NBCSN premiered NHL Rivals on Tuesday night heading into Wednesday's Blues-Blackhawks clash. NHL Rivals is a show designed to educate and show off some of the best rivalries the game has to offer. One of these, of course, is the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Did the show do a nice job of summarizing the rivalry? Overall, how would you rate the show?
Overall, I think the first episode of NHL Rivals was pretty good. It wasn't great or extraordinary, but it also wasn't bad. Numerous stars were interviewed from both sides (Brett Hull and Jeremy Roenick were featured prominently) and opinions were shared from coaches and announcers of old.
However, the entire thing felt like it was painted with a very broad brush. It was clear that NBCSN was trying to appeal to all fans, but they had a clear emphasis on appealing to the casual fan. I can't say I blame them, but the fact they avoided digging in and really providing depth was a little disappointing. Most of the show was watching various scraps. It would have been nice to see a more rounded picture and learn a bit more about what makes the two teams tick. Discuss the entire span of history, not just bits and pieces. Give it the 30 for 30 treatment we all love.
I'll add that I'm disappointed, though not surprised, that I felt Chicago received more of the positive light from the show. Chicago's two recent Cup wins were discussed at length (no surprise) and the fact the Blues emerged from the 2004-05 lockout as one of the worst teams in the league was also mentioned. The show chose to avoid the fact the Blues were one of the best teams in the league in the late '90s and early 2000s while Chicago was mostly mediocre. Why focus heavily on the Blues not being up to par if you're going to ignore the fact the Blackhawks went through a similar stretch of their own?
All in all, the show was entertaining. Points were removed for the mere presence of Mike Keenan. Kind of odd the program never mentioned Keenan going on to coach the Blues, but that's just a testament to how little depth there was.
What did you think of NHL Rivals: Blues & Blackhawks?