There are a lot of theories being floated as to the reason that Sportsnet’s Vancouver Canucks’ broadcasts have attracted fewer viewers this year. The latest numbers have the Canucks’ audience down 20 per cent from a year ago for the regional coverage.

 




Some say it’s the defence-first style the Canucks play while others cite the lack of HD broadcasts on Vancouver’s main provider. One theory that I find interesting is that fans are sick of watching the same teams game in and game out.

 




Many of the NHL’s best offensive clubs (who play visually appealing styles) reside in the Eastern Conference, which provides the opposition in just 10 of the Canucks’ 82 games. Combine that with the common perception among fans that this year’s regular season is a mere formality and it’s not that surprising that numbers are down.

 




While hardcore fans will always watch every game, the average fan apparently needs a more compelling reason to tune in this year.





•Props to Canucks’ play-by-play man John Shorthouse for dubbing Alex Edler “Eddie Money” in light of his recent success in the shootout. Vancouver’s rookie blue-liner has scored on both of his two shootout attempts, and each turned out to be the winning goal.





For a kid drafted 91st overall back in 2004, Edler is turning out to be quite a bargain. He’s tied for seventh in the NHL in plus/minus with a plus-18 rating, and is in the top five among rookies with 10 points. When you’re paying a freshman $550,000 US and he’s averaging nearly 20 minutes of ice time per game, he falls into the “diamond in the rough” category.





•If the majority of NFL fans get their wish, one Canadian will be guaranteed a Super Bowl ring this season. Numerous polls show that fans favour a match up between the unbeaten New England Patriots and Brett Favre’s Green Bay Packers, and each roster boasts a player from the Great White North.





Brantford, Ont., native Nick Kaczur will be a part of NFL history if the Pats can run the table, while Regina’s Jon Ryan hopes to help the ageless Favre lay claim to his second Lombardi trophy.




scott.rintoul@metronews.ca





Mix equal parts college athlete, sports fan and broadcaster. Shake vigorously. Serve chilled Monday-Friday on the TEAM 1040 from 6-9 a.m. or online at thetoulbox.blogspot.com