But first - my thoughts on the game. I usually try and watch the Winter Classic from a different perspective...such as "if I didn't know anything about hockey, would I be enjoying this?" Would people who usually be watching college football be flipping over the Winter Classic to see what is going on? In the case of yesterday's game...the answer is "no" (in my opinion). The reason why is simple - it took too long to get exciting. Out of the three times that the Rangers and the Flyers have squared off...I would say that this game was the least exciting for a few reasons
- There was an awful lot of neutral zone play without much sustained pressure.
- Few penalties (and bad ones when they were called)
- No fights
- Five goals total (there were 10 in the Detroit-Chicago Winter Classic)
As a Red Wings fan...I'm used to not witnessing fights or even a sense of nastiness in a hockey game. But after watching the first two times that these teams met...I must confess myself a little disappointed.
And I'm not alone.
Make the jump.
The game drew the lowest television rating (2.4) for a Winter Classic game in the first five years of the event. The most-watched game was a 2009 meeting between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings that drew a 2.9 rating. Last year's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals had a 2.8 rating.That little excerpt comes from SBN Philly.
That has to hurt if you're a fan of either of these two teams. The NHL thought that putting the Blue Shirts from Broadway on NBC for a national spectacle would be a home run...they were wrong.
For hockey enthusiasts such as myself...the game had a few great story lines...Mike Rupp doing a half-Jagr/half-Hitler salute...Claude Giroux continuing to impress. A last minute penalty shot. So what went wrong? I'm curious to see what you guys think...
I'm not sure who said it on twitter, but I'd like to bring up the point that the NHL is using this game to market to non-hockey fans. They know we're (readers/writers of blogs like this) going to watch, so market it towards the people who normally would pass on watching hockey. Knowing all this I now understand why this game was reffed so terribly. I think the only thing the league would have changed is that the game didn't go to a shootout. I've also seen WAY more obvious dives from Vancouver not get called than what Callahan did.
I don't know about others, but I had to be at work that day. I know most people actually had to be in on the 2nd. So, I think that being during working hours on a work day hurt the cause for viewers.
i think the national media can go a little over board with the east coast rivalries. does the entire country really care about the rangers and flyers? probably not. i just think they over estimated how much people would care about these two hockey clubs. i think they were blinded by the fact that both teams play in such huge markets but since neither have been tremendously successful in their history i think the rest of the country wasn't that excited.
I'll be honest, I only watched because I wanted to see Bryz's thermos he talked so much about, but once Rupp scored, it actually became interesting.
I didn't care for all of the performances. I like hockey and concerts, but not smashed awkwardly together.
And all of the Bowl games on yesterday hurt the ratings. Let's face it, Americans care more about football than hockey and that game, despite having as many stops in play in the 1st as a football game, wasn't dramatic all game. That pretty much reiterates your point, if Rupp had saluted in the first, it might have drew more viewership, but it was boring and the calls really didn't make the game easy to understand for casual viewers.
All game you could hear Emrick try to make Olczyk try to say something interesting and colorful, I think "Doc" was the only one trying to make hockey seem interesting to nonfans that day.
Well ill put it like this. If a future w.c has hawks vs blues in it, most wings fans won't wanna watch. So when we played the hawks prolly only blues fans, maybe canucks and blue jackets fans didn't watcg my fans of other teams did. With this game, I think penguins fans don't wanna watch the 2 teams they hate be celebrated, among islander fans or maybe caps and devils fans. Maybe others only outta hatred for the teams playing. Or maybe once jagr got hurt ppl quit watching. Or maybe even ppl just don't care as much anymore cuz its a normal thing unlike the 1st few where it was still fresh and new. Idk
I enjoyed the game. Once the first goal was scored, the tempo picked up and the hitting went up a notch. I thought the drama in the 3rd (thanks to the ref being a HUGE Flyers fan) made the game memorable.
I think the date (Jan 2) and the time (3pm vs 1pm) had a larger impact on the ratings than the quality of game.
But I'll be honest - the HBO 24/7 is what made this game interesting. Otherwise, I may not have cared as much.
@DetCapC19 I also enjoyed the game and strongly feel the date and game time change were pretty big factors. I haven't caught any of the 24/7 series, I'll have to go back and watch it.
@DetCapC19 I thought it was a great game actually and agree that the date and time hurt it. I didn't even watch 24/7 and still enjoyed it.
@DetCapC19 BTW, the worst classic was probably Bruins/Flyers as far as exciting goes, until the last few minutes that is. Or last year.
@moorecha Agreed. That game was boring as hell. Last year was good because Crosby got rocked and then saw his team lose and have it rubbed in via 24/7.
I thought the pace was really good yesterday. Too bad Jagr got hurt. He was having a nice game before that.
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