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Game 7 Ratings, Koken's Prediction, Etc.

Still popular, even in defeat. (By John McDonnell - TWP)

Forgive the morning absence. Figured the next couple weeks could be busy. Pacing matters. Now, some thoughts.

* Game 7, as might be obvious, earned the highest rating of any game in this series in the D.C. DMA, despite being on Comcast SportsNet instead of NBC. It was also the highest-rated Caps game of the '08-'09 season, though there were higher-rated games in last year's playoff series.

The rating last night was 4.0, good for about 94,000 households in this market. During the peak 15 minutes from 9:15-9:30, the rating surged to a 6.1, or 143,000 households. When 143,000 households are on Comcast SportsNet, the old "15,000 hockey fans in D.C." argument doesn't look so good.

(The average rating for the five games shown on CSN this series was 2.94 (69,000 households), a bit less than for the '08 Flyers series, though Penguins games are always among the network's best-rated, and you can expect this second-rounder to smash records.)

* Props are due to Smokin Al Koken. Working at rink level for the CSN broadcast, he dropped this thought with about 10 minutes left in the third: "Guys, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see 39-year old Sergei Fedorov have something to say about this one before we're done." That's called knowing your stuff. (Watch the video below.)

* Props also are due to D.C. United PR man, Web guru and all around Bog friend Kyle Sheldon, who threw this Tweet up in the third: "I feel good about the #caps winning this one. I'm going with a goal from Federov." Bad spelling; great prediction.

* A pet peeve: All those "only 12.074845 percent of teams have come back from a 2-0 deficit" and "only 8.29457847 percent of teams have rallied from 3-1" were willfully ignoring the specifics of this situation. That the Caps were the higher-seeded, more talented team. That the Caps had home-ice, unlike many teams that trail 3-1. That perhaps their worst loss of the series came with a since-benched goalie between the pipes.

I have a good friend who's an ex-sports writer, a hockey savant and a die-hard Rangers fan. He told me repeatedly last week that Rangers fans were just happy to have dragged this thing out, that they all knew the Caps were far better, and that, even after Game 4, he figured the Caps had about a 40 percent chance of winning the series. The 8 percent thing was meaningless, with these teams and this circumstance.

* Not that you care, but our Web numbers are going to go gonzo with this Penguins-Caps thing. Biggest crossover NHL series in 15 years, according to Puck Daddy. Awakening a host of playoff memories in D.C. Stirring up all sorts of more general feelings of dislike between Washington the the 'Burgh. Enough with Gary Bettman talk; I'm half-convinced Don Graham ordered the Devils to lose yesterday.

* Some research for a potential A1 story that never materialized, due to obvious reasons. No Washington baseball team has won a playoff series since 1924. 1933, if I'm adding right The Wizards have lost four straight playoff series, and 11 of their previous 12. The Redskins have two playoff wins since Bill Clinton's first inaugural. And the Caps had lost five straight playoff series since advance to the Cup Finals in '98. This was long, long, long overdue.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 29, 2009; 1:26 PM ET
Categories:  Caps , Media  
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Next: Caps Won't Be Preempted by Kentucky Derby


Koken and Sheldon win.

Sheldon owes me a dollar though.

Posted by: sitruc | April 29, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Have the preemptive emails started coming in from the Pitts, objecting to your glorification of rude, mean, tasteless Caps fans?

Posted by: Southwester | April 29, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

CSN will only be able to televise Games 4-7 so depending on how the series goes, maybe not. (Versus gets 2 games in each series exclusive during the Conference semis, they picked game 2 & 3, Game 1 on NBC).

Posted by: mony1 | April 29, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I wish Koken would predict Brian Mitchell being fired from 980.

Posted by: StetSportsBlog | April 29, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"This was long, long, long overdue."

No, this was redemption. This was rewrading the faithful when their faith has been tested. Repeatedly. This (well, last night) was the unleashing the fury of passion and joy that has been building for ELEVEN years.

Take us to the promised land, Feds!

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 29, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

LOVE that pic!! Everyone hates Sean Avery. haha.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 29, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Brother Steinz -

Good thing that A1 story didn't come to pass. The Washington Nationals/Senators/Natinals have not WON a playoff series since their 1924 World Series victory. They last reached the playoffs in 1933, but my guess is that isn't what you were writing about.

ps - This scratched story is why people go nuts on the "Post negativity" thing. The Caps win is D1, but a Caps loss would have been A1? How does one interpret that as anything other than, "negativity sells?" Why isn't it an A1 story that the Caps broke through the DC playoff drought?

Posted by: WebberDC | April 29, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I wish Koken would predict Jayson Blair Canfora's sources being revealed to be voices in his head.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 29, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

@ Webber, haha, this is why it's never wise to post off memory. I deleted the entire "Caps Lose" file, and I think I must have written that no D.C. baseball team has even appeared in the postseason since '33. Assuming that's true.

As for your complaint, fair enough. Though, to give the complete story, I was told swell before the game that Arlen Specter meant there was no A1 story, win or lose.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | April 29, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Steinz -

It's all good. '33 was the last time DC was a playoff town on the diamond. (Yes, I checked to make sure the '24 or '25 teams didn't need a playoff game to win the pennant. So I cheated. A little).

If Arlen stole the A1 space win or lose, that is understandable. However, I assume my original premise is still true: Losers on A1, winners on D1.

That ain't right.

Posted by: WebberDC | April 29, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Let's Go CAVS!!

Posted by: popopo | April 29, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse


Awesome coverage, keep it coming!

Posted by: VladG | April 29, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

How do TV ratings figure in people who watch the games on televisions at bars? The small establishment I was at had about 15 people watching the Caps game on the two televisions in the place. I would imagine the scene was the same at bars throughout the region. That could be a lot of viewers that aren't being counted.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 29, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

The rating last night was 4.0, good for about 94,000 households in this market. During the peak 15 minutes from 9:15-9:30, the rating surged to a 6.1, or 143,000 households.

By Dan Steinberg | April 29, 2009; 1:26 PM ET


143,000 - 94,000 = 49,000 households that watched some of this game but not all? Wowwie. How many of these 49,000 turned off before the ending?

This is why I don't care about ratings... we are talking about fairweather fans--aka the worst people on earth--and how great it is that they are watching. Super bowl ratings are even more painful to hear i care that some grandma in Botswana tuned in to watch an NFL game for the first time all year. Super!

Note that I'm not saying I don't understand why media types like talking about ratings, this is the business they're in and it's to be expected that they hype up these numbers. But for average folks out there... we really, REALLY, don't care about these numbers.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 29, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

143,000 - 94,000 = 49,000 households that watched some of this game but not all? Wowwie. How many of these 49,000 turned off before the ending?

Me, although I'm not in the DC market (I'm in southern Ohio at the moment).

I was switching around between the "Dancing with the Stars" results show (I have no shame in admitting I watch this...Lil Kim and Cheryl Burke?? Drool drool), the Caps (on Versus), and the Celtics-Bulls on TNT. I switched back to DWTS just as Fedorov was swooping down the ice right before his GWG. I switched back quickly but it was too late, the celebrations were already under way.

I did get to see the very last minute...

Posted by: SportzNut21 | April 29, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

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