Caps Stuff: Ratings, Curling, Poti Sucks
A few items to help you pass the time....
* I didn't mean to start a firestorm with a passing use of the word "front-running" yesterday. Look, no one's gonna argue that the Caps had a full building two or three years ago. It'd be absurd. I was just saying, when the Rangers got down on Monday, the building got quiet and people left--the same things that happen in venues all over the country. D.C. fans get dinged for such behavior, and I was just saying it's not unique.
Anyhow, many Rangers fans used that as occasion to break out the cliches about D.C. sports fans (and send me nasty messages). So just for the record, and in a happy attempt to get more "yer clueless!!!1!1!" e-mails, here are the TV ratings for Game 3 in NYC.
They were massive. Off the charts. A 2.72 rating, the highest-rated Rangers game on MSG in 12 years. The rating was a 3.60 for men aged 25-54, and it peaked with a 3.50 from 8:15-8:30.
And the crazy part? The Caps' Game 1 audience was better. Comcast SportsyNet got a 3.3 rating for Game 1 in the D.C. market. The peak 15 minutes earned a 4.6. Among men aged 18-49 (a slightly different group, but the same general idea), the game pulled a 4.5.
Do I realize that the New York market is just a tad bigger than D.C.'s? Sure. Do I comprehend that many more New York eyeballs were involved here? Absolutely. Still, ratings can help compare the depth of passion between different sized markets, and at the minimum it's something to chew on for the many folks who continue to belittle the genuineness of Washington's current hockey interest.
(UPDATE: In fairness, Game 3 on CSN in the D.C. market earned a 2.6, so the Rangers (leading 2-0) won that battle. Like I said, people everywhere like a winner.)
* Rangers fans took great delight in their "Po-Ti Sucks!" chants the other night. They did it before the veteran d-man scored, and they chanted even more enthusiastically after his goal. Tarik earlier noted Tom Poti's reaction--"music to my ears," he quipped--but I also liked Mike Green's take.
"After the game [teammates] were chirping him because they were chanting that, but he shut 'em up pretty quick," Green said. "He loves it."
And Green's initial reaction?
"I thought they were saying, 'Ovie sucks,' " Green said. "But I guess it was, 'Poti sucks.' "
(As for his thoughts on the MSG crowd, "It's pretty loud here, yeah, really loud," Green said. "I find that they get on their own team, though, a little bit more than others."
* A few of my longest readers will recall that I once spent an entire Winter Olympics writing about curling. How, then, have I never realized that Mike Green is a huge curling guy?
"It's sick, some of those shots they make," Green said. "You ever heard about the Brier?" he asked me. "It's a huge curling tournament. The one I seen was in Saskatoon. I actually went to it. Curling, if you've ever watched it, it's kind of boring and slow, but then when it comes down to it and they've got to make a big shot? It's intense. People are going nuts."
"Just like the NHL playoffs?' I asked, trying to make a haha.
"At times, yeah," he said, not laughing. "It's not as consistent, but the parties are crazy for curling. I don't know why."
Green said he probably played curling more than anything else in gym class growing up. I relayed that information to Matt Bradley.
"I watched it, but I never played it," he said. "If they have a curling rink in their gym class, they're big wheels. All we had to go to was a field."
* Several defensemen said they had no trouble communicating with Simeon Varlamov, so that's not even an issue, but there were plenty of questions on the topic. Bruce Boudreau's response was the best.
"I don't know, I really don't know how he communicates," the coach said. "I guess through the eyes, they look at each other? I haven't even brought that up, maybe that's my fault."
(Speaking of Varly, forgot to link to Capitals Outsider, which found two Varlamov jerseys at Game 2, even before he became the starter. Wonder how many there'll be at Game 5?)
* I can't even remember how this came up, but I liked this line from Brian Pothier the other day.
"You know what, it's funny, I was sitting down, me and my wife were watching a playoff game the other day," Pothier told me. "She looks at me, she goes 'Brian, you know, tomorrow that's gonna be you. You're gonna be playing in that game. You're playing in the National Hockey League. That's pretty cool.' A lot of times that happens to me, just walking down the street to morning skate or something, I kind of get smacked in the face: like, 'This is pretty cool.' "
* Ted Leonsis is writing a book about happiness. He should let me present the other side, just out of basic fairness.
* Finally, let me point out that I'm currently in Fredonia, New York. About six months ago, I agreed to speak to a high school journalism convention in my hometown, figuring nothing much would be going on this weekend. Turns out, all that's going on is a Caps playoff series, the NFL draft and the Wizards hiring a new coach. Awesome timing. I'll chime in when I can.
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