VERSUS Launches NHL All-Star Microsite… Not Bad

It’s less than two weeks until the All-Star Game, and VERSUS has begun to promote the heck out of it, because… well, what else do they have to promote.  They’ve been using NBA-esque sappy videos, like this one:

VERSUS has also launched it’s own NHL All-Star Game micro-site, which doesn’t feature failed attempts at baseball-style shootout attempts.  Check it out here.  It’s not bad for a VERSUS website.  You can play trivia games and win prizes, as well as find out fun facts about the ASG and the Habs’ history.

There’s rumored to be a revamp for VERSUS’ NHL site sometime soon.  This is a start, but it’s certainly not going to be hailed as anywhere near as good as ESPN’s NHL site.  Sorry, VERSUS.  But, you know… your improving.


Puck the Media’s Favorite Announcer Calls Tonight’s VERSUS Game


Jack Edwards

Jack Edwards

Some say there’s no such thing as coincidence.  That person never ran Puck the Media’s NHL Tournament of Announcers.  Tonight’s VERSUS telecast of Montreal and Boston just happened to be one of two games Jack Edwards is calling for VERSUS this season.  Isn’t that something.  He, Andy Brickley (how’s that for bipartisanship!  Two Bruins announcers!) and Bob Harwood will be live from Causeway St. tonight at 7PM.  Enjoy, and please let us know if he references this silly tournament.  It would just make our day.

Your Game of the Week: Detroit VERSUS Dallas



The Wings and Stars Met in the Western Conference Finals Last Year

The Wings and Stars Met in the Western Conference Finals Last Year

Tonight’s VERSUS game will no doubt be interesting.  The Stars have been playing very well since Sean Avery got sloppy.  The Red Wings have been playing well since I was about four years old.  Joe Beninati, Daryl Reaugh and Chris Simpson have the call, live from Dallas and in Hi-Def.  Enjoy the game, everyone.

Adrian Dater Really Isn’t Using His “A” Material For


Adrian Dater Columnist Adrian Dater

As the blurb underneath his tiny photo points out, that man above is Denver Post/ columnist Adrian Dater.  We like Adrian.  He’s kind of nuts.  He once posted this in response to a media-member saying that by not appearing on ESPN every day, he wasn’t “being all that he could be”:

And here’s my answer to my still respected friend, that I should have said right away: hell yes, I’m glad I’m not some ESPN stooge, who might make more money than me, but spends his/her entire day preening around the athletic arena, microphone in hand, makeup case in hand, hair spray in hand, ready to ask an inane, suckup, kiss-butt question to a player that, at the end of the day, at the end of this life, at the end of this universe, HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RESONATING IMPACT ON THE MEMORIES OF ITS VIEWING AUDIENCE, AND ABSOLUTELY NO LASTING IMPACT ON ANYTHING REMOTELY ASSOCIATED WITH THE ART CALLED “JOURNALISM” WHICH YOU FALSELY ATTACH YOURSELVES TO.” 

Isn’t that wacky?  It kind of reminds us of Ben Affleck’s Keith Olbermann impression on SNL.  Anyway, Dater was told to take it down and did soon after, but gracias to the blogosphere for keeping it alive, and the Latest Word for us finding it from that particular website, where you can finish your big ol’ cup o’ crazy for the day.

Anyway, Mr. Dater has been writing for since the beginning of the season.  Initially, we were excited when he and fellow hockey columnists Mike Heika and Chuck Gormley were providing actual original content to the poorly designed website of the NHL’s cable television home.  But, well, some of their stuff, especially Mr. Dater’s, lately has been, how should we say… crap?

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A Brief Update

Just a quick posting while we have a moment of Wi-Fi.  Tonight’s VERSUS announcers for Minnesota-Boston are John Forslund, Andy Brickley and Bob Harwood.  Enjoy the game at 7PM on VERSUS, if this is your first shot seeing Boston this season, you’re in for a treat.

See you all soon!

Your Remaining NHL National TV Schedule

Since it’s the start of 2009, I figured I’d give everyone something to look forward to in the new year.  It’s every network’s remaining telecast schedule.  Things are subject to change, particularly with VERSUS and obviously with NBC, but here’s how things stand for the rest of the season, beginning with the Canadian networks.

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Okay, Well, This is Just Embarrassing

Washington Post Capitals beat writer Tarik El-Bashir is one of the better combos of beat reporter/blogger around the league.  His Capitals Insider is a must-read for anyone with even a morbid curiosity about Ovie and the gang.  

Today, he reported this, more press box related news, that landed on my radar.  I had to post it as soon as I saw it:

*Ovechkin’s goal capped a weird day on Long Island. First, a blizzard materialized out of nowhere (it’s still snowing, I’m told). Then Capitals did not have a net for the first few minutes of warm-ups because of some sort of a mix up. And then there were no replays in the press box – because Nassau Coliseum doesn’t get Versus. Go figure.

Some things just make us sigh.  This makes us beyond sigh.

Anyway, that brings us to some recommended listening.  Check out our buddies Dave Pagnotta and Greg Wyshynski talk about ESPN’s possible return to the NHL on yesterday’s “TFP Today” which, regardless of who’s hosting – be it Francis Anzalone, Pagnotta or Dennis Bernstein – has proved an entertaining listen day in and day out.  Enjoy.

Reviewing Hockey Central on VERSUS, Part 1: Even HD Can’t Un-Blah it

We finally got VERSUS HD up and running at our house this week, so we were excited to watch our first HD hockey broadcast since last year’s Stanley Cup Finals.  See, Verizon has been blocked from getting MSG and MSG Plus in HD by Cablevision, and that great visionary of televised arts in the tradition of Marconi, Jim Dolan.  Also, HDNet stopped televising hockey (which we’ve been meaning to investigate into) and NBC doesn’t starting airing ’til WCII: CB (Winter Classic 2: Chicago Bugaloo, as if you needed to have it spelled out).  So we were locked out of VERSUS as well as Devils, Rangers and Islanders broadcasts in HD.

Until this week.  With the split-up of VERSUS/Golf Channel HD, the good folks at Verizon have decided that VERSUS is worthy of being on the same HD package as ESPN and The Big Ten Network here in New Jersey, where as you know, no Big Ten teams play.  So, we had the fancy VERSUS channel in the sparking glory of HD.  We figured it was time to re-review “Hockey Central”, the network’s post-game show.  The last time we had VERSUS HD, the show was not yet actually produced in HD.  So while you could watch a two-and-a-half hour hockey game in hi-def, the 30-minute post-game that followed would be in standard def.

Having all those problems out of the way, we have some nice things to say.  Overall, however, the show is still really, really plodding.  By plodding, we mean really freaking boring!  Gosh, I think the show literally put me to sleep tonight.  There’s pieces of a show there, but they’ve made a mess of it, and a boring mess at that, not an Amy Winehouse mess.

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Colorado-Detroit THISCLOSE to Not Mattering Anymore

The Colorado Avalanche are taking on the Detroit Red Wings tonight in Hockeytown.  VERSUS is pretty excited about this.  So excited, in fact, that they’ve partnered with “The Dark Knight” DVD to promote game.  We can’t find a clip, but it’s a pretty awesome.  However, it’s a promo deserving of a much better game.

It’s time to start having a conversation for us as general hockey fans that Wings and Avs supporters have been having for a while: That Detroit-Colorado is barely, if at all, a rivalry anymore.  

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Speaking of VERSUS: VERSUS Ratings Up For Hockey, College Football

As VERSUS is the cable network devoted to the National Hockey League, we feel it is in every hockey fan’s best interest to know some of the non-NHL stuff that’s been going on at the network.  Every so often, we’ll update you on it with a segment called “Speaking of VERSUS”.

Just a couple of notes on the network, both of them coming from Sports Business Journal via Sports Media Watch:

  • VERSUS NHL ratings are up once again.  While the games averaged an 0.3 average for the entire season last year, the early season is usually lower-rated.  This year, through 17 games, VERSUS is up to an 0.3 already, up 22% from last year.  The network’s up 49% among men 18-34, 46% among men 18-49, and 51% among men 25-54, all huge NHL demograhpics.
  • VERSUS is also doing well via it’s college football coverage.  VERSUS drew 1.6 million viewers for Oregon-Oregon St. last week, it’s most-watched college football broadcast ever.  VERSUS is up 33% in ratings and 40% in viewers, in no small part due to it’s studio show and more comprehensive coverage of the sport.