Thursday, May 24, 2012

NBC Sports sucks at math

So, apparently, NBC Sports has stopped the Garden from hosting a Game 6 viewing party. Why? Because viewership during Game 4, when the Garden hosted their last viewing party, was low. And, hell, 7,000 people attended that viewing party.

Let's have a quick conversation about orders of magnitude. Apparently, Game 4 had 1.26 million home viewers nationally, a low for the series (as far as games broadcast on NBC Sports were concerned). Game 1 had 1.28 million, and Game 2 had 1.34 million, making Game 4's viewership about 80,000 people smaller than the series high.

Let's extremely generously that absolutely everybody who watched Game 4 at the Garden would otherwise have done so in their homes. None of them - these are the people who chose to go see the game in the most public place they could - instead go out to a bar and watch with friends. And let's, even more generously, assume that absolutely no one at the watch party was there with a friend. They were all single-ticket strangers, and they all went to their individual homes and watched the game with absolutely no one else. In that incredibly naïve scenario, viewership rises by an absolute maximum of 7,000 people. Which, if they're aligned correctly, at absolute best raise Game 4's viewership from 1.26 million home viewers nationally to 1.27 home viewers nationally. Making it a low for the series, about 70,000 people smaller than the series high.

Meanwhile, it pisses off 7,000 hockey fans who are dedicated enough to go into the Garden just to watch your broadcast on a big TV.

NBC Sports, your problem is that people don't know how to like watching hockey on TV, because you're shitty at showing it to them. If I'm in your shoes, inconveniencing and disappointing the handful of people that do want to watch my broadcast is probably not #1 on my problem-solving list!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

By Popular Demand

So, here's a thing I'm learning about myself: when the Rangers actually make a run in the playoffs, I guess I get too overwhelmed and don't actually blog at all. How about that! Sometimes I Tweet, for what it's worth?

Anyway, a buddy was over for Game 4 the other night, and we were talking about Michael Del Zotto's peerless performance. Naturally, the conversation turned to the exemplar, erstwhile Ranger-defenseman-who-blows-but-supposedly-occasionally-scores, the Wandering Latvian himself. Which enabled me to say a sentence I am very, very proud of being able to say: "Oh, I wrote some poetry about Sandis Ozolinsh once."

I've put my acclaimed hockey poetry on this blog once before, but little do you know that I've been writing double dactyls for years. These three I wrote back in 2006 (obviously), and it was requested that I reprint (which is a very funny word to use about a blog) them here. They're not really too relevant, as Ozolinsh hasn't even been in the NHL for 4 years, and hasn't been a Ranger since Chris Kreider was 14. But here they are nonetheless.

If nothing else, these serve to remind you just how shitty our situation was not so long ago.


Stickitty Suckity
Sandis S. Ozolinsh
cannot do anything
other than lose:

blow every play he makes
leave every Ranger fan
singing the blues.


Puckilly Pukeally
Sandis P. Ozolinsh
ruined a season by
joining the team -

spoke of great skills he had
Turns out Glen's veterans
aren't all they seem.


Fuckitall Fuckitall
Sandis F. Ozolinsh
felt that he hadn't quite
fucked up enough,

flew down the ice surface
scored on his goal, and said,
"Hey, hockey's tough!"

Monday, May 7, 2012

What We Learned

This is what a three-game suspension looks like:

This doesn't even deserve league review in the first place:

Please, someone. Help me out. Tell me I'm being a biased Ranger fan. Why is this okay?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

One for the ages

Listen, people: if someone tries to tell you that compressing ice time is a way to make your players too tired, and that as playoff games go longer and longer, the team with the shorter bench is more likely to lose, maybe don't listen to him?  Maybe that guy's a dick.

Last night, Ryan McDonagh played 53 fucking minutes and 17 fucking seconds in the same fucking hockey game, good for 20th all-time on the NHL's single-game ice time list (since the stat started getting recorded in 1987).  Along with McDonagh's performance, Marc Staal's 49:34 (43rd on that same list), Dan Girardi's 44:26, Michael Del Zotto's 43:33, and even forward Ryan Callahan's 41:48 all surpassed the highest ice time of  any Capital, Dennis Wideman's 40:42.  Meanwhile, no Capital saw less than erstwhile Hershey Bear Keith Aucoin, who played 17:21, and on the other bench sat Mike Rupp, who saw 15:45, John Mitchell, who saw 13:54, and defenseman Stu Bickel, 16.7% of his team's defensive corps, played only 3:24 (all in the first two periods), 1.5% of his team's defensive time on ice.

And yet.  When the Rangers looked up from the 20th longest game in the National Hockey League's 95-year history, when the curtain finally came down on their franchise's longest game since before the beginning of World War II, it was the bruised, bloody, and battered, but hardly beaten, Blueshirts who came away with the win.  At the end of the day (well, really, it was at the beginning of the following day by then, wasn't it?), it was Marian Gaborik whose game-winning goal ultimately disappointed a Verizon Center crowd which refused to show any signs of the fatigue it no doubt felt.  In the storied history of this Original Six franchise, only Fred Cook, scoring with 28 seconds left in the third OT in Montréal on March 26, 1932, has won it for the Rangers later in a game than Gaborik did last night.