Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Great Game You Did Not See

So how about that Saint John/Owen Sound game in the Memorial Cup on Monday? A great game especially coming on the heels of the snoozefest that Kootenay and Mississauga gave us on Sunday.

What you live in the USA you say, oh in other words a team that has 4 potential first round draft picks taking on the best story of the Memorial Cup was a game the NHL Network did not show live because Boston and Tampa Bay were playing on Versus.

Really the NHL misses out on a golden opportunity to showcase some of their future players and we would love someone at the NHL Network or from the NHL itself please explain why they can not show the entire Memorial Cup live? If they have a rational explanation why games featuring teenagers can not be shown live, we will give gladly open the space for them.

Cmon tape delaying tonight's game until Tuesday at 11 AM EDT/8 AM PDT is sad especially when you see ads on the NHL Network website talking about their upcoming coverage of the NHL Entry Draft. Yes tell us about the players we can not watch play because oh you are afraid that the Canadian Junior's championship might take viewers away from watching your NHL playoff coverage.

It never dawns on the NHL that some people will not watch playoff games if their team is not taking part in them. It never dawns on the NHL that some people who's team's are not in the playoffs just might want to see what their prospects look like.

The logo for the NHL Stanley Cup this year is "History will be made" but if the expected Boston/Vancouver matchup happens then it may be historical but very doubtful it will draw great ratings.

In the meantime the Saint John Sea Dogs and their UN-QMJHL brand of hockey has a very good team coached by former NHL coach Gerald Gallant and they are a good team to watch. Strong at both ends of the ice, not going to back down when pushed and smart enough to beat anyone.

Against Owen Sound who were missing their best player Joey Hishon (out with concussion), Saint John spotted the Attack a 2 goal lead before rallying to force overtime where they would find the net at 17:35 of the fist overtime for a 3-2 win.

A good back and forth game where both teams had chances to win but both goalies made the critical saves to keep their team in it. Jonathan Huberdeau showed exactly why he is a legit Top 5 pick scoring the game winner.

Tomas Jurco as he has done during the QMJHL playoffs and here in the Memorial Cup scored the tying goal. Jurco is someone who knocks off 2 stereotypes (soft QMJHL and softer European) is watching his own draft stock rise as if Sather was to not see the QMJHL label this is a player he would like to draft.

But US viewers missed out on those plays just like they missed out on Jordan Binnington's 41 save effort for Owen Sound. Sad that US viewers missed out on a very good hockey game played by 2 very good teams.

Oh but you can watch the replay on Tuesday a condensed 2 hour version that will not do it justice. It is frustrating to repeatedly watch the NHL talk about how much they want to help the sport grow worldwide but their narrow tunnel vision means the NHL not hockey as a whole.

It is a foolish and typically poor judgement by the NHL as if you do not help promote the juniors then where exactly do you plan on getting your future players? If I am a New Jersey Devil fan and I get a chance to see a Jonathan Huberdeau or defender Nathan Beaulieu then it give me a reason to think things will get better.

Saint Johns is facing Kootenay in a much win game for Kootenay, the game starts at 7PM EDT which is 2 full hours before the San Jose/Vancouver game starts. But you will not get to watch it live because the NHL Network has to give you 3 hours of their pregame show followed by a 2010 NHL Playoff game featuring Montreal and Washington.

Thankfully if you are interested here are the always well done game reports from the folks at Buzzing the Net plus here and here

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