With the first round coming to a dramatic close, I thought it was time to unveil my first round report card for the Canadian broadcasters. Now, without further adieu:
Bob Cole and Greg Millen: C+
Montreal vs. Boston
Cole and Millen’s first round work was nothing spectacular, with Cole making his usual blunders every so often. Their game seven work was fine, however one large omission did occur during game six. An interesting storyline developed when Tim Thomas’ mask broke, which required him to go to the Bruins’ bench twice during TV timeouts. Apparently the strap on his mask couldn’t be repaired and he had to hold it in between his teeth for the remainder of the period until the intermission. Obviously viewers weren’t aware of his troubles since they occurred during TV timeouts, and it would have been nice if Millen had made a comment or two instead of focusing on “Big” Zdeno Chara.
Further, Kessel’s first goal in game six was no doubt outstanding, and CBC missed the boat without directly comparing it to the similar goal he scored at the World Juniors. A few years ago at the World Junior tournament in Grand Forks, Kessel pulled almost the identical move putting the puck past a defender’s legs, jumping around him, and going five-hole.
Jim Hughson and Garry Galley A-
Pittsburgh vs. Ottawa
For those viewers that don’t recall, yes, the Sens were in the playoffs, although not much longer than Alexei Kaigorodov’s career in a Sens uniform. Once the Pens quickly dispatched the Sens, Hughson was seen calling the Colorado-Minnesota series that the CBC sporadically picked up. Galley’s work over the year has improved exponentially, and he deserves to be solidified as the number two colour man. Harry Neale’s time has come. At this point, Neale is more washed up than Fedor Fedorov. Speaking of Neale…
Dean Brown and Harry Neale: B
Nashville vs. Detroit
It’s really a shame that Dean Brown was relegated to this series, as it definitely did not receive the same amount of hype as the Canadian matchups. Sure, the Preds did make it interesting, but game six was possibly the worst game I’ve seen since Kevin Constantine stopped coaching. Brown is usually very accurate with his play calling, although I heard rumours he was hitting it up pretty hard in Music City with Jordin’s pop Barney Tootoo, after game three.
Mark Lee and Craig Simpson: A
Calgary vs. San Jose
Lee and Simpson definitely get the best grade, partly due to the exciting nature of this seven game series. Even when J.R. scored his second goal in game seven and essentially clinched the series, Lee did not show any bias towards cheering for the Flames. One annoying factor with this series was that the Flames home games weren’t in HD – quite ridiculous for the playoffs. Further, CBC’s feed did cut out for a brief period during game seven, but they were quick to pick up the Versus feed starring Lighting play-by-play man and former Whalers broadcaster Rick Peckham at the mic.
Gord Miller/Rod Black and Pierre McGuire: B
Colorado vs. Minnesota Jose and Washington vs. Philadelphia
I’m not sure what has been the more obscure story line so far: Guy Carbonneau’s tie or Gord Miller’s throat. In case anyone thought they were having a mild hallucination during game two of the Colly-Minni series, don’t fret: Rod Black was indeed calling the game. Black was summoned to call the game on a last minute request due to Gord Miller contracting a throat infection and unable to call the game (that’s just too easy to make a joke here). Overall, Black’s work was quite impressive considering his lack of hockey calling experience, and only mentioned the Jays amicably parting ways with the Big Hurt twice during the broadcast. TSN’s patented “between the glass” calling technique with Pierre in the box at ice level always keeps things interesting, although I’d much rather see Pierre locked in a trunk for three hours instead.
Chris Cuthbert and Glen Healy: B+
Colorado vs. Minnesota
This duo was also seen calling the Colly series for TSN, and it is apparent Cuthbert needs to be TSN’s go to guy. Why not try pairing him with Pierre for a game, and leaving Healy to call the Women’s World Broomball Championships?
Things will likely get interesting with the World Hockey Championships starting in Halifax next week, on TSN. With Randorf finishing his duties for the Under 18 Championship, he could get the call, although bringing Vic Rauter out of the woodwork would be highly appreciated!
Enjoy the second round everyone.