Rob Longley - May 15th, 2013
Even though it had all the appeal of a car crash for Leafs fans, Monday’ dramatic Game 7 conclusion to the Eastern Conference quarter-final vs. the Boston Bruins set record audience numbers for CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada.
According to a CBC press release, the game attracted a whopping 5.1 million viewers, destroying previous records for any opening-round game and for any Leafs playoff game ever. Monday’s game eclipsed the previous record of 4.5 million, set just one day earlier when the two teams met in Game 5 in Toronto.
Prior to this year, the record for an opening-round game was 3.9 millionfor Game 6 of the Leafs-vs. Senators on April 18, 2004. The largest audience for any Leafs playoff game was the infamous Game 7 of the Toronto vs. Los Angeles Kings Western Conference final back on May 29, 1993.
The numbers cited above are overall average.The audience peaked at the zenith of interest as 8.2 million were watching at 10:04 p.m. when Patrice Bergeron scored the overtime winner to complete the incredible Bruins comeback and the 5-4 victory.
The audience for the game peaked at nearly 8.2 million viewers at 10:04 p.m. ET when Boston’s Patrice Bergeron scored the series-winning goal in overtime.
Rob Longley - May 13th, 2013
BOSTON – Want to bet on the Maple Leafs tonight? If you do, there’s money to be made.
Despite losing two games in a row and scoring just one goal in each of those, the Bruins are heavily favoured to win Game 7 and take the Eastern Conference quarter-final series tonight at the TD Garden.
At most major sports books, the Bruins are listed as minus-170 favourites meaning that to profit $100 you would have to risk a stake of $170. The Leafs, meanwhile, are priced as clear underdogs at plus-150. At those odds, a $100 wager would return you $250 (or a $150 profit.)
The over-under total for tonight’s game is at five, indicative of the tight-checking contests we have seen in Games 5 and 6. Puck drop at the TD Garden is slated for 7 p.m.
Rob Longley - May 12th, 2013
With two series remaining in the Eastern Conference playoffs, one of the matchups for the next round has been etched in stone – the pesky Ottawa Senators will face the top-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins.
But what about the other tilt?
As crazy as it may seem, the Leafs still have a shot at home ice for the next round should they be able to force a Game 7 against the Bruins and then finish it off the following night in Boston. If the Washington Capitals finish off the New York Rangers then the Leafs would travel to D.C. for a series that would likely begin on Wednesday night. But if the Rangers do what the Leafs are trying to do and succeed, then the No. 5 seeded Toronto would play host to the No. 6 seeded Rangers.
That’s a lot of cart before a lot of horse, of course, but both are possibilities.
As for tonight’s contest at the Air Canada Centre, the Leafs will be attempting to do what many teams before them have done to the Bruins. In five of their past six playoff series, Boston has been forced to go the distance.
Rob Longley - May 8th, 2013
Fascinating at times to follow the developments in the new Maple Leafs ownership group given the broadcast interests.
As with all Toronto media, TSN (owned by MLSE partner Bell) and Sportsnet (owned by MLSE partner Rogers Media) have been omnipresent during this playoff series. With so many bodies to fill all the various platforms, in fact, one of the groups was considering chartering a plane to take the troops to Boston for Game 5.
Part of the deal, when the two bitter broadcast rivals united in ownership of the Leafs (and the rest of the MLSE family) was to share radio rights. For the most part, it has been down the middle.
But tonight’s Game 4 is a Rogers game and since Rogers also is majority owner of the Blue Jays, Sportsnet Radio is airing the baseball game. As a result, the big playoff game is being shuffled off to the Rogers family’s all-news AM station.
No word on weather the home radio crew of Joe Bowen and Jim Ralph will be offering “traffic and weather together on the ones,” as the station usually does, 24-7.
Rob Longley - May 6th, 2013
After a slow start to the playoffs – just two games in the eight days since they finished the regular season, the pace of the Eastern Conference quarter-final series between the Maple Leafs and Bruins is about to pick up.
Starting with Monday’s Game 3 at the Air Canada Centre, the two Northeastern Division rivals could square off five times in the next eight days if the series goes the distance. The intensity that clearly builds in any playoff series should be in in fine form by the weekend if the action continues.
After the first playoff game in Toronto in nine years, Game 4 goes Wednesday night with Game 5 scheduled for Boston on Friday. And it’s in the remaining “if necessary” games where things get crazy. Game 6 is back at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday – and there has been much discussion about a possible afternoon start for that one – and if Game 7 is required, it will be back at the TD Garden on Monday night.
So who would a long, condensed series favour? Would it be the veteran, playoff warriors on the Bruins or the youthful legs of the Leafs?