Since both football games today have been pretty sleepy, let’s talk about some hockey tidbits before finally getting to the Sabres game yesterday.
– The numbers from the Winter Classic are in, and it’s safe to say it was another big success. The market shares are pretty interesting, so let’s check out the top five:
Top 10 Metered Markets:
1. Chicago 11.8/21
2. Detroit 10.5/20
3. Buffalo 10.1/20
4. St. Louis 5.3/10
5. Pittsburgh 4.4/8
Of course the first two Winter Classic cities are in there, but the fact that Buffalo almost matched Detroit’s numbers is pretty amazing. The Buffalo market always responds well to national broadcasts, but I’m sure there was an extra bit of interest to see how Chicago would put on the show.
– We all know All Star voting is a joke, but it’s always frustrating to see the final result, especially when you know the league encourages it. Breaking voting records makes for a cool press release, but there will be some very deserving players staying home when all is said and done. The system is messed up all around, with the wrong players getting nominated (Teppo and anyone who was hurt the majority of the year) and the “team vote” concept. Giving fans the chance to pick the starting roster is a novel concept, but after the last two seasons of “Vote for Rory” and Habs/Pens it just isn’t working like it should.
– If you liked the Semin fight, I’m sure you will love this:
Between this and the taint punch from a few weeks ago it seems like Sidney is an angry little bugger these days. I guess you would be if you’re on a team with two all world players and struggling to keep a playoff spot.
You can’t say the Sabres are doing much better, but it’s obvious that the Penguins should be. They have a below .500 home record, have gone 3-7 in their last ten, and are in desperate need of a real head coach. It would help if they could play some defense, too. Sid also needs to learn to take the visor off if he wants to get into real fights, unless pouncing on guys who are actually trying to win a faceoff is his idea of a good time.
– January is a pretty busy month for the Sabres, but they only have three home games left in it. Two of those (Ottawa and NYR) are this week, which means a lot of traveling, including a Florida and west coast road trip. How the Sabres do at home will set the tone for both of those trips, as well as a visit to the Stanley Cup Champions this Saturday. It may only be January, but it feels looks like this month will determine a lot for Buffalo’s playoff hopes.
Sometime before daybreak tomorrow I will have some thoughts on the Boston game. Promise.