the coverage of Team USA’s 5-3 victory over Team Canada Sunday night carried on cable’s MSNBC out-drew NBC’s coverage of the Vancouver Olympics coverage that was on Channel 2.

MSNBC never out-rates its bigger brother NBC, which makes this “victory” almost as astonishing as the 42-save performance by Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller for Team USA.

The U.S. victory, which gave Team USA a bye into the quarterfinals and an extra day of rest, attracted a 14.6 rating locally on MSNBC, representing 14.6 percent of area households. Meanwhile, NBC’s coverage of skiing and figure skating averaged a 13.4 rating during the game on Channel 2.

Verbal Highlights From a Massive Day of Hockey

VANCOUVER – Feb. 21, 2010 –

On MSNBC, the US men’s ice hockey team defeated host nation Canada, 5-3, on the strength of two goals by Brian Rafalski and 42 saves by goaltender of Ryan Miller. The win was Team USA’s third, earning them the top spot in Group A, and bye in the quarterfinals.

NBC primetime joined the game for its conclusion. Host Bob Costas, daytime host Al Michaels and Olympic correspondent Cris Collinsworth offered postgame commentary. Michaels and Collinsworth were at the arena.

Costas: “This is going to send tremors through all of Canada.”

Michaels on the atmosphere in the arena: “When we walked into the building, it was just electric and it stayed that way until the very end.”

Collinsworth on the importance of this game to Canada: “You could take all the emotion from all the other sports all week and put them in one pile. This is the moment that mattered to them.”

Collinsworth on US goalie Ryan Miller’s 42 saves: “Jim Craig was so awesome back in 1980 but if he were better than Ryan Miller, I’d be surprised.”

MSNBC, Men’s Ice Hockey:
USA 5 vs. Canada 3
Bill Patrick (Host), Mike Milbury (Studio Analyst), Jeremy Roenick (Studio Analyst), Mike Emrick (Play-By-Play), Ed Olczyk (Analyst), Joe Micheletti (Reporter)

Olczyk: “What a day this has been. We are lucky because this rink, this day in my mind sees more hockey talent than any tournament than I can ever remember.”

“It’s great to be a part, to be able to bring the greatest game in the world to all of our great fans. I think the city of Vancouver has done a wonderful job hosting these games.”

Olczyk on USA’s Ryan Miller: “Two things have really stuck out in this game with Ryan Miller. His aggressive goaltending when the time presents itself, coming out, cutting down the angles, trusting his defenseman and his forward to help clear out a lot of the rebounds. And second is his handling of the puck. There’s been about four or five times when he’s handled the puck, and he’s moved it right out of harms way and allowed his defenseman to make the right play. Lots of composure.”

Olczyk on Miller: “Sensational goaltending.”

Milbury on Team USA: “Everyone that’s grown up in USA hockey knows that the Olympics is the be all, end all. And in this venue in Vancouver, on this go round, it is going to be their time to shine.”

Roenick on Canada wanting gold: “Here on home soil in Canada that is all they think about from coast to coast. This is everything to them.”

Roenick on Canada’s energy: “They’re intense. The butterflies are going like crazy.”

Olczyk: “Boy, this has been tremendously, tremendous. This has been an outstanding hockey game between Canada and the U.S.”

Emrick: “What a day for hockey this has been in Vancouver.”

Olczyk: “An unbelievable effort by Team USA.”

Olczyk on Canada’s pressure to win gold: “That elephant got a little heavier on the shoulders of Canada.”

USA’s Ryan Miller on beating Canada: “It is Canada and U.S. We are happy to get the win, and we’re happy to get the extra day to rest up because that was a hard game. We are really happy about our progress so far. The biggest thing is to keep building and to learn from this game and look forward to our next test.”

Roenick on “Miracle on Ice” 30th anniversary: “I was 10 years old when ’80 happened and no question that win alone made me want to be an Olympic hockey player. When Al Michaels said at the end of that game, ‘Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe in miracles?’ It made me believe and it pushed me to get into the NHL and to be an Olympian.”

Patrick on Canada’s Sidney Crosby: “Crosby, of course, the face of Canadian hockey these days. The 22-year-old star from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Penguins captain, he led that team to the Stanley Cup last season and now the pressure is on to deliver a gold medal for his country.”

Milbury on Crosby: “I think he is now almost immune to the kind of pressure that we are feeling here. This is a big stage, he wants to be here, and he’s dreamed about being here for this particular event. I don’t think Sidney Crosby is feeling butterflies at all. I think he is just scheming on how he is going to beat the Americans.”

Roenick on Crosby: “There is no Canadian player that’s had more hype or more marketability since Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux than Sidney Crosby. This kid can do it all.”

Roenick on USA’s Brian Kesler: “He’s a big, bad body with a lot of speed. This kid can fly. You add his grit and tenacity that makes one tough guy to play against, and he’s going to be a force tonight against Sidney Crosby.”

Roenick on USA’s Zach Parise: “This kid’s got serious, serious skill. Serious speed.”
VANCOUVER – February 21, 2010 – Daytime coverage of the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games continued today on NBC and MSNBC. On NBC, live coverage included men’s hockey with NHL star Alexander Ovechkin and Team Russia taking on former NHL star Jaromir Jagr and the Czech Republic.

Tomorrow marks the 30th anniversary of the United States’ improbable victory over the Soviet Union in men’s hockey at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Winter Games. Today during NBC’s daytime show hosted by Al Michaels, NBC aired a special that looked back on that historic moment, regarded by many as the most memorable in U.S. sports history. Michaels sat down with 1980 Team USA hockey players Mike Eruzione, Mark Johnson and Jim Craig.



MICHAELS ON TEAM USA: “It was a hockey team that would transcend sports. America’s young fresh-face kids against a machine-like dynasty. A team playing for the gold medal, and as it would turn out, an entire nation that was going through a difficult time and that yearned for a reason to wave the flag again.”

TEAM USA’S MARK JOHNSON ON THE POSSIBILITY OF WINNING GOLD: “I don’t even think you dreamed it. If you had a fantasy prior to coming into Lake Placid, that wasn’t part of it.”

TEAM USA’S MIKE ERUZIONE ON COACH HERB BROOKS: “It was us against him. He would push you beyond your limits, but you always looked to your left or your right and one of your teammates was there to support you, and he wanted that to be the case.”

“I don’t believe we could have won without Herb and I don’t think he could have won without us. It was a perfect marriage of players and coaches.”

JOHNSON ON ERUZIONE’S THIRD PERIOD GOAL: “When Mike scored to make it 4-3, it’s a good thing the roof was bolted down, because it was going up.”

MICHAELS ON WHEN HE KNEW THE USA MIGHT WIN THE GAME: “I thought with about six seconds to play, because, fortunately, the puck comes out to center ice which gives me a second to think about something. Miraculous was the word that came into my mind, because it was miraculous.”

MICHAELS ON BEING A PART OF HISTORY: “Sometimes in life, you get lucky. You’re in the right place at the right time. To get the hockey assignment, and to have you guys do what you did. We all know what went on around it. It was a sliver of the Cold War played out on a sheet of ice in Lake Placid, New York.”

MICHAELS ON TEAM USA GOING TO THE GOLD MEDAL GAME: “The twist in all this was how that ending wasn’t the ending. How the climactic victory against the ultimate team wasn’t the final chapter. After reaching the highest of emotional peaks, there was still one more game.”

ERUZIONE ON THE GOLD MEDAL GAME: “We had a practice the next day, and Herb just skated our butts off. He needed to bring us down, he needed to get all our energy out, get us down to ground zero and build it up the next day to get ready to play Finland. Now we had the opportunity to win the ultimate prize, and we were not going be denied that.”

JOHNSON ON WINNING THE GOLD MEDAL: “It’s like getting up on Christmas day, walking down, and you just opened up all your presents and you got everything you wanted. Its that type of feeling where it’s like, ‘Wow.'”

MICHAELS ON TEAM USA WINNING THE GOLD: “In a time and place with internet, or cell phones, or cable television, as we now know it, 20 young men left the cocoon of those Olympics in an otherwise sleepy little village, and discovered just how much they meant to millions of their countrymen.”

TEAM USA’S JIM CRAIG ON MAKING HISTORY: “To have a legacy with a group of guys that you respect and love and that you’re proud of, that’s a really special thing. We were able to do things that we never thought possible.”

Bill Patrick (Host), Jeremy Roenick (Studio Analyst), Mike Milbury (Studio Analyst), Mike Emrick (Play-by-Play), Eddie Olczyk (Analyst), Pierre McGuire (Reporter)
Russia: 4 Czech Republic: 2

EMRICK ON THE STARS OF TODAY’S GAME: “Gonchar, Datsyuk, Malkin, Ovechkin, my goodness.”

OLCZYK ON RUSSIA’S ALEXANDER OVECHKIN: “You have to start with Alexander Ovechkin, of course, really the leader for this Russian team. Physical play, getting to those traffic areas, creating offensive opportunities. He’s always putting himself in a ready position.”

MCGUIRE ON OVECHKIN: “He’s a wrecking machine. He’s a skilled athlete and he’s an absolute offensive marble. With Alexander Ovechkin, every single time he touches a puck, you come to the edge of your seat. He’s just that special and that good.”

OLCZYK ON CZECH REPUBLIC’S JAROMIR JAGR: “He looks cool. He looks calm. He looks relaxed.”

MCGUIRE ON RUSSIA’S EVGENI MALKIN AND OVECHKIN AS TEAMMATES: “This is going to be a science experiment for the Russian team.
Malkin and Ovechkin, they’re not in love with each other. That NHL Pittsburgh, Washington rivalry is tremendous.”

EMRICK ON THE INTENSITY OF THE GAME: “Not a game for the faint of heart.”
OLCZYK ON THE CZECH REPUBLIC: “The difference in the game is, when you look at the score sheet, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, stepped to the forefront and the top offensive guys for the Czech Republic did not get anything done, consistently.

The Next Two Days of Hockey on NBC Universal… Rough Act to Follow

VANCOUVER – February 21, 2010 – Women’s ice hockey semifinal competition begins with undefeated teams USA and Canada taking to the ice. Live on USA Network, Team USA takes on Sweden, whose only loss in the tournament is to Canada. Live on CNBC, Canada takes on Finland, whose only loss is to Team USA. If USA and Canada win their semifinals, the gold medal final game is shaping up to be an undefeated battle of North American hockey powerhouses.

Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Women’s Ice Hockey – USA vs. Sweden (LIVE)

5:00 p.m.- 1:00 a.m.
Women’s Ice Hockey – Canada vs. Finland (LIVE)

Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey: The USA and Canadian women’s hockey teams are expected to meet for gold later on Thursday, but first they must get past the semifinals, shown LIVE on USA and CNBC. Team USA is coached by 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hero Mark Johnson and led by four-time Olympian Angela Ruggiero (Harper Woods, Minn.).

Tuesday, February 23 (DAY 12)


12:35 a.m.- 2:00 a.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey – Elimination Round Game (LIVE)

Noon – 6:00 p.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey – Elimination Round Game (LIVE)

5:00 p.m. – 2:30 a.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey -Elimination Round Game (LIVE)
Elimination Round Game (LIVE)
Elimination Round Game (LIVE)

Men’s Hockey- Elimination Round- LIVE coverage of two of the best teams in the world in a scintillating match-up where only the winners will advance to play for a medal.

Men’s Hockey: A hockey fan’s dream: LIVE coverage of the eight of the best teams in the world in four scintillating match-ups where only the winners will advance to play for a medal.

Coulda Shoulda Woulda’s Aside… MSNBC Does Fantastic Job Presenting Best Game in Years

NBC made a massive, egregious mistake in not airing the USA-Canada hockey showdown.  It was a game of a lifetime.  The best showcase of the sport for Americans in years and years and years, certainly one of the best in my young life.  In the afternoon, I’m gonna’ post some Tweets from some hockey and non-hockey folks who had praise for this game, and they’ll back me up.

Let’s all breathe for a second… Holy crap.  What a game.

Now, moving on.  To the coverage, considering NBC deferred to the cable network MSNBC (hopefully we’ll all know how many watched today or tomorrow) which likely just aired the biggest non-election event in it’s history.  They covered this game wonderfully, like how you’d wish NBC or VERSUS would.  Like how the NHL Network does, and like we – as fans – deserve.  45 minutes of pre-game, plus bonus coverage before that on MSNBC with interviews featuring Buzz Schneider and Herb Brooks’ son.

The post-game was no different.  Mike Eruzione, Mike Milbury, Eddie Olczyk, Jeremy Roenick and Gary Bettman all appeared on the cable channel to discuss what had just happened.  Reporters in the middle of the action.  While the anchor hosting the coverage went a little overboard on it being the biggest American win since 1980 (1996 or 2002 more likely) the upset was put into excellent perspective.

Let’s face it, NBC doesn’t give this kind of coverage.  NBC doesn’t air this game live in every time zone, as they proved with the likely mishandling of a great Russia-Czech Republic tilt earlier in the day.  NBC made the right choice in giving this epic match to cable.  The 3rd period probably should of aired on both networks (and apparently some of it did show on the main Peacock), but giving the entire thing to MSNBC was 100% the correct decision.

When it came down to calling the game, I think it’s time NBC end the three man booth for it’s hockey coverage.  Both the Pens-Caps game and last night’s showdown were proof that it either needs to be Emrick-Olczyk or Emrick-McGuire.  Without McGuire, who’s been kind of annoying (even for his standards) during this tourney, and with an absolutely gorgeous picture to paint, Emrick and Olczyk shone like Olympic gold.

Emrick was allowed to not be bothered by two voices cutting into to his excellent handling on the english language.  He himself was improved from a silly blunder earlier in the day when he asked Pierre McGuire what language the Russians and Czechs were speaking on the benches.  That’s a better question for an NHL game, really, and Doc should know better.

Emrick’s call was even handed up until Ryan Kesler’s empty netter, in which the Hall of Famer reached for one last pummeling yell, seemingly telling the viewers emphatically this was it.  Also, Kesler’s goal was one of the sickest things I’ve ever seen.  Even at the end, Emrick refused to go for hyperbole, simply stating that “[Team USA] have won the table!”.

Olczyk did a great job as well.  He can tend to overstate the obvious at times, but he did yeoman’s work talking a good game, but not keeping it over the heads of the people who hadn’t watched before, something the NBC teams have had a rough grasp of so far.  He too is American, and he was able to keep things fair and balanced on a network that isn’t necessarily known for it.

There have been dozens of simple mistakes made by the networks of NBC Universal in the first week of Olympic hockey, maybe hundreds.  But for one night, and three-plus hours, everything aligned for Team USA and the broadcasters who followed them.