Thoughts on the NBC broadcast

14Jan07

While Canadian fans were busy with Hockey Day in Canada, us Americans got the first week of the NHL on NBC: v2.0 featuring Brett Hull. I watched the Penguins/Flyers games and here are some random thoughts on the broadcast:

-Make no mistake about it, the broadcast was all Sidney Crosby, all the time. The league probably figured out that they needed to sell their stars, so mentioning Crosby’s name every sentence was kind of annoying but effective for getting the message across to casual fans. They went so nuts that I was sure that Pierre Maguire was going to propose to Crosby between the benches.

-The much ballyhooed debut of Brett Hull was a total success. Hull’s brashness came through right away, and it injected some life into Ray “Chicken Parm” Ferraro who is usually duller than Jacque Lemaire power play. Some highlights of Hull’s comments:

On Jarko Ruutu: “Here’s a typical play by a typical player in the NHL. Jarko Ruutu refuses to drop his gloves…he’s got one goal in 40 games. It’s players like that we have to weed out of the league.”

On making the nets bigger: “That’s one of the dumbest ideas I’ve heard in an awful long time.”

On Evgeni Malkin and Crosby: “They’re not playing nearly enough…the more I played, the better I got.”

On Paul Mara: “Not one of the toughest guys I’ve ever played with…or against.”

On Jaromir Jagr: “(Mara) sticks Jags like I wish I would have done a few times.”

On Martin Brodeur: “I guarantee he’s averaged less than 20 shots (against) a game in his whole career.”

On the Buffalo Sabres: “(I’m) not really popular in Buffalo, no. And I don’t like their uniforms either.”

-Ferraro and Hull had a face-to-face segment on different topics (I forget what it was called) but it was pretty funny watching how animated Ferraro got when arguing with Hull. It was also pretty funny watching Hull deflect questions about the infamous “No Goal” incident.

-The new ticker at the top was cleaner than last year’s. Subtle change, but it just wasn’t as prominent, plus the shift tracker wasn’t nearly as distracting as it was before.

-Pierre Maguire had one pretty cool report from the bench when he talked about Peter Forsberg talking crap to Colby Armstrong after Armstrong ran a Flyer. You wouldn’t get that stuff from guys in the booth.

Overall, the broadcast was really about Sidney Crosby and Brett Hull. Crosby only had an ok game, but he was filmed enough that Doc Emrick, Ed Olzyck, and Maguire could break down his abilities in slow motion. The whole broadcast was centered around him, and rightfully so from a marketing standpoint. As for Hull, I hope he keeps this level of brashness up because he actually made the intermission pretty entertaining.

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4 Responses to “Thoughts on the NBC broadcast”

  1. 1 PJ Swenson

    Where were you watching from. I got the St Louis vs Los Angeles Kings game, and it was a pretty good one.

    Barry Brust got the start for LA because I guess Garon re-injured himself. Cloutier is out for the season. Brust was pulled for Fukufuji before the start of the third, and it was the first appearance by a Japanese-born player in NHL history.

    He made a spectacular save on his first shot, but then the Blues scored two on him where both the team and the goalie looked a little off. Kings came back with a goal, but could not tie it up in the end.

    Pretty solid effort for NBC’s first game in my opinion. I am going to try to send me brother to the studio for one of the upcoming games.

  2. 2 Mike Chen

    Center Ice had the different feeds available, so I got to pick and choose. Looked like the LA/St. Louis game got wacky, but I was curious to see how they were going to market Crosby so I stuck with that one.

  3. 3 Anonymous

    They went so nuts that I was sure that Pierre Maguire was going to propose to Crosby between the benches.

    Well, he’d have to make sure Dion was okay with it first.

    In terms of Ray Ferraro, while he’s sort of dull, for a colour guy he’s one of the few that actually has something to add. The Oil fans seem to love him at least [see Covered in Oil].

  4. 4 Anonymous

    Uh, duh. What else is there to watch apart from Crosby?


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