Tag: Versus


Penguins-Flyers produced best playoff opener ratings in 10 years


The high-wattage star power of a Philadelphia Flyers-Pittsburgh Penguins series, unprecedented overall game coverage and a night full of twists and turns manifested itself in some great ratings to kick off the 2012 playoffs on Wednesday. The NHL provided a press release full of promising numbers from the first two nights of postseason puck-viewing, so here are some of the highlights.

  • Wednesday’s trio of contests (two on NBC Sports Network, one on CNBC) represented a 34 percent increase from last year’s ratings on what was then called Versus.
  • Overall ratings during the first two days (Wednesday and Thursday) represented a 22 percent increase from last year. Interestingly enough, Thursday’s trio of OT games was the first since 2001.
  • Again, the Flyers-Penguins thriller made the biggest impact. The press release captures the impressive numbers quite nicely, so here’s the excerpt:

Viewership for Wednesday night’s opening round game featuring the Pittsburgh Penguins and rival Philadelphia Flyers was up 83% from last year’s comparable opening night contest. It was the most-watched opening night playoff game in 10 years, a span that includes seasons when ESPN was the national U.S. rights holder.

In other words … No, it’s not just you. The playoffs have been electric so far. Here’s to many more nights like the first two during the next two-or-so months – even if it might be a little exhausting at times.

Watch Patrick Kane order his eponymous burrito

Kaner Qdoba

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. EST on VERSUS, the NHL and NHL Original Productions will air the debut episode of “NHL 36” starring Patrick Kane.

And we’ve got the teaser!

NHL 36 takes viewers into Kane’s world for 36 straight hours as he lives the life of a not-so-average 23-year-old. Through an array of microphones and isolated cameras, the 30-minute documentary will offer unique insight into Kane’s game on the ice. The show also will feature interviews with Kane’s family.

Speaking of Kane’s family — that’s his dad, Patrick Sr., defiantly ordering Qdoba’s Sizzling Sharpie Burrito. I had no idea the Blackhawks had their own line of Mexican food but now that I do, I’m obsessed with it. For instance, did you know the Sharpie’s key ingredients are black beans, steak, fajita veggies, ranchera sauce, pico de gallo, sour cream and a “lil’ bit of love”? It’s true. Meanwhile, Kane’s burrito doesn’t have a lil’ bit of love, but it does have cheese.

Colorado edges San Jose in shootout

Daniel Winnik

Tonight’s Versus matchup featured two reeling clubs. In one corner, there was the Colorado Avalanche, a young club who earned another bag skate from coach Joe Sacco. Their opponents were the San Jose Sharks, a team whose surprising slump might lead some people to irrationally wonder if the head coach of every California-based NHL team might get fired this season. The contest had “everything’s fine” moments for both teams; Logan Couture’s ridiculous assist qualifies for San Jose while Stefan Elliott’s beautiful rush does the trick for Colorado.

The Avs ultimately took this one 4-3 in the shootout, as you can see in the highlights below.

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NBC Sports Network will carry 16 college hockey games this season


The NCAA’s Frozen Four is a great treat for hockey fans, but for some, it’s a tragically small taste of another puck-related world. If you want more, you’re in luck; NBC Sports Group will begin carrying college hockey games on Dec. 31.

That first game (12th-ranked* Boston University at fourth-ranked Notre Dame) will take place on Versus while the remaining 15 games will be televised under the NBC Sports Network banner. Here’s the full coverage schedule, including the Hockey East Tournament.

NBC Sports Network’s College Hockey Schedule (all times ET, subject to change):


Saturday, Dec. 31 #12 Boston University at #4 Notre Dame 7:00 p.m. (VERSUS)
Jan. 6 Dartmouth at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 13 #14 Minnesota-Duluth at Nebraska-Omaha 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 #3 Michigan at #4 Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 27 #9 Yale at Harvard 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 3 Cornell at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 10 #1 Boston College at Vermont 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 10 #5 Minnesota at #8 Denver 10:00 p.m.
Feb. 17 Dartmouth at #9 Yale 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 #12 Boston University at Vermont 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 24 #15 North Dakota at #8 Denver 10:00 p.m.
March 2 #8 Denver at Nebraska-Omaha 7:30 p.m.

Hockey East Tournament

March 9 Quarterfinals 7:30 p.m.
March 16 Semifinals 5:00 p.m. and 8 p.m.
March 17 Finals 8:00 p.m.

* – Those rankings are based on an Oct. 31 poll by USA Hockey Magazine and USA Today.

Video: Stanley Cup ring brings back Tim Thomas’ humbling past

Tyler Seguin
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PHT gave hockey fans a heads up to watch Versus’ special feature on the Boston Bruins’ banner-raising ceremony, but it should have read like an order instead. It was reasonable to expect the feature to be a high-quality production, but it blew away those expectations.

It also ended up being about a lot more than just raising that 2011 Stanley Cup banner. All kinds of great tidbits were jammed into that half hour mini-documentary.

There were flashbacks to the days of Bobby Orr, with an interesting bit about a fan who waited 39 years to see his team win the Cup once again. Hockey fans were treated to a deeper look at Shawn Thornton as well as some of the trash-talking that goes on during games. (Brad Marchand provided quite the zinger toward Zac Rinaldo.)

Yet it only seems fitting that Tim Thomas stole the show. It’s easy to get distracted by the team’s Stanley Cup rings for all the bodacious bling, but that wasn’t what drove Thomas to put together one of the greatest years an NHL goalie ever produced.

Besides, after watching this clip, you’ll know that there are other, humbler rings that mean a lot more to Thomas.

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