Puck Podcast – February 20, 2010

On this week’s show we’ll wrap up the final weekend of the NHL season prior to the Olympic break and give a full recap the first week of hockey action in Vancouver. We’ll also put a veteran goalie in the penalty box and I will vent on NBC’s programming decisions and my least favorite winter Olympic sport.

MP3 File

About Doug Stolhand 27093 Articles
Doug Stolhand is one of the co-founders and co-hosts of the Puck Podcast and has been a member of the NHL media since the show's inception in 2006.


  1. Hey Guys,

    I’m at the part were you guys are nailing NBC to the wall (Which is awesome by the way) and you guys are forgetting one very very important thing, and the reason I am extactic that the US Hockey game is on MSNBC. On the west coast (Pacific Time Zone), NBC has decided to tape delay everything on their coverage for west coast viewers, even though the Olympics are in the same freaking time zone. That is why the Russia game is at 3:00 PST. Because we’re getting a 3 hour tape delay, while on MSNBC, the game is at 4 which will be LIVE. NBC can have their F@*Cing Ice Dancing for all I care.

    The reason they do this, as the idiot in charge Dick Ebersoal has said, is because they have done research saying West Coast viewers like to be home watching the events, which is in prime time. Of course this is an archaic reason now but what are you going to do. The worst thing is they are still treating the west coast viewers like shit on the weekends, when they are home.

    Oh, and the Gold Medal game is going to be in NBC too meaning the 3 hour delay will be in effect. NBC sucks, their network coverage sucks, and I hope for a day when not only we getting a different network to cover the games, but NBC as a network dies a slow painful gruesome death.

  2. Magnificent powerplay, Eddie.

    By the way, what happened to the voices? Right around the 1:33 mark when Doug said “mentally” it sounded like his voice dropped an octave…

  3. Loved the PP rant on the whole “Curling Fiasco” and NBC New York Corporate HQ’s complete disregard for scheduling and sanity. What God-awful marketing survey convinced them that the North American curling audience has more clout and advertising appeal than millions of NHL fans tuning in for Team USA and Team Canada?

    Why the heck can’t they just go picture-in-picture with the final minutes of curling in a small window while the main CNBC picture is period one of the 4.30pm scheduled hockey game? Is that some kind of restricted technology?

    Quoting Rahm Emanuel: “NBC, YOU’RE RETARDED!”

  4. Oh no! I was hoping the TV schedule I had was wrong. They are tape delaying the Russia/Czech Rebpulic game? So that game and the USA/Canada game will virtually be shown at the same time. Brilliant! So hockey fans that want to see both games, are forced to record one while watching the other. What a joke. Thanks for explaining it Greg.

  5. In California, I just saw an ad on MSNBC for Russia vs Czech Republic at “3pm Sunday”… Wondering if that’s an east coast start time, which would mean 12 Noon in California.

    Then I checked our local (California) Comcast listings: “Hockey” is on NBC at Noon and MSNBC at 4pm.

    So… there’s a slim chance that the Russia / Czech game is NBC at noon and the Canada / US game is MSNBC at 4pm.

    [Side note: NHL.com says “7.45pm eastern” for Canada / US game, so who knows.]

    Way to go, NBC. Where did you learn how to treat hockey fans… in Gary Bettman’s office?

  6. Eddie Torres,

    The russia game is on tape delay because it’s on the main network. That’s why we’re getting it at 3. Wish we got it at Noon (And maybe some minor miracle will make that happen, but with NBC, I doubt it.

  7. The possible return of Jagr to the NHL was “The Hockey News” cover story for the first week of Febuary (vol 63, no 16)… So it was reported some time ago. From the article: “‘I am not sure what I’m going to do next year, but if I’m not going to play in Russia, I want to play in the NHL for sure.’ said Jagr…” In the same article (by Ken Campbell) an NHL GM said that Jagr was not even on their radar. With the amount of talent that seems to be available, coupled with the cap, I do not think too many teams, if any, are going to go out of their way to grab someone like this. Or anyone else that makes a good showing in Vancouver and is not already in the NHL. I have noticed commentators in games involving Switzerland, Belarus and Germany remark that some of the talent in those games deserves a shot here in North America. But I do not see that happening…

  8. Are they LITERALLY playing this game on VHS tape delay? This picture looks like crap, even for a guy like me who still has a 20″ TV with no HD or DVR.

  9. N-B-Bleeping-C needs to go into the penalty box. While I take Doug’s side that I’d rather watch bleeping curling than ice dancing or skiing; the peacock took a dump on all west coast hockey fans Sunday. I sat down at noon ready for Russia-Czech hockey and got the opening with a “recorded earlier” key at the top of the screen. they have FOUR bleeping channels: NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and USA. If there were no plans to air the game live for west coat viewers on the flagship, why not their other bleeping channels. They were airing “Casino Royale”on USA, bios on Tiger Woods girl friends and Patty Hearst on MSNBC and The Westminster Bleeping Dog Show on CNBC. I wound up watching “Bridge Over The River Kwai”for about the 25th time while waiting for hockey and wound up watching the first two periods and the last 90 seconds of the Russia-Czech game. BLEEP YOU, N-B-BLEEPING-C!

    (PS:The bleeps are in honor of your rant on curling this weekend, Eddie.)

  10. Nice power-play Eddie.

    But for probably the first time ever, I have to disagree with Mr. Stolhand on something. While talking about the first Belarus game, you mentioned that Belarus “ruined” the 2002 Olympics for you in the sense that they played Russia in the Bronze Medal Game. While that game was a bore, I LOVED seeing them beat Sweden. I understand that the Bronze Medal Game wasn’t exciting, but the game that got them there was epic. That is one of my favorite professional hockey games ever. I always root for the underdog (as long as it isn’t USA), and seeing that small country beat a powerhouse like the Swedes was a great moment in Olympic history.

    But I am sure that you might feel the way you do about the game because you have a Swedish ancestry. Even if, unless you are a Swede yourself, you have to admit that the feat of beating Team Sweden was impressive for Belarus.

  11. Jeff,
    Belarus beating Sweden was a great event in and of itself and I love the upsets as much as the next guy (Go Germany!). However, because I had tickets to the Bronze Medal game – and because that was the only hockey game I had tickets to – I was really looking forward to seeing some combination of Russia, Czech Republic, Sweden, Finland, Canada or USA go head to head with an Olympic medal on the line. When I found out it was going to be Belarus against Russia…I was not happy. It didn’t ruin the Olympics for me, necessarily, because I still had a blast but it was very disappointing to see a non-competitive blowout instead of a hard fought, close game.


  12. We held a hockey viewing event at the football shrine–my neighbor’s basement which is filled with televisions so he can see every NFL game every week. That means, not only did we get to have both games on once, but we managed to draw in some folks who would normally avoid hockey like the plague. I’m pleased to report that there were first-timers on their feet screaming at the wall of television during the final minutes of the last period of the US v Canada game. Great stuff, and I’m hoping to for a bigger turn out for the medal games.
    And Eddie, you can hate curling all you like, but it ain’t curling’s fault that NBC couldn’t organize an eight year old’s birthday party. They just put the events on the wall and get throw darts with time slots at them. While huffing glue. It’s a fact, just ask Conan O’brien.

  13. Great show once again fellas!

    Yeah the “curling taking over hockey tv-time” happened here in Sweden a couple of times also. If my memory serves me right it was in the FIN-BLR game and SUI-NOR game in which a goal was scored during f*in CURLING. Anyway here we have the luxury of watching the games via online streams on the networks own site, without commentary though.

    Noticed the sound issue also in the show, kinda like the audio started going a beat slower.

  14. Excellent show! Doug, it was Slovakia over Bulgaria 82-0 in women’s hockey (although I wish it had been Belgium on the losing side, as I am getting ready to return to the States after more than two years living in the dreary land of beer-swilling Smurfs). I certainly relished every second of the Philadelphia Eagles’ 44-6 win over the Cowboys in December 2008 (and as I seem to recall, it is all men playing in the NFL, so lopsided victories seem to be a poor reason not to check out women’s sports). Check out this week’s New York Times article on women’s hockey. In the meantime, I will be up rooting for the women of Team USA in the gold medal game against Canada and of course supporting the men of Team USA to a potential gold medal win as well. BTW, soeaking of the men’s team, there was an awesome picture in one of the French papers showing Brodeur laid out on his back after the Langenbrunner goal during the USA- Canada game. Nice.

  15. After listening to Eddie’s PP (God, that just sounds so wrong) while working in my Cubicle-of-Purgatory, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Eddie, you rock. Like many of the show’s other listeners I must echo your sentiments on curling. Personally, I can’t stand watching it either, especially while knowing I’m missing a type of hockey that only comes along every four years. That being said, I must admit that curling looks like a fun game to play with friends, as long as the beer flows, but watching it?? No thanks.

    And what the hell is up with that 82-0 game between Slovakia and Bulgaria? In football terms, that’s a whopping 492 to 0, and that’s not including the field goals. Talk about kicking a dead Bulgarian! Great show as always guys, can’t wait to hear your takes on the men’s USA win over Canada (hopefully the women’s too) not to mention the final results of the Canada-Russia game later today, should be great.

  16. *Bleep* you! You are *Bleep*ing at the wrong people. *Bleep* NBC for their awful coverage of the games, but leave poor curling alone. Many people in the world love it and it can have it’s day at the games. If they were showing bowling during NHL games we would yell at the networks, not at bowling.

  17. Yeah, this whole NBC thing is really bad. I’m debating which is worse: NBC’s poor coverage of hockey or the whole DirectTV/Versus thing. Thoughts?

    The USA/Switzerland game is on now. Fortunately, I’m able to watch it online from http://www.nbcolympics.com It’s nice to still watch it live but not nearly as cool since I’m not watching it on my nice HD TV.

  18. The puck podcast going Don Cherry and harping on and on about the NHL opener in Europe is getting a bit tiresome. Why couldn’t the Europeans get two games of the long and meaningless regular season? Why couldn’t the Europeans watch Stamkos first ever goal? Tampa fans “only” get the remaining 75+ games, and they don’t even sell out anyway, so they must not care that much. Does it create more interest in Europe to have NHL games there? I mean, does it create more interest about the Ducks if they play in Anaheim? Of course it does! The interest for NHL in Europe is already huge, and they have a very good TV coverage of live and taped games, and game recaps. In fact, with the ingenious Versus deal, I’m sure they can watch more games in Europe than in the US, at least if you figure percentage wise. So actually, one should look at it the other way. Why should US have any NHL games? Europeans are much more knowledgable about hockey. In US, the broadcasters have to explain icing, hat trick and make basketball analogies to make the viewers understand the rules. The interest simply isn’t there, and it will never work in markets like Atlanta and Phoenix. Stop trying to expand the game to people that don’t want it and don’t get it. Americans don’t know the players, where they’re from, and think that Yugo and Slavia made up Czechoslovakia 😉 “Fans” only go to the games if the team is winning. It’s a losing cause. And Gary Bettman knows this. Canada can support a few more teams, but that’s it. Bettman knows that the NHL should be 1/3 US teams, 1/3 Canadian and 1/3 European. That’s the only way for NHL to make it a world sport that can expand and survive in the long run. So the NHL opening in Europe is all part of the master plan. It just isn’t moving fast enough.
    So there’s a bit of reverse Don Cherryism for ya as a pay back for your narrow mindedness…. 🙂

  19. And btw, you are wrong about curling. It’s an excellent TV sport, one of the best in the olympics. And it airs on CNBC and MSNBC, not NBC.

    So bark up the right tree, NBC in the their prime time airs tape delay of luge, f’ing figure skating, bob sled, ski cross and short track… over hockey. Shows you where hockey is in the US. NBC really sucks.

  20. Staffan,
    I have a question for you. The NHL has opened their season in Europe for the past three seasons and I would like to know if it’s done anything to increase interest in the NHL among European hockey fans? Do fans actually follow the NHL more than they had previously or do they simply pay attention to the games that are played in their countries and then go back to following their local leagues? If the interest has gone up in Europe, great – the games are worth it. If not, though, I continue to not see the point of playing those games.

    Also, wouldn’t pre-season games work just as well with regards to giving the European fans a chance to see the NHL teams and players?


  21. The question is how you measure that exactly, and I don’t live there anymore, but consider this: 1) They have cable channels that air live games (in the middle of the night. Luckily there are some weekend matinees also).
    2) The major newspapers (in Sweden) have live blogging from NHL games. 3) Sites like hockeysverige.se have extensive coverage of NHL, minor leagues, college and Canadian junior.
    So that the interest for NHL die off after the games are done is not true. At least not for Sweden.

    Pre-season games is for sure not the same thing as a regular season game. Anyone that has been to a NHL pre-season game can attest to that. Hardly any players you recognize from TV, and the players you do recognize will not work as hard as the no-name rookies trying to earn spots.

  22. the crusade against Europe games is so narrow minded.

    fans in USA get 41 home games, yet in great hockey centers like Atlanta or Phoenix no one cares about them (attendance like 11-13k). Hell, even not all their games have TV feed produced, so you can’t even see all of them on TV!!

    Doug let me reverse a question.
    The NHL has played hundreds of home games in Phoenix or Atlanta for the past three seasons and I would like to know if it’s done anything to increase interest in the NHL among local hockey fans? All I saw was pathetic empty seats (ATL) and a franchise almost folding down (PHO).

    Doug, sounds like you are a Republican lol. ‘Keep your hands off our stuff’!

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