TSN2 Jumps Into the Nightly Hockey Show Pool with That’s Hockey 2Nite

With the NHL’s cable partner in America finally launching their own late-night hockey show, it seems fitting that the league’s cable network up north will also be jumping into the fray beginning in February, but with a bit of a twist.

TSN will launch That’s Hockey 2Nite, a nightly companion series to it’s regular NHL coverage and the pre-game show That’s Hockey, starting February 1st at 11:00 PM ET on TSN2, the network’s supplemental network which seems to be positioning itself as an American version of ESPN2, instead of just a place for alternate feeds that TSN didn’t have room for.

Steve Kouleas, a former host for 13 years at The Score, joins TSN to become the regular host of the show. He’ll be joined on the panel by TSN/ESPN analyst Matthew Barnaby, as well as former NHL referee Kerry Fraser, who will be making his television debut. He will join the show starting on Tuesday, February 2nd.

This launch will cement all the NHL’s cable partners with a nightly hockey wrap-up show. In addition to That’s Hockey 2Nite, VERSUS currently airs NHL Overtime Monday-Thursday at 11:00 PM ET, while the NHL Network has it’s On the Fly: Final airing after hours of studio highlights every night at 1:00 AM ET.


Your Announcers and Open Thread For Habs/Sabres

Montreal vs. Buffalo, 7:30 PM ET, VERSUS
Play by Play:
Sam Rosen
Color: Billy Jaffe
Reporter: Bob Harwood

NHL Net US To Air CHL Top Prospects Game on Tape Delay

NEW YORK (January 18, 2011) – Hockey fans in the United States will get a glimpse at many of the players who will be selected early on in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft when NHL Network U.S.™ broadcasts the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on tape delay on Thursday, January 20, at 2:00 p.m. ET. Rogers Sportsnet and RDS will air the game live in Canada from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on Wednesday.


The 20-man rosters for the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game were chosen by NHL General Managers and the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau and include 18 players from the Ontario Hockey League, 13 from the Western Hockey League, and nine from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The game comes just nine days after NHL Central Scouting’s release of its mid-season rankings.


22 of the top-ranked 30 skaters will participate in the game including eight of the top 10. Among them are No. 2-ranked C Sean Couturier of the Drummondville Voltigeurs, No. 3 C Ryan Nugent-Hopkins of the Red Deer Rebels and No. 4 C Jonathan Huberdeau of the Saint John Sea Dogs. Number-one ranked LW Gabriel Landeskog of the Kitchener Rangers will not participate in the game due to injury.


There are five U.S.-trained players that have been selected to play in the game — Brandon Saad of the Saginaw Spirit from Gibsonia, PA, the eighth-ranked North American skater; Shane Prince, Ottawa 67s (ranked 35th from Rochester, NY); Colin Jacobs, Seattle Thunderbirds (ranked 40th from Coppell, TX), Vincent Trochek, Saginaw Spirit (ranked 42nd from Pittsburgh, PA) and Shane McColgan, Kelowna Rockets (ranked 102nd from Torrance, CA).


The game also features players from nine countries outside of North America. No. 2 goalie Christopher Gibson (Finland), No. 8 goalie David Honzik (Czech Republic), No. 24 Tomas Jurco (Slovakia), No. 20 Nicklas Jensen (Denmark), No. 34 Rickard Rakell (Sweden), No. 74 Tobias Rieder (Germany), No. 17 Vladislav Namestnikov (Russia), No. 6 Sven Baertschi (Switzerland), No. 39 Xavier Ouellet (France).


The 2010 event was held in Windsor, ON, and featured all 17 CHL players that were selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. That list included current NHL players Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins, Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes, Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks, Alexander Burmistrov of the Atlanta Thrashers and Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers, who earned Player of the Game honors before being chosen first overall in June. In addition to Hall, eight other NHL stars have participated in the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game before being selected first overall — including Chris Phillips, Joe Thornton, Vincent Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Marc-Andre Fleury, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos and John Tavares.


Full coverage of the 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and 2011 NHL Entry Draft can be found on NHL.com.


Programming Schedule on NHL Network U.S. for Thursday, January 20

Noon NHL Live!

2:00 p.m. 2011 Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

4:00 p.m. NHL Power Play

6:00 p.m. 2011 Legends Classic From Heinz Field

7:00 p.m. NHL Hockey: Pittsburgh Penguins at New Jersey Devils

9:30 p.m. NHL On The Fly


It’s Official: FCC OK’s Comcast-NBC Merger

Once again, from the Washington Post:

The Federal Communications Commission has approved Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal, allowing for a joint venture that puts a vast library of television shows and movies under the control of the nation’s biggest cable and broadband Internet service provider.


Together, the companies have 16.7 million broadband subscribers, about 23 million cable customer and dozens of lucrative channels such as USA, Bravo, MSNBC and CNBC.


In a 4-to-1 vote, the FCC determined the deal was in the nation’s public interest and assigned a number of conditions to the venture to ensure that Comcast shares content with cable competitors and gives other networks fair access to its customers.

24/7 Finishes Consistently and with a Season-High

Travis Yanan reports the ratings for episodes 3 & 4 of our beloved series:

24/7 (HBO, 10pm, 57 minutes)
– 0.376 million viewers
– 0.2/0 HH
– 0.2/1 A18-49

24/7 (HBO, 10pm, 57 minutes)
– 0.388 million viewers
– 0.2/0 HH
– 0.2/1 A18-49

The series averaged 377,500 viewers over four episodes, and didn’t drop below 363,000 viewers. A success for the NHL, for sure.

HockeyHighlightDome, Night 5: Overtime vs. On the Fly

Night 5, Monday, January 17

NHL Overtime, 11:30 PM ET, VERSUS

Host: Liam McHugh is back tonight. I’m starting to think he might be a permanent candidate for this gig. “Bacon is delicious, Niemi is fantastic” is something I’m going to paraphrase for many years to come.

Analysts: Eddie Olczyk is back once again, and for the first time in this two-week experiment, MSG/ESPN Radio’s Dave Maloney. Maloney used the words “Roof Dog Daddy” to describe a goal. Olczyk took his first turn at the big video board tonight, and did a fine job, though I kind of hoped he would awkwardly tell the control room to “Stop it right here!” and then realize he had to do that himself. The “teletubby” thing has to be totally mesmerizing if you don’t watch the show regularly. Olczyk also called the Rostislav Olesz hit on Evander Kane “cheap”. Whether you acknowledge it or not, Edzo has himself quite a pulpit as America’s most prominent television analyst, and he’s using it quite well on Overtime.

Lead Story: The first topic up for discussion was Bryan McCabe’s dangerous injury during the Panthers/Devils game on Saturday night. A little stale, but something that needed to be brought up on the panel, especially with facial injuries always popping up every now and then. VERSUS’ game of the night didn’t even get a focus until the second segment of the show. I kind of like this move, as it gives you time to relax from that.

Lead Highlights: The totally obvious choice of … Calgary/Montreal? Okay, why not? Billed as being a preview of the Heritage Classic, but I’m still kind of curious as to why this got the go over Los Angeles/Dallas, despite being a pretty excellent, entertaining game. This was the first time during this running diary that Overtime did not show highlights of the VERSUS game first in the show.

Non-Highlight Footage: Overtime went straight to game-winner PK Subban’s comments on the goal and his celebration, and immediately to a brief discussion of that sort of thing. Then a breakdown of some of the subpar goaltending in the tilt. They definitely seemed to have a lack of things to say on these two teams, and why not? Calgary is awful.

Also, a big preview of Pittsburgh-Detroit tomorrow. Hey, did you guys know that Pittsburgh-Detroit is NOT the VERSUS game tomorrow? I sincerely hope someone got fired for that blunder.

Interviews: None tonight.

Time Spent on Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin: Surprisingly neither got much of a mention the entire show. Despite the fact that neither played tonight, only Crosby’s absence was brought up during the Pens/Red Wings preview. Hey, did you guys know that VERSUS isn’t airing Pens/Red Wings tomorrow? That’s an incredibly terrible decision.

Spreading the Love (West Coast Coverage): The only two games featuring teams from the west coast were in earlier timeslots, and no game started after 8:30 PM ET, so every game was able to be covered tonight. The Pacific Division, in fact, headlined the show’s opening teaser. Calgary’s game in Montreal, as mentioned previously, was top of the show stuff. That was immediately followed by San Jose/Phoenix, and a mention of Patrick Marleau’s 1000th game.

Features: Even Liam McHugh can’t pretend to care about stupid Guardian Project. Plays of the week were also shown. Plus, there was a great little “angry coach goes nuts” viral video at the end of the show.

Controversial Material: The brief approval/disapproval of both PK Subban and Rostislav Olesz’s actions today has already been mentioned. I wish it was discussed a little bit further, but hey, you take what you can get. A talk on John Tortorella’s criticism of Marian Gaborik had a little bit more meat to it, thankfully.

Sadly, one controversy that was not discussed was the fact that VERSUS is not airing the Penguins/Red Wings game tomorrow. Can you believe that?

NHL On the Fly, 1:00 AM ET, NHL Network

Host: David Amber, who hopefully has listened to some music since Smash Mouth retired this time around.

Analysts: Larry Murphy, someone I’ve never been impressed with. He always seems like a toned down version of every other toned down analyst the NHL and its television partners have to offer. Hey, at least he didn’t decide to not air tonight’s Penguins/Red Wings game. I mean, come on, he’s not stupid.

Lead Story/Highlights: Coyotes/Sharks. West coast represent! The NHL: Where Patrick Marleau’s 1000th Regular Season Game Being a Major Storyline … Happens. Yet another night of NHL Network taking the lead game highlights and talking over them. I think, especially now that another American show exists, that NHL Network should be even more forthright with their stance on showing un-narrated game highlights for all the games.

Non-Highlight Footage: A discussion of Patrick Marleau, followed by footage of Phoenix coach Dave Tippett’s press conference, followed by focusing on a bad line change that really hurt Phoenix, something I’m fairly certain did not get covered in detail on Overtime. Jamie Langenbrunner also got big mentions for his 1000th NHL game, as this was clearly a big running theme for the networks tonight. We’re so boring sometimes.

NHL Network did a good job showing a graphic of the rash of defensemen hat tricks so far this season. Seriously, that’s really noteworthy.

Also, On the Fly showing the Western Conference standings before doing highlights of Calgary/Montreal? I guess it doesn’t really matter with Calgary being out of the playoff chase, but I still find it fairly strange.

Interviews: None.

Time Spent on Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin: Neither got a mention on this show. Bad couple weeks to try and catch both networks with any extra star love.

Spreading the Love (West Coast Coverage): As I said, Patrick Marleau is indeed the big story to lead off On the Fly’s Sharks/Yotes coverage. Regardless of whether or not it is a case of slow news day, it’s nice to see one of the NHL’s stalwart decent players get some recognition. Los Angeles/Dallas was second, marking the first time that NHL Network’s show actually had the VERSUS game higher in it’s queue than VERSUS’ show.

Features: A preview of Penguins/Red Wings, a game which can not be seen on the VERSUS network later tonight. What a silly decision.

Controversial Material: David Amber should’ve supported PK Subban’s celebration of the game-winning goal against Calgary a little more seriously, instead of just tossing off a “isn’t this silly?” sort of thing. Talk to the audience about how seriously we are overthinking everything that happens to the poor guy. Larry Murphy agreed, but again, it would have been nice to see more forthright support.

Strangely, the NHL Network didn’t even talk about Olesz’s hit on Evander Kane. Though they showed the hit during the highlights, its probably something that should have been addressed. However, they did show Jack Capuano’s press conference after some controversial goals in the Devils/Isles game.