Crawl Across the Ocean

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Good Old Days

Just a quick break from sausages to find myself in rare agreement with Toronto Star sports(Leafs)writer Damien Cox. Says Cox,
"Everywhere, except on the set of grouchy Hockey Night in Canada, where the political agenda of glorifying enforcers, limiting penalties to two per game and reverting back to the one-referee system has been more soundly defeated than was the NHL Players Association in the lockout, people are loving the thrills and spills the NHL is delivering most nights."

I may be skeptical that the 'new NHL' is going to last, but don't get me wrong, it's far superior to what was on display two years ago (especially when Minnesota isn't playing). So I was pretty mystified when I watched Hockey Night in Canada last week and Don and Ron (and also Harry and Bob in the broadcast booth) were going on and on about how the new NHL is lousy and they miss the good old days when men were men, the scores were 2-1, goalies didn't have to put up with all these people shooting pucks at them, and you could knock a guys teeth out with your stick and not have to worry about going to the penalty box.

Seriously, what kind of weird groupthink have these guys been subjected to?

While I'm on the topic, I have to say that Jim Hughson and Greg Millen have been pretty good doing the late games, although perhaps they just sound good coming after the increasingly past their prime Harry and Bob (who seem to be struggling just to keep up with the play these days, never mind offering insight). A typical snippet of Bob and Harry commentary from the Leafs-Flyers game on Saturday:

Bob: The Leaf player behind the net, being watched by big Primeau.
Lindros lost it along the boards, no, he's got it back again.
Cross-ice pass.
No shots on goal for either team so far. The Leafs almost had a shot on that last rush but Kilger fired high.
Oh, Belfour had to be sharp to stop that shot from close range by big Keith Primeau.

Harry: The defenders have no idea what to do in this new NHL. They can't hold or slash or cross-check anymore which means it's pretty much impossible to defend. Hopefully they can learn to adapt before we have to watch any more of this disgusting river hockey.

Bob: Still no shots for either team

Harry: Except for that last one by big Primeau

Bob: Yes, Belfour had to be sharp to stop that one.
Deflected over the glass and there will be a face-off to the left of the flyers netminder, Robert Esche.

...and on it went.


  • You forgot that Lindros' first name is 'Big' as well. Alas, Chara was not involved in the game to complete the set.

    Seniority must trump all for play-by-play guys because it seems to me the nominal #1 team for a network is rarely its best team. We all know that it's going to be Cole doing the final.

    Speaking of which, you can escape Buck and McCarver if you watch World Series games on Sportsnet rather than Fox.

    By Blogger Spearin, at 4:32 PM  

  • Good point on Big Lindros, I missed that one.

    Seniority makes a good substitute for accountability. So where there are no real measures of effectiveness, seniority often rules the day.

    What, the baseball season isn't over yet?

    By Blogger Declan, at 5:10 PM  

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