ihabs1993 Posted January 2, 2014 Share Posted January 2, 2014 Being a Canadiens fan in Connecticut, and just a hockey fan in general, the Center Ice Package has been the greatest thing since sliced bread. Being able to watch every Habs game as well as every out of market game every night has made hockey a much more enjoyable experience. One aspect of the Center Ice Package that is both a blessing and a curse is the fact that every night, you can listen to a different announcer. The nice part about this is being given different perspectives and opinions on events that happen all over the league. The bad part about this is that some of the people who are employed by the various stations are absolutely terrible at what they do, yet some seem to have a cult like following from the fan base of the team that they cover. Therefore, I’ve decided to compile a list that I have been thinking about over the past few years as to who are the gentlemen who make hockey a better place with their rhetoric and journalistic prowess, and who are those who make me embrace the mute button on my television. Ratings are out of 5 stars. Joe Beninati/Craig Laughlin: Washington Capitals2 StarsTheir minimal knowledge of the game, combined with two voices that seem like incredibly bad ideas for SNL characters makes their broadcasts torturous to watch. Plus, Beninati’s tone is openly biased in favor of the Capitals, as you can hear whenever a goal is scored by the Caps, he wants to tear the roof off the place, but when it is a goal against, he acts as if someone just kicked his dog. Rick Peckham/ Bobby Taylor: Tampa Bay Lightning1.5 StarsPeckham can call truly great games, as he is often spot on with his on the fly analysis and player identification. However, hearing Taylor sigh exasperatedly as Peckham is calling the game drives me absolutely insane. Here is a case of an analyst who is too much of a fan to be taken seriously. In his mind, there is nothing that the Lightning can do wrong, and they are always the teacher’s pet when it comes to on ice conduct. Pete Weber/Terry Crisp: Nashville Predators4 StarsI know what you’re thinking, but it’s true. As is true in many places all over the league, non-traditional hockey markets tend to have great broadcasters, and Nashville is no exception. Weber never gets too excited during a game, but is able to move his tone along with the pace of the game. Also, Crisp is a very balanced and fair color man. Any network would be lucky to get broadcasters like these. So how did Nashville get them? Gord Miller/Whoever they put with him: TSN National 3.5 StarsLet me get something straight. Gord Miller will go down as one of the greatest hockey broadcasters, journalists and personalities that the game will ever see. His knowledge of the game is close to the top of the league by far. One of my favorite aspects of Miller’s style is that he doesn’t try to force laughter as most broadcasters do, as I can recall one example recently where he sarcastically blamed Kanye West for causing poor ice conditions in a Caps-Habs game by having his concert there the night before. Whenever I see the Miller gets to call Habs’ games, I instantly get excited to watch hockey.But then there’s the “analysts”. Ray Ferraro. Mike Johnson. Brian Engblom. These former players are so arrogant in their analysis of the game, as they are so firm in the idea that they all played in the “golden age” of hockey, when in reality they were lucky to get jobs at all. And worst of all is public enemy number one, Pierre McGuire, who seems to know ridiculous facts about players such as what Sidney Crosby had for lunch before game seven of the 2009 Stanley Cup Final. In short, Gord Miller is a living legend while the others can be, and should be, replaced. Steve Goldstein/Bill Lindsay: Florida Panthers4 StarsOnce again, here’s an example of a non-traditional hockey market with excellent broadcasters. Goldstein (not the traitor from George Orwell’s 1984) is able to call hockey very well while analyzing on the fly. He even sounds excited to call hockey games for the Panthers, which is somewhat surprising in that market. The only thing is that he may get too excited. I’m not talking about his tone in calling the game, as that stays pretty controlled, yet interested for the whole 60 minutes. The only thing keeping him from becoming a great broadcaster is his corny jokes. For example, when Brad Boyes scored against the Rangers, he started to sing, “Brad Boyes, Brad Boyes, whatcha gunna do?” which prompted me to change the channel until it was over.Lindsay is not a bad color man either, as he normally knows when he should not jump in, and gives a pretty accurate analysis. Lindsay also doesn’t bring up the fact that he was a former player every five seconds which is refreshing. The only time I’ve heard him say it is when he has a story about a player that he used to play with or if Goldstein notices that the opponent is a former club of his. I’m going to finish this article with two of the worst stations to watch hockey on. I apologize for my rant in advance. Paul Steigerwald/Bob Erray: Pittsburgh Penguins1 StarThere is only one other group of people who are larger homers than these two. A lack of common hockey knowledge combined with a bias that makes it seem as though they are paid by Sidney Crosby himself makes these broadcasts unwatchable. Every time Montreal plays the Penguins, the first time Subban touches the puck and gets jeered for it, Steiger, as they call him on the broadcasts, does not hesitate to explain that this is because of Subban’s intentional skate slashing of Jordan Staal, even though Staal isn’t even a penguin anymore. However, when Cooke caused a similar, but more severe, injury to Erik Karlsson of the Senators, the two on Roots Sports Pittsburgh swore that it was unintentional and that Cooke is a changed man. I think that’s enough there. Moving on. Jack Edwards/Andy Brickley: Boston Bruins0.5 StarsHow these two continue to be employed by NESN is frightening to say the least. I used to at least appreciate Brick, as he is a very good color man who is able to analyze breakdowns, breakouts and everything in between. He is the reason that I gave them any sort of grade at all. That is until the Brooks Orpik – Shawn Thornton incident, where he preached the code of the fighter and blamed Orpik for having his head smashed into the ice.On the other hand, there’s Edwards, who uses cliché after cliché while bening unable to control the tone of his voice, or his own personal agenda. I don’t think Edwards has ever accused a Bruin of anything malicious or unsportsmanlike. There are a few incidents that are worthy of a look, including Edwards yelling at Roman Hammrlik to “GET UP!”, his comparison of Matt Cooke to Sirhan Sirhan, and his own private video of him standing outside the Bell Center in Montreal ranting about how the Canadiens are a diving team. Do the research yourself. It’s not that Canadiens fans hate him, hockey fans hate him. Tell me what you think! Who do you love? Who do you hate? Disagree? Let me know!Thanks for the read.IanIhabs1993 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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