Dose of Reality #21January 2, 2007
Dose of Reality
Since Drew has opened up the floor to discussion, I would like to join him. He has touched upon an important subject that is timely and important to all Jacket fans. So lets go.
First off, I have the Center Ice package and see a lot of games. The “homers” that seem to stand out for me is the Avalanche team. In my opinion, they put a Colorado spin on every call, every play, and every other piece of action. They were even worse when John Rooney did their games, but he is no longer broadcasting, although I’m sure that someone out there will correct me.
The next broadcaster that drives me nuts is Terry Crisp of Nashville. He’s bothered me since before Nashville was designated a “rival” by the local hockey gods. My problem with Crisp is that he often ignores the transgressions of the Predators. Now I know that he is paid to ignore them, but he is very good about praising an opponent. It looks like has the honesty to give praise when it is deserved, but holds back any criticism when it should be given.
I liked Jeff Rimer when he was with the Florida Panthers. He was more honest, less whining, and paid more attention to the game when he was under their employ. So Jeff must know how to do his job better, but that must not be what the local hockey gods want. His complaining and failure to pay attention to the game bugs me. How long has Trevor Letowski been gone, Jeff? So memorize the fact that Duvie Westcott now wears number ten!
Danny Gare used to work for the Buffalo team, a better broadcasting group. Those guys can make the game so exciting you hate to hit the pause button on your TiVo. Gare did not stand out when he was in Buffalo, much like his playing days. It is tough for Danny to replace Brian Engblom, a first-rate talent that Columbus was lucky to have for one season, but I get the impression that Danny is just parking here until something better comes along.
Harry Neale, the ex-OSU, Red Wing, and Bruin coach, is a great color man. He works for both TSN and Leafs TV and he is funny, smooth, and knowledgeable. All of the TSN and CBC broadcasters are good, but at times they do cheer their Canadian teams over U.S. teams.
In regards to the recent replay controversies, I have mixed feelings. In the Minnesota game, Tom Kowal made the right call: He called a penalty and did not call (or see) a goal. Then he was completely overturned by the Real Hockey Gods. This decision by the RHG’s is hard to understand because awarding Minnesota a power play would have been a safe and non-controversial path to take. Minnesota would have been happy to take their chances with a man-advantage and would have been very confident going into a shoot-out with their successful shoot-out record, so why overturn Kowal’s call and award a goal that was not seen going into the net?
I also think that a mistake was made on overturning the Malhotra goal against Chicago. Manny was pushed into the net/goalie by a Chicago defender, in which case NHL policy is to ignore the interference. But Columbus won, so no harm.
I agree with Drew about our local broadcasters being a little sensitive about the calls. Here is a hockey generalization to discuss: Teams get penalties when they get behind. When they are behind, they tend to chase the other team around, and when a defender chases or needs to make up for being out of position, he will hold, hook, or interfere. Since Columbus does not have a winning record and the word around the NHL is that our defense is soft, we get into trouble and make those mistakes. If Jeff, Danny, George, or Bill do not want to broadcast these failures, that is their business, but they should not be blaming the officials for penalty calls that are made against the Jackets. Are they directed to whine when the calls do not go our way?
When Columbus gets better and the GAA starts to drop, watch as the number of penalties also goes down. Columbus could get better and win more games, but when the defense starts to cut down the number of scoring opportunities, the PIM’s will decrease. We could still win by just out-scoring the opposition, but winning is easier with a strong defense.
I recommend this: Turn the radio off, turn the sound off on your TV, and enjoy the games. That is what I do.
– Truth Serum