Your Open Thread For a Flyers/Lightning, Devils/Sharks Doubleheader

Honda Drive to the Playoffs, 7:00 PM
Host:
Bill Patrick
Analysts: Brian Engblom, Keith Jones and Darren McCarty

Philadelphia vs. Tampa Bay, 7:30 PM
Play by Play:
Rick Peckham
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Reporter: Charissa Thompson

New Jersey vs. San Jose, 10:30 PM
Use of Local Broadcast Feed
Blacked out in NY/NJ Metro Area and Bay Area markets

Detroit-Colorado Draws Above-Average VERSUS Numbers

It was lower than my estimation, but VERSUS saw a tiny bump in viewership on the night after the Olympics.

The network drew 400,000 viewers for a broadcast of the Colorado Avalanche-Detroit Red Wings game on Monday night,.  It drew an 0.5 household rating (up 67% from VERSUS season average) and the game is also up from the season average of 283,000 viewers (a 41% spike in viewership), but certainly a disappointment after a hockey game drew 27 million on NBC Sunday afternoon.  More conclusive data will be determined in terms of an “Olympic bump” for Sunday’s NBC telecast of Detroit-Chicago.  But for VERSUS, it signifies that hockey can stay hot in terms of their expectations down the stretch, and it shows that their decision to increase hockey content was a wise one.

FS Southwest to Bring the Sky Cam Back to the NHL

Link to the picture of it here.

Remember the sky cam ESPN used for a few years?  In an attempt to convince people it still cared about hockey in the wake of getting the NBA to take up most of the sport’s airtime, ESPN – which had developed the technology for football – brought in the moving-on-a-wire skycam for hockey for some of it’s big games from 2002-04.  Well, now it’s making a return, thanks to the Dallas Stars and FS Southwest, who told us this on Twitter:

Fox Sports Southwest is testing a new sky cam system for Tuesday’s game with the LA Kings.

This is a good idea.  Sky cam is brilliant for replays and, if you can follow it, power plays and crowd reactions.  I’ve noticed Dallas has been the place to test out a lot of new hockey technology.  If you’ll remember, the rail cam made it’s lone appearance on American TV during an October Stars game, and then later at the 2007 NHL All-Star Game, which the city hosted.  It immediately makes tonight’s Stars-Kings game something to tune into, especially since Center Ice is on free preview this week.  Don’t miss.

NHL In House Trade Deadline Coverage

NEW YORK –The countdown to Wednesday’s NHL Trade Deadline (Mar. 3 at 3:00 p.m. ET) is on as NHL teams position themselves for the six-week push to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Wall-to-wall coverage on NHL.com begins today with a team of correspondents in every NHL city to cover player transactions, draft pick exchanges and all the latest trade news. A panel of writers, analysts and guests will provide up-to-the-minute reports, break down trades and delve into historical Trade Deadline moves that lead to great stretch runs and eventual Stanley Cup victories.

Digital coverage includes a trade ticker and mobile tracker, official confirmation of trades from NHL’s Central Registry office and analysis with special guests including a pair of former NHL general managers — Hall of Famer Scotty Bowman and Craig Button. Trade deadline coverage on NHL.com is sponsored by Hungry Man in Canada.

NHL Network U.S. will pick up TSN’s TradeCentre coverage from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m ET. TradeCentre, hosted by James Duthie, will feature a cast of Hockey Insiders, analysts, former NHL players, coaches and general managers, reporters and correspondents providing breaking news and instant analysis of each transaction, including interviews with players, coaches and GMs from across the league. TradeCentre also will be streamed live on NHL.com for the U.S. audience. In addition to TSN’s coverage, NHL Network will have Deb Kaufman reporting live from NHL headquarters in New York City with updates every hour.

NHL Network Canada with wrap up all of the day’s action on their traditional On The Fly program beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

NHL Live!, the NHL’s daily radio show — broadcast live on Sirius XM Radio, streamed on NHL.com (in Canada) and simulcast on NHL Network Canada from noon – 2 p.m. ET — will have special programming to bring fans up-to-date on the day’s events.

Dear VERSUS, The New Scoreboard Is Appreciated. Sincerely, Steve

After a good, long time of me complaining about, in what probably dates back to OLN’s NHL debut, the VERSUS NHL folks have come up with a decent score overlay during game coverage.  Compact, clean, sleek and not impeding on vision of the game, it is a vast improvement on the annoying ones with the “HD” flaps on the sides.  It is 500% better than the original, bottom of the screen overlay.  Getting the team colors and logos in there is pretty sweet too.

Now VERSUS needs to fit the rest of their statistical graphics packages to fit it.  Everything else on the network seems out of place, being from the previous edition of VERSUS graphics.  A similar problem has plagued their other sports coverage.  Hopefully around the Stanley Cup Playoffs, we’ll all see something different.  For now, VERSUS is doing a solid job in all issues that don’t involve DirecTV.