Pens/Caps Still A Draw Without Crosby

Even without the sport’s biggest star, Penguins/Capitals still proved a valuable rivalry for NBC Sports Network.

The network’s broadcast of Pittsburgh vs. Washington drew 526,000 viewers last Wednesday night, marking the fifth-most watched game on the network this season, and the highest since their change over from VERSUS to NBCSN (or NBCSp? I’m not sure what I’m supposed to abbreviate them as). The numbers are still down 23% from last year’s Washington/Pittsburgh game (2/21/11: 681,000).

Meanwhile, Tuesday night’s broadcast of San Jose/Minnesota drew 237,000 viewers to NBCSN, while Sunday night’s Rangers/Canadiens game drew just 202,000. Of Course, there may have been another blue team from New York playing at the same time to distract potential viewers.

Top 5 VERSUS Games This Season
Boston/Philadelphia, 10/6/11 – 874,000 viewers
Philadelphia/Buffalo, 12/7/11 – 585,000 viewers
Philadelphia/Buffalo, 11/2/11 – 558,000 viewers
Chicago/Minnesota, 12/14/11 – 540,000 viewers
 Pittsburgh/Washington, 1/11/12 – 526,000 viewers 


Alfredsson vs. Chara for the All-Star Game

NEW YORK/TORONTO (January 18, 2012) — Two veteran and respected captains of their National Hockey League clubs, Daniel Alfredsson of the All-Star host Ottawa Senators and Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins, have been named team captains for the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend in Ottawa, the National Hockey League Players’ Association and the National Hockey League announced today. The Captains were selected by their fellow NHL All-Stars and will lead the team selection process during the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy DraftTM on Thursday, Jan. 26. As captains, Alfredsson and Chara also will set their team rosters for the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Skills CompetitonTM on Saturday, Jan. 28, and wear the “C” during the 2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 29.


The NHL All-Star teams are now designated as Team Alfredsson and Team Chara. Team Alfredsson will wear the white Reebok NHL® All-Star jerseys, helmets and socks, with red trim throughout and red gloves and pants. Team Chara will wear the dark blue jerseys with royal blue trim, navy blue helmets, gloves and pants and navy blue socks.


Alfredsson is playing in his 16th NHL season, all with Ottawa. He has served as Senators captain since 1999-2000, the longest active streak in the NHL. The 39-year-old Gothenburg, Sweden, native captured the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie in 1995-96 and holds franchise records for career games, goals, assists and points for the regular season (404-654–1,058 in 1,098 games) and Stanley Cup® Playoffs (45-43–88 in 107 games). Alfredsson will be making his sixth career NHL All-Star Game appearance.


Captain of the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, Chara is playing in his 14th NHL season. He spent four seasons with the Senators from 2001-02 through 2005-06, helping the club average 106 points per season and capture a pair of Northeast Division titles in that span. The 34-year-old Trencin, Slovakia, native has been voted a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the League’s top defenseman in three of the past four seasons. He will be making his sixth career NHL All-Star Game appearance.


Two alternate captains, one for each team, will be named later.


2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft TM


Following the overwhelming success of its debut at last year’s All-Star Weekend in Raleigh, the 2012 Molson Canadian NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft TM will be held on Thursday, Jan. 26 to divide the All-Stars and Rookies into two teams. The draft will be televised live on TSN and RDS in Canada and NBC Sports Network in the United States at 8 p.m. ET from the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau-Ottawa, Quebec.


Below are the All-Stars available to Team Alfredsson and Team Chara:




Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks

Tyler Seguin, Boston Bruins

Jason Pominville, Buffalo Sabres

Jarome Iginla, Calgary Flames

Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks

Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars

Pavel Datsyuk, Detroit Red Wings

Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild

John Tavares, New York Islanders

Marian Gaborik, New York Rangers

Milan Michalek, Ottawa Senators

Jason Spezza, Ottawa Senators

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers

Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins

Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning

Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs

Joffrey Lupul, Toronto Maple Leafs

Daniel Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

Henrik Sedin, Vancouver Canucks

Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals




Brian Campbell, Florida Panthers

Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators

Dan Girardi, New York Rangers

Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators

Kimmo Timonen, Philadelphia Flyers

Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes

Dion Phaneuf, Toronto Maple Leafs

Alex Edler, Vancouver Canucks

Dennis Wideman, Washington Capitals

Dustin Byfuglien, Winnipeg Jets




Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins

Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues




Luke Adam, Buffalo Sabres

Justin Faulk, Carolina Hurricanes

Gabriel Landeskog, Colorado Avalanche

Ryan Johansen, Columbus Blue Jackets

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Edmonton Oilers

Craig Smith, Nashville Predators

Adam Henrique, New Jersey Devils

Adam Larsson, New Jersey Devils

Colin Greening, Ottawa Senators

Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers

Matt Read, Philadelphia Flyers

Cody Hodgson, Vancouver Canucks