Morning Free Association: Goodbye to Rivalry Night

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The NBC networks announced their slate of games to be televised nationally yesterday. In an effort to appeal more broadly to fanbases and to show that the powers that be at NBC Sports have their fingers on the pulse of the NHL, they have made some exciting and necessary changes to their scheduling.

First off, gone is Wednesday Night Rivalry Night, which we often mocked for having little to do with actual rivalries especially when they featured a Boston Bruins squad against a team that has never been an incarnation of the Minnesota North Stars, the Minnesota Wild. Other rivalries don’t always live up to the hype.

“It’s a new world,” Sam Flood, president and executive producer of NBC and NBC Sports, told USA TODAY Sports. “We need to embrace and celebrate those teams more than we ever have before. It doesn’t take away from those great Pittsburgh-Philadelphia games and Bruins-Canadiens games. We will keep doing those, but we have to lean into some different matchups.”

“Sometimes I think, through no fault of anyone, we were looking at the ratings through a core group of teams,” Flood said. “Rivalry Night was successful but some of (the rivalries) don’t have the juice they once did when we started this 12 or 13 years ago.”

Now it is Wednesday Night Hockey with a roving studio unit to the various sites. No word on whether or not their changing up their personalities yet.

magic mike

All-in-all NBC Sports is forecasting an ambitious lineup of 109 regular season games with 17 double headers on Wednesday night. In revamping and changing focus, NBC Sports is changing the focus from traditional hockey markets and ratings heavy hitters to newer and emerging markets like Vegas. This is a good time to shift as Seattle looks to be in the picture sometime around 2020, so they can tweak programming over the next couple of seasons. Sixty percent of the Wednesday double headers will feature Western Conference teams. We’ll even get to see Canadian team on Canadian team action between up and comers Toronto and Winnipeg because the network is keen on focusing on stars.

So, where do the Bruins fit into all of this? Well, they have 14 games on the various channels, including opening night against the Capitals, and are part of many double headers, even part of a triple header on one Sunday in March. And yes, NBCSNlimitX->∞ has both matchups against the Blackhawks for your viewing displeasure. You didn’t think they would abandon the Hawks did you?

no

Here’s a table of all the dates and times for you:

DateDay of the WeekTimeVisiting TeamHome Team
10/3/2018Wednesday7:30pm
10/17/2018Wednesday9:30pm
1/1/2019Tuesday2:00pm
1/14/2019Monday7:30pm
1/16/2019Wednesday7:30pm
2/3/2019Sunday12:30pm
2/6/2019Wednesday8:00pm
2/12/2019Tuesday7:00pm
2/18/2019Monday10:00pm
2/20/2019Wednesday10:00pm
2/28/2019Thursday7:30pm
3/10/2019Sunday7:30pm
3/27/2019
Wednesday7:30pm
3/31/2019Sunday7:30pm

There’s no word from Jack Edwards on what he thinks of all of this. Then again, being an announcer on a competing network, he may not have anything to say by tweet.

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the german hammer

About the german hammer

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The BOB
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The BOB

How awesome is this:
Bruins Academy Learn-to-Play Hockey Program
For $100, (4) weeks of on-ice instruction and a full set of CCM equipment valued at $500 to keep; includes professional, personalized fitting
http://bostonbruins.com/LearnToPlay

Not sure the little guy is up for that level yet though… hasn’t been on the ice since February and had only just figured out skating the last few sessions.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Wow, that is really cool. Good on them for doing that and keeping the price down as much as possible. Good way to grow the game.

The BOB
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The BOB

Yea. The crazy thing is they’re doing it in ~40 different rinks across MA and another 20 across NE so that’s a LOT of gear being given out essentially for free.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Hopefully Little Bob can participate next year. Then again, with kids you never know. He may want to go to astronaut camp instead.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Ooo, I became anonymous.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

That’s great. The down side is that kids grow very fast, so that personalized fitting isn’t gonna last long! But on the upside you can sell on some hardly-used gear (or save it for Little BOB II if there is one). Little Bear’s tap shoes must have appeared on half the kids in her class at some point!

The BOB
Member
The BOB

There is a Little BOB II but given their sizes, he’ll be 10 by the time he fits the gear from his 5yo big brother.

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

The Rangers have the same probram and it is offered at Danbury Ice Arena. From what I’ve seen, skill level is not an issue.

phonymahoney
Guest
phonymahoney

He’s up for it, trust me! My nephew did it like five years ago and he literally sat on the ice while the coaches dragged him around on the blade of a stick. He had an absolute BLAST and was a riot when he finally decided to skate!

The BOB
Member
The BOB

Please tell me that most of those 14 games are non-exclusive so we can still have Jack and Brick??

IntentionallyWidenberg
Admin
IntentionallyWidenberg

I’m not counting on it. unamused

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

Sigh

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Who wants some Habenfreude?
comment image
According to the Canada channel this morning Habs management won’t be participating in Patches annual golf tournament like they have in the past.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

What’s going on with Patches? Is he still with the Habs? I think I remember seeing they were wanting to trade him ages ago but then didn’t see anything more about it.

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

He’s still a Hab. Should be an awkward season!

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Good! grin

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
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Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Awesome! They need a little controversy up there. Just not enough of that.

phonymahoney
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phonymahoney

I’m enjoying the drama up north. Why don’t they just trade him?
https://giphy.com/gifs/baby-funny-cute-Xw6yFn7frR3Y4

Long-Winded Striped Mofo
Member
Long-Winded Striped Mofo

Hi Pals!!
Just give me some Bruins hockey on NESN and i’m happy!!!! NBC wants to market rising stars, but i don’t believe hockey ratings follow the stars. You either like hockey, or you’re an idiot.
Boated Bull’s Bridge yesterday. It was twice as big as what i experienced there in the past. Holy shit!!! Needed a combat roll after the Flume, and another after Pencil Sharpener (you don’t want to get stuck in Pencil Sharpener – it’s nasty). Anyway, a big step up!! I have a world class paddler that has taken me under his wing. He was like a proud papa during post run beers! Awesome!
Coffee!!!

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Sounds like you’re living your best life, as the youngsters say these days!