The National Hockey League (NHL) is scoring with online video of games, goals, and highlights. With 40% of its fans being geographically distanced from their favorite team, something needed to be done to connect the faithful with their favorite franchise. NHL.com seeks to do just that.
They claim to have the highlights and all the goals for the past four years available online. Their ample video archives are tagged by team, player, game, and so forth for easy searching. I decided to try it to locate a favorite Red Wing highlight from last season. Had I known the date of the game, my task would have been easier; instead, I resorted to searching by the player’s name. I ended up scanning dozens of matches and still missed it.
My resourceful bride, however, was able to find it on youtube, providing the much-needed date of the game. (It would seem that NHL.com needs to further improve their search capabilities.) Here is the youtube segment, “Dominik Hasek takes out Marian Gaborik,” as it happened live. (Even is you are not a hockey fan, you do need to watch this; it is spectacular.) We watched that game, playing the sequence over and over. For over a year, my bride saved the game on our DVR, just so we could glimpse the play whenever the whim struck us. But it seemed foolish to save 3 hours of video just to watch a 30 second clip, so she recently deleted it.
Armed with the game’s date, I quickly found it on NHL.com, “Dominik Hasek Postgame (Dec. 7, 2007)”. Here, the video is crystal clear, but we lose the announcer commentary. Ironically, the play was not included in the game’s highlight reel. [Note: the video was apparently pulled from the NHL site in October, 2016.]
Although additional enhancements are still need to the site, especially searching for video archives, this is a great resource for displaced fans, allowing them to watch game highlights of their favorite team. Plus, there is the online program, called The Hockey Show. I’ve not yet tried to watch a game online, but that is an option as well.
Hockey fans can now follow their team where ever they are. Other professional sports are taking notice — and playing catch-up.