Your Open Thread For Stars/Caps

Dallas vs. Washington, 7PM
Play by Play:
Joe Beninati
Color: Andy Brickley
Reporter: Charissa Thompson

Another Day, Another Blackhawks Ratings Record

From Sports Media Watch:

Friday’s Canucks/Blackhawks game drew a 4.35 rating on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, the highest rating ever for a Blackhawks telecast on the network. This is the sixth time this season that the Blackhawks have set a ratings record on CSN Chicago.

The 4.35 rating tops the previous record of 4.14 — set by Blue Jackets/Blackhawks on January 14 — by 14%.

Additionally, the rating is 61% higher than the original record of 2.70 set by Oilers/Blackhawks in October.

For perspective, the highest rated Bulls telecast ever on CSN Chicago was Bulls/Hornets on January 29 (4.72), and the highest rated Cubs game on the network was Brewers/Cubs in ’08 (8.30).

So far this season, Blackhawks telecasts are averaging a 2.44 rating on CSN Chicago, up 130% from last year. Pregame and postgame ratings are up 230% and 81%, respectively.

Crosby’s Letterman Snub Just Another Example of How the Players Are As Bad As The League When It Comes to Promotion Ineptitude

From Larry Brooks of the NY Post:

Maybe Sidney Crosby is a fan of Jay’s or maybe he was upset at not being invited to Dave’s Super Bowl bash with Oprah, but folks around the NHL sure would be interested in learning even one of No. 87’s reasons for rejecting David Letterman’s invitation to host his Top Ten while the Golden Boy was in New York this week.

Upon learning of the snub, Slap Shots was told that this wasn’t the first time Crosby, who last year declined to appear on NBC’s “Today” show following Pittsburgh’s Stanley Cup victory, had rejected a request from Letterman’s “Late Show.”

Rest assured that league personnel who have been ridiculed for not having the imagination or wherewithal to capitalize on hockey’s Olympic exposure, are miffed.

Well, I agree with Brooks’ sympathy for Crosby initially.  His time must be asked for by literally every media outlet in the world during the few days where he was North America’s – and perhaps the world’s – most famous athlete.  However, David Letterman’s show is a chance to expose himself as a casual, potentially-crossover sports star.  It won’t get him in the Jordan/Gretzky/Favre realm, but it’ll show the rest of the world that he’s certainly professional sports’ next chance to have another rep in the entertainment world.

For all the people who criticized Alexander Ovechkin for not being willing to talk to the press and for being anti-media and anti-fan during the Olympic Games, who’s to say that Sid the Kid turning down late night TV’s most revered franchise (after the Tonight Show mess) isn’t as bad or even worse?  Jeers to Crosby for not making the simple effort of reading cue cards for two minutes to give the NHL a little extra bump.  Especially after the talk shows couldn’t get him after the Cup last year.  The NHL must be pulling their hair out after this.

BREAKING: No Bump For NHL On NBC, Wings-Hawks Stays on Average

From Sports Media Watch:

The Red Wings’ 5-4 win over the Blackhawks drew a 1.2 overnight rating on NBC Sunday afternoon, up 20% from Bruins/Rangers on the comparable date last year (1.0), but down 8% from Penguins/Capitals on February 7 (1.3), NBC’s last NHL telecast before the Olympic break.

This marks the fourth straight NHL telecast on NBC to draw at least a 1.2 overnight rating. To put that in perspective, NBC did not draw an overnight higher than 1.1 during the previous two seasons (excluding the Winter Classic).

At least the numbers are staying consistent week to week.  It’ll be interesting to see if Washington-Chicago keeps pace.

Jim Fox Shines in Rare Circumstances

A couple of surprises awaited me when I turned on the Montreal-Los Angeles game on Center Ice on Saturday.  First, the fact that it was not the Hockey Night in Canada telecast.  Why the folks at inDemand are unable to get this done is beyond me.  As much as I love hearing Bob Miller call a game, the fact is, I prefer the Canuck-y pageantry of Hockey Night any day… er, night.

Anyway, the second surprise was that I was not about to watch Bob Miller call a hockey game.  Why?  Well, the Hockey Hall of Famer has a case of shingles according to the LA Times:

Broadcaster Bob Miller, who is in his 37th season as the voice of the Kings, will miss at least three games while he recovers from shingles, a painful rash on the body that is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox.

Miller, 71, missed the Kings’ game against Montreal on Saturday, only the 18th broadcast he had missed and the first since Nov. 2, 2002.

He will miss Monday’s home game against Columbus and won’t travel with the team for its game Wednesday at Chicago.

Radio play-by-play announcer Nick Nickson will join analyst Jim Fox in the TV booth for the games Monday and Wednesday, both on FS West.

However, this was not the case on Saturday.  Fox was forced into emergency play-by-play duty and, I have to say, he was absolutely capable.  For a man who’s never done it – as far as I’m aware – Fox kept up with the play fairly well.  He got caught behind a few times, and wasted a little too much time calling it like a game on the radio, but who can criticize the desire to give as much detail as possible?  Cheers to Jim Fox on a job well done, and get well Bob Miller.