The maddening fact that hockey didn't appear on "Mad Men"


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)

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

Justin Abdelkader
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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal

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Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: