Lance Armstrong isn’t happy and when he speaks out, nearly 3 million
The man who put the Outdoor Life Network — soon to be Versus — on
the map was incensed when the network cut away from the final minutes of
Stage 3 of the Tour of California. Here is what Armstrong had to say:
“Who’s the dumbass @versustv that cut off @AmgenTourofCali coverage
w/ a mile to go for pregame hockey?? #pathetic”
With the way that the Versus has been quick this season to cut their
postgame shows short, you have to wonder just how important it was to
cut away from what was apparently an exciting finish to the stage. That
is, until you consider just how much bigger the NHL audience is over the
cycling audience, and how important the network has made it’s hockey
coverage out to be.
But hopefully the gaffe won’t happen again. Roth said the race
received assurances from Versus that Wednesday’s Stage Four would be
shown in its entirety. Of course, no NHL playoff games are scheduled for
Wednesday. In the pecking order, the cult of hockey ranks ahead of the
cult of cycling.
“There are different hierarchies in contractual obligations,” Roth
I can understand the frustration, especially when your consider that
this was a pregame show and not the actual game itself. Somewhere, an
executive made the decision that upsetting the Tour was much better than
upsetting the NHL. I’m sure he’s able to live with that decision, no
matter how upset Lance Armstrong gets.
For hockey fans, they should be proud. It’s not every day that the NHL trumps other sports coverage.
Measure of revenge: Kings delay clinching efforts for Flames, Blues
Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.
OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.
It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.
Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.
In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.
It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.
The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?
“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”
Blame it on injuries if you want, or emphasize the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall hot finish to the season. Either way, Chicago scorched the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 5-1, a contest that felt more or less over by the time the first period ended 4-0 in the Blackhawks’ favor.
The Blackhawks scored by committee on Wednesday, with Artemi Panarin (goal, assist) and Patrick Kane (two assists) being the headliners. Meanwhile, former Penguin Marian Hossa has quietly climbed to 25 goals on the season.
Meanwhile, the Penguins limped through this one and have now lost four consecutive games.
With this result, the Blackhawks look like close to a lock to win the Central Division title. Meanwhile, the Metro crown is virtually unthinkable for Pittsburgh, and the Penguins might also need to accept the likelihood that they may not enjoy home-ice advantage in the first round.
They’d probably accept that more easily if they can get healthier and get back on track. Wednesday was a little worrisome in those regards.