ESPN’s hockey protection all sounds the identical

I do know cash isn’t actually a factor to ESPN. $400 million a yr definitely feels like a number of cheese, nevertheless it’s probably not something extra than simply an accounting quantity to them. So I shouldn’t be stunned that they don’t put a lot effort into their NHL protection, regardless of that being the associated fee.

It’s exhausting for hockey followers to not look longingly at their NBA roster, the place Doris Burke or Jeff Van Gundy or Hubie Brown (god love Hubie Brown) ply their commerce and actually add one thing to each broadcast. They train you one thing, present you the issues you’ll be able to’t see, present precise shade, which is surprisingly the identify of the job.

Largely, ESPN’s hockey protection is ok, however by no means makes any try to rise above effective. Selecting Sean McDonough as your lead play-by-play man is principally as break-glass-in-case-of-no-other-ideas because it will get.

However that doesn’t imply ESPN can’t dive proper into the terrible. I’ve used this house to complain about John Buccigross earlier than…and I’ll do it once more. It was unhealthy sufficient that they let this shithead parachute in for the Frozen 4, and I can’t think about what precise school hockey followers assume to have their greatest occasion smothered by Buccigross making an attempt to fist his catchphrases over a recreation the place he has no concept who’s taking part in.

NHL followers get the identical insult, as he’s been assigned to the Kings-Oilers sequence together with Kevin Weekes and Ryan Callahan. The three of them have the chemistry of two mongooses and a cobra and the rhythm of failing brakes. All three of them shout stuff at random occasions with out listening to one another, as a result of none of them actually has a lot to say.

Buccigross spends 70 p.c of his name in a pressured hush to make issues sound dramatic, when not every little thing that occurs in a hockey recreation is dramatic. A defenseman wheeling out from behind his personal internet shouldn’t be worthy of making an attempt to arrange suspense. 25 p.c is his catchphrases that make no goddamn sense, and the opposite 5 p.c is his random musings about one thing which may occur or flat-out didn’t occur. Weekes spends his time making an attempt to steer the viewer again to what’s truly taking place within the few pauses Buccigross gives, and Callahan is left to actually shout with no matter scraps of time are left after that. That is the NHL playoffs and we’re getting a demolition derby of verbiage just about hurled at us.

It doesn’t get any higher between intervals or pre and post-game, as a result of that’s the place Mark Messier and Chris Chelios sit and belch (I do know the editor of Kotaku goes to fly right here and switch me to stick for Rangers’ slander, however I’m going out my method. Ha, simply kidding, I’m the one one at this firm outdated as shit who remembers the one Rangers Cup that issues). PK Subban does his greatest to be each full of life and informative, whereas questioning why he has to place up with two dinosaurs. Steve Levy clearly is totaling up on a regular basis he’s spent in Bristol to get caught within the studio with this Branson puppet present.

However worse but, and it spreads in all places in hockey, is that nobody desires to let you know or both is aware of what’s occurring in any of those video games. As an alternative of telling me how the Canes would possibly get by way of the Isles’ deep-set 1-1-3 by way of the impartial zone or how the Isles counter Carolina’s man-to-man system within the defensive zone or what the Panthers are doing to maintain the Bruins from breaking out of their zone up the center as they like, each single analyst on the nationwide broadcast will reply each query with, “Be extra bodily” or “get on the physique extra.” It’s all they’ll consider. Hitting is outwardly the reply to each query in hockey. It’s like Chris Rock’s Robitussin bit about his dad. Can’t rating? Extra hitting. Energy play on the fritz? Extra hitting. Your second-pairing d-man fully overdosed on Sudafed? Extra hitting.

It’s a vacuous wasteland, which is outwardly how they need it.

One thing else the NHL might do through the playoffs

Right here’s one other factor the NHL might do through the playoffs. Up penalties and suspensions for any horseshit that takes place over the past two minutes of a recreation that’s a blowout. The Bruins have been simply the most recent group of assholes to interact in “message sending,” the hockey custom that dictates in the event you simply received your ass kicked in a playoff recreation it’s a must to try to struggle and cheapshot anybody who comes throughout your field of regard.

It’s not the Panthers’ fault that the Bs have spent a lot of the first two video games taking part in like complete butt, and didn’t get away with it in Recreation 2. It’s merely being a sore loser, it’s a horrible look, and the game can be higher with out it. Get an instigator within the final 5 minutes down three targets or extra? You miss the following recreation. Draymond Inexperienced did this simply two nights in the past. Study.

Can NHL officers truly do their jobs?

Then once more that will require NHL officers to really do their jobs, which, properly…

It’s OK, solely price the Islanders a purpose in extra time to go down 2-0 to the Canes.

Shut up, MadBum

Fast departure to baseball to finish this:

I do know for a incontrovertible fact that Willson Contreras would flip Bumgarner into paste, and regardless of every little thing I simply wrote, MLB ought to actively encourage it. Bumgarner has turn into a cartoon, and now he’s a cartoon who can’t get anybody out. Let’s watch him get the shit kicked out of him in each method. 

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