Monday, March 22, 2010

NHL Network Puts Best Foot Forward

The NHL Network is free (if you don't already get it) this week. They have a week long plan to reel viewers in and expand the base of NHL fans who don't already get it (odds are, if you follow this blog you already have it).

Their bait? Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby as they face off at the Verizon Center on Wednesday night. But they are also showing specialty programs like "The Battle of Comm Ave" at 6 pm tonight, or "50 Years Behind the Mask" on Friday night.

While some of the programming is good, like NHL on the Fly; Recaps and highlights of last night's NHL action and HD Classics; Replays of some of the great games in High Definition, lately the NHL network has taken a turn away from some of the older specialty shows they used to show.

Gone are history time pieces like Classic Games that featured Gordie Howe taking several rookies down with his manly elbow and opposition teammates just telling the rooks to "watch out for the elbow." Or maskless goalies making unbelievable saves in the playoffs. Rarely (if not at all) does the network show any of the good ol' days of hockey.

Flowing locks of hair (or balding spots if your are Langway) racing down the boards. Fights were guys back away from the two and let the two of them settle it (Bradley not included). Hard clean hits that were never retaliated. Some of what the NHL was born on seems now disregarded by the network that once loved to show off it's past.

Don't get me wrong, I love the NHL network. The channel number is worn down on my remote control. But I would like to see those classics again. If for nothing else, but to say I at least saw Bobby Clarke cheap shot someone in front of the net.

Caps Notes:
  • Scott Walker's ailments maybe more than just a "tweaked" knee. He canceled his appearance at the "Caps on the Fly" show at Hilton Garden Inn. Walker left after his bout with one of the forwards from Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Walker fell awkwardly after getting an upper cut from Zenon Konopka early in the second period. He would not return.
  • Warner Video and the NHL have come out with a DVD set just for Capitals fans (about time). Warner Home Video Washington Capitals: 10 Greatest Games DVD Set is available for $49.99 on Get yours today!
  • File this under "counting chickens before they hatch" column: The Pens are busy tonight facing off against the Red Wings in Detroit. If Sid and his band of merry men happen to lose tonight to the Wings, the Caps could clinch the Conference with a win against the Penguins Wednesday night. That is right, they could clinch the Eastern Conference with 8 games remaining to play (knock on some major wood) IF the Penguins lose tonight and Wednesday and the Sabres lose to Montreal Wed. night and Devils lose their game to Columbus as well.

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