If a hockey game is played on the same night as a World Series game, does anyone hear it? What if they are in the same city? Does anyone even see it? That’s the question the Boston Bruins have to ask after having to compete against the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.
In a city where people love their Bruins and Red Sox, the Red Sox will always take precedent over the Bruins. It’s a tough thing to say, but it’s true. Given the back story of this season’s Red Sox team,
The last three Bruins games have fallen on the first three games of the World Series and each Bruins game had some sort of memorable moment that you may have missed. The first one had the now infamous John Scott hit on Loui Eriksson, the second game had a last second goal by David Krejci to beat the Sharks, and the last game had the Bruins meltdown against the Devils in the final seconds of the game.
Like me, you probably missed it because of an equally exciting World Series matchup. I’m guilty, I missed it. The NHL made the schedule months ago and had no idea that the Boston Red Sox would reach the World Series. It’s just a weird coincidence. The next two Bruins games fall on Wednesday and Thursday, the same day as Game 6 and a possible Game 7 in the World Series. Since the Red Sox have a chance to clinch the World Series on Wednesday night, Bruins ratings will probably be pretty small. That’s a shame because the Bruins play the Pittsburgh Penguins for the first time since the Eastern Conference Finals last season.
However, are the Bruins really struggling putting people in the seats with the World Series being played in the same city? No not really. The Bruins games against the San Jose Sharks and New Jersey Devils were both sellout crowds. So, the Bruins aren’t having problems filling seats, but is anyone really watching the game on TV? I found myself flicking back to the Bruins game between innings, but I didn’t sit down and watch the full game. I assume much more did the same thing.
The World Series so far has been a ratings hit with ratings up 12%. The Series has gotten a 38.5 rating in Boston, while the Bruins ratings are not known, one can only assume the games were way down across the board, even more so had it not been played the same night as the Red Sox.
Until recently, the MLB always had the first game of the World Series played on a Saturday. Had they stuck to the old format, the Boston Bruins would still have to play four straight games on the same date as a Red Sox World Series game. The NHL just simply cannot win in any scenario and it stinks.
The NHL should do a better job with their scheduling. I know there was no way that they could have foreseen this, but the World Series is going to beat out hockey any day, much like how the Stanley Cup Final will beat a midseason MLB game. What the league should do, or have done, is either schedule fewer games on World Series dates or try and move up game time if an NHL city with a team in the World Series plays. Incredibly hard to do, but it’s not completely impossible. A lot of Bruins fans missed a lot of great action and could miss more the next two days (hopefully only one day).
So, in answer to the question earlier, yes, people can see a hockey game the same night as a World Series game, of course you’d have to actually be there though.
Did you watch the last few Bruins games or watch the Red Sox instead? Comment below or send me a Tweet, @MarkWGraham