Few TV programs leave audiences enraptured like AMC’s “Mad Men” does. While the misogyny makes many squirm, there’s little doubt that the smoky, boozy period piece provides some of the most artful and gripping television around.
As if playing Don Draper wasn’t enough, star Jon Hamm is also awesome because he’s a hockey fan. Specifically, he’s a St. Louis Blues fan, as you can see from this advertisement.
OK, we’ve established that both “Mad Men” and Jon Hamm are awesome. So, why, exactly would someone pass on hockey being involved with the seminal TV show? I don’t know, but the Los Angeles Times shares the fact that a rights holder denied show creator/”Sopranos” executive Matt Weiner the chance to have hockey playing in the background of the latest season premiere of the show.
It’s not that the producers didn’t know there wasn’t a night football game for Don to be watching. It’s that they couldn’t get the rights to the hockey game they wanted Don to be watching. Sunday’s episode took place on Saturday, Nov. 28, 1964. That night, the New York Rangers beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1.
Unfortunately, “Mad Men” was unable to secure any rights for audio or video of that game. The producers wanted some background noise from the television and instead went with audio of a football game. The audio was not supposed to be discernible, but obsessed viewers (like this one) could pick up the play-by-play of a football game.
I hate to say it, but this is one of those classic “little things” that never seem to work out for hockey. Sure, the NHL (and the sport in general) is enjoying some positive momentum but why not embrace any moment to celebrate the game? It’s obviously not something that would have made millions of new hockey fans, but it doesn’t explain why you’d reject the chance to be a part of an intensely popular and respected TV show.
Oh well, that’s hockey for you.
(H/T to Puck Daddy)
The Dallas Stars scored a late winner, held on in the final minute and eventually struck first in their best-of-seven second-round series with the St. Louis Blues.
Once again, it was the speed and skill of the Stars that proved to be the difference in the end. Radek Faksa scored with less than five minutes remaining in the third period, breaking the deadlock and giving Dallas a 2-1 victory and 1-0 series lead over their Central Division foes on Friday.
As he entered the zone on the rush, Faksa dished off to a flying Ales Hemsky, who was denied by Brian Elliott in alone. But Faksa followed up, jamming in the rebound to give the Stars the lead, as both St. Louis defensemen Jay Bouwmeester and Alex Pietrangelo were caught by the speed of the Dallas forwards on the rush.
The Stars held on from there, as the Blues made a late push to tie the game.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 of 32 shots for Dallas, while Elliott was busy throughout the night, stopping 40 of 42 shots.
Elliott was furious after the Stars opened the scoring in the second period, as Antoine Roussel tallied on a rebound after yet another nice Dallas passing play in the offensive zone.
Stars forward Patrick Eaves left the game early in the third period and didn’t play another shift after being hit in the lower part of his leg with the puck from a point shot.
The Dallas Stars grabbed the all-important first goal in Game 1 against the St. Louis Blues on Friday. And it was agitating forward Antoine Roussel who capitalized in the second period.
Roussel buried a rebound at the end of a pretty passing play from the Stars. Blues goalie Brian Elliott was furious, as defenseman Jay Bouwmeester slid into the crease in an attempt to block the shot.
After stunning the Anaheim Ducks with a Game 7 win in the first round, the Nashville Predators remain in California to take on the San Jose Sharks in the second round. You can catch Game 1 on NBCSN (10:30 p.m. ET) or online with the NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
Here are some links to check out for tonight’s game:
Sharks have some ‘pent up energy,’ eager to start series with Preds
Game 7 win is ‘a big step’ for Predators
Brent Burns, Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson have been named finalists for the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman, but the debate about who should win is likely to persist right through to June 22 and the annual NHL Awards.
Not only did Karlsson, last year’s Norris winner, lead all blue liners is points with 82, he led the league in assists with 66 and finished tied with Joe Thornton for fourth in the entire NHL in total points. Those lofty offensive totals could make the Ottawa Senators star the clear favorite to claim the award for a third time in his career.
Karlsson is the first NHL defenseman to score at least 82 in a season since Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers (85 points) and Ray Bourque of the Boston Bruins (82 points) in 1995-96.
Burns — is there an award for most outrageous beard? — is also coming off an impressive regular season, finishing just shy of the 30-goal mark with 27 and 75 points in 82 games for the Sharks. He’s also had a strong showing in the post-season, as well, with eight points in the opening round versus L.A.
Doughty’s offensive numbers don’t match up with the production from Karlsson or Burns, with 51 points in 82 games for the Kings. There were eight defensemen ahead of him in overall point production. But he’s often recognized for logging hefty amounts of ice time, averaging 28:01 in the regular season, on a Kings team that often dominates puck possession at even strength.
“If you’re going to win, I don’t care how good you are, you’re going to have to play the other side of the puck,” Kings GM Dean Lombardi recently said to the Associated Press.
“You’re going to have to make those little plays that aren’t going to show up on the highlights. (Doughty’s) defensive partners — the little things he’ll do just to get his partner time to make a play. He’s three steps ahead of everything, and because he is that, he makes it look easy.”