I bumped into this post over at Battle of California earlier today and it got me thinking. Despite that whole growing up with the Leafs thing, I consider myself very much a Western Conference fan first and foremost - that isn't to say I don't care at all about the East, but I certainly would have been just as miffed if this had happened to, say, a Wings game because VS wanted me to see no one but the Penguins (no offense, Elly/ies and Teka!) during the two and a half hours they were playing.
The same thing happened earlier in the year when a Wings/Ducks game going to a shootout resulted in the first seven or eight minutes of the following Dallas game not being shown, so the "VS has a stupid crappy EC bias" argument doesn't really hold up, but it still left me curious about the VS schedule in general.
Last season, which was before I moved past the stone age and found myself the joys of Centre Ice, it felt like every non-Wings (and therefore televised by VS) gameI watched was an EC match-up. I lost track of how many times I saw the Pens and the Capitals go at it again, but I chalked it up to my bias rearing its ugly head and not VS'. Still, I was prompted to go look up just what the numbers were, and there results were interesting.
Over the course of the season, VS' current schedule lists 56 NHL games of which the teams are already set (and one other TBA). Of these:
- 34 are EC match-ups
- 19 are WC match-ups
- 3 involve one team from each conference (Pittsburgh/Minnesota, Detroit/Montreal, and Carolina/Nashville).
- 9 times: Pittsburgh
- 8 times: Colorado, Philadelphia
- 7 times: Buffalo, Detroit, NY Rangers
- 6 times: Boston
- 5 times: Carolina, Montreal, NY Islanders
- 4 times: Atlanta, Dallas, Washington
- 3 times: Anaheim, Minnesota, New Jersey, St. Louis, Toronto
- 2 times: Chicago, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Vancouver
- 1 time: Calgary, Columbus, Edmonton, Florida, LA, Nashville, Ottawa, Phoenix
(And you know, I understand Detroit being so high up there, considering the turn out the Wings get in arenas across the country has led to things like the Coyotes jacking up prices when we're in town, but...Colorado? Really?)