Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, June 01, 2021

My previous concern over this past weekend’s Stanley Cup Final schedule on NBC seemed unfounded. By the numbers, Game 1 and Game 2 turned in great ratings, with a 2.8 and 4.1 share respectively.

So I guess back-to-back Saturday-Sunday championship games aren’t essential for National Hockey League viewership. Then again, it’s important to remember the context:

We’re talking about the No. 3 and No. 4 TV markets in the U.S. facing off in this series. The local viewership is fueling these ratings, much like it did for the last two finals between the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, and much like it does for the NHL’s regular-season games on NBC.

It’s a dangerous game for the NHL: It’s impressive how hockey can dominate big media markets during special events (Stanley Cup Finals, Winter Classic), but what happens when a Canadian team sneaks back into the championship round? Or an American team that isn’t from the Original Six or a strong Northern market?

Not that I think it’s worth worrying about non-marquee teams making it to Cup contention. Excepting the Super Bowl, every sport plays that “dangerous game” of the potential ratings hit from the championship round suffering smaller-market teams. That’s where the marketing (particularly player-focused marketing) should kick in.

Still, that 4.1 is impressive enough. It’s still on the low end of comparable NBA or MLB final-round coverage, but at least it shows that prime-time televised hockey has a pulse.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/01/2021 11:41pm
Category: Hockey, SportsBiz, TV
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It’s customary for the winning team in each Stanley Cup Final game to come away with the final on-ice puck. But Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger is establishing a different, more antagonistic custom this year:

“He’s been picking up pucks after the game and I just told him he can keep it,” [Chicago Blackhawks forward Ben] Eager said minutes earlier, before Pronger spoke.

Where’s the puck, Pronger was asked.

“It’s in the garbage,” Pronger replied. “Where it belongs.”

You shot a towel at Eager when he complained?

“So what,” Pronger replied.

You’re collecting pucks now?

“Why not? What’s wrong? It’s sitting there. What else is gonna happen to it? It’s sitting there. Sure, why not. You got a problem with that?”

Gotta admit, of all the National Hockey League rituals I’ve seen, this one ranks up there amongst the most unique. There’s a touch of superstition and psychological warfare at play here, which makes Pronger something of a Svengali. As well as a cunning strategist.

What it all comes down to, of course, is wins. Given that Philly is down 2-0 in the series, I’m thinking that the Blackhawks are okay with Pronger keeping the pucks, as long as they get to keep the Cup. (Or, following this established pattern, will Pronger make a grab for that series-winning Cup, and try to toss it in the trash? That’d be the ultimate method of exising a Flyers loss…)

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/01/2021 10:49pm
Category: Hockey
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As much as we’re accustomed to consuming online content in decentralized, permalinked chunks, it sometimes pays to take in something in its “true” synchronized state. To wit:

Liz at Bobulate follows up a post about the virtues of standing still with one about the joys of jumping. Both dealing with the wholly literal versions of those states of being, to boot.

The free-form ease with which you can switch gears so completely from one day to the next is probably why some of us started blogging in the first place. Always good to come across such entertaining reminders.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 06/01/2021 05:15pm
Category: Bloggin', Creative
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