When I first awoke this morning—after under three hours’ sleep—my lizard brain had one thing on its mind: Game Seven. Would it be on NBC? Indeed, it will be.
The NHL TV deal—taking the guaranteed money from OLN over the partnership with ESPN—has been a debacle from my end of things. I love hockey, and I watched less than five regular season games before dumping my digital cable [and my only access to OLN with my cable provider]; I’ve only seen one postseason game, and that was only because I was in Carolina for Game One, where the venue that hosted the concert I was attending happened to have the game on in their bar. I could just see the screen from where I sat, so my head was definitely on a swivel. Compare this to past years, when I have pretty much spent any idle TV time in the summer with whatever playoff game has been on ESPN—after all, it might be a Steve Levy game, which means it’ll go to eleven [overtimes].
My fear was that Game Seven—the very win-or-die, mano y mano kind of contest that drew me into hockey in the first place—would be stuck on a crappy cable channel that almost no one watches. [The aforementioned Game One was outdrawn by women’s college softball playoffs on ESPN, after all.] Instead, the game will be broadcast in all its glory for almost all the country to see. Sure, maybe they don’t give a damn about hockey, or maybe they don’t understand the sport … but the opportunity to see this brutally beautiful game is all I can ask for as a fan of hockey.