Monday Rambles

10 Oct

Its been a few days since the season got underway so it’s a good time to review some of the changes that have been made and the weekend’s hockey coverage.

  • NHL Network kicked off the season with a 2011 Faceoff pregame show. The show got off to a weak start with numerous repeated segments but it gained steam towards the end. Notably, there was a “Hotstove” like segment with the four analysts debating each division. The addition of Barry Melrose livened things up and Mike Modano did well in his first appearance. I’d like to see NHLN use this approach more often. Kathryn Tappen has been a great addition and I think Marty Turco would make a great analyst on a regular basis.
  • The NHL on Versus is having an identity crisis. Outside of a few Versus logos, its largely been replaced by NBC everywhere. The presentation is better but it is a little confusing for viewers. I know they are trying to link the nets together, but they might have been better off to just wait until the Versus relaunch. Of the Versus broadcast pairings over the weekend, I preferred the Emrick/McGuire duo. Two announcers work better and more info gets out there. My other Versus nitpick is the NBC score bar across the top. It is way too obtrusive and is a downgrade from the Versus one. NBC should debut a new one once NBCSN launches.
  • CBC debuted a new graphics and presentation package. I’m not crazy about it. I like the smaller score box but the bumper music is awful. I’m sure I’ll get used to it but it doesn’t seem to fit HNIC. I didn’t get a chance to watch Game Day so I can’t say anything about that. I did find it ironic that the CBC Jets special, Fuelled by Passion, sounds almost exactly like the new Sportsnet slogan, “Fuelled by Fans”.
  • CBC used three studio analysts Saturday night and it seemed a bit much especially if you include the iDesk. Milbury won’t always be there, especially after December but when he is, it’s better to leave PJ Stock behind. Stock is ok but he adds very little compared to Milbury and Kelly Hrudey. HNIC is always cramped for time so less is actually more when it comes to studio talking heads.
  • I’m not going to get into Don Cherry’s comments too much at this point since its only feeding his ego. I often enjoy Cherry but he likes to be the center of the attention and this latest controversy fits right in with that. He knows this will get people talking and thats what he wants. Why encourage it?
  • One particular low blow at HNIC came from Glenn Healy who felt it was necessary to insult Atlanta during the Jets game Sunday. Healy came up with what he thought was a zinger, “Want to know how we know we’re in Winnipeg? They’re chanting Price’s name. That wouldn’t have happened in Atlanta.” Healy made several other insulting comments during the broadcast. Healy always seems bitter and unhappy but on this night, his comments were totally unnecessary. Healy’s comments were classless and helped tarnish a special night for Jets fans. Instead of looking to the future, he was too busy taking pot shots and highlighting the franchise’s troubled past. Jesse Spector wrote a great piece which pretty much sums up my opinion on Healy’s comments.
  • Fox Sports Net and Sportsnet also debuted new looks this weekend. FSN looks much crisper than before and is now on par with the Fox network. Sportsnet’s seem a little dark for me and some of the text is hard to read. I’d like something splashier. I’m also not a fan of their new music package.
  • Marty McSorley joined John Shannon and Jeff Marek during the Oilers intermission Sunday. McSorley is clearly being moved to a bigger role at the network. Marek seemed a little rusty as host but perhaps he’ll fit in better once he gets more comfortable. I still have my doubts whether Marek can anchor studio coverage on a regular basis.

13 responses to “Monday Rambles

  1. Kevin

    October 10, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Also this weekend: GCL is back for subscribers in Scandinavia after the premiere games. I was able to watch games on both Sunday and Monday.

    • paranoidpuck

      October 10, 2011 at 11:36 pm

      The real question is would u rather have GCL over TV coverage? I consider GCL and NHLCI great supplements but I don’t want them to be the only ways people watch games.

      • Kevin

        October 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm

        Personally, I’d rather have GCL. I may be the minority, but I find it so much more flexible.

        Video quality is quite acceptable. I’m an expat American, so I would rather have local TV announcers for my favorite teams (and be able to choose home or away announcers) than to have announcers in the native language here. I already have a dedicated PC for watching streaming video (NHL, american football both NFL and college, MLB baseball) on my TV. I’m in the habit of getting up around 5 and watching a time-delayed game from the previous night before heading to work, where I don’t let myself know the score so it’s essentially live. I follow two teams: Minnesota Wild and Detroit Red Wings. If it weren’t for GCL, I’m sure I’d never see the Wild at all.

    • Tommy

      October 11, 2011 at 5:58 pm

      How do you manage to enter GCL? I still just get directed to the Vault page.

      • paranoidpuck

        October 11, 2011 at 6:40 pm

        What country are you in?

      • Kevin

        October 11, 2011 at 11:54 pm

        Tommy: upper right-hand corner of the vault page is a link to log in. Once you’re logged in, the link changes to one that takes you to GCL.

      • Tommy

        October 13, 2011 at 2:46 pm

        I’m from Sweden.

        I can’t log in through the vault page since I used espn360 last season and don’t have any GCL account (yet?). Will have to wait I guess.

        Thanks for the help anyway Kevin! 🙂

  2. Steph_AK_27

    October 11, 2011 at 7:59 am

    I’d just kill to watch a game live …
    Just miss it so much !
    Bring back NHL coverage in France !!!!
    Any news about ESPN America acquiring the NHL rights ?

    A desperate French hockey fan …

    • paranoidpuck

      October 11, 2011 at 12:44 pm

      Nothing new at this point.

      • Steph_AK_27

        October 12, 2011 at 7:16 am


        These rights matters in America are pretty obscure for us French …
        If the rights were to be awarded, would it be to ESPN America ? It’s the only dedicated American Sports channel available here in France …

      • paranoidpuck

        October 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm

        You pretty much answered your own question. Currently, ESPN America is the only known party in negotiations.

  3. canadiansportsmedia

    October 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    The Jets have been using the slogan “fuelled by passion” for at least a few months. If anything, Sportsnet copied them.

    3 studio analysts is fine. TSN does the same thing.

    Marek is better than Darren Millard. He will be fine

    • paranoidpuck

      October 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      I’ve noticed the Jets using it throughout MTS. If I were CBC, I would’ve come up with something different since most fans are unaware of individual team slogans.

      I think three analysts is too many at CBC just because its a different format than TSN. CBC is more conversational with Ron joining in and all four chatting and making points. On TSN, Duthie directs the traffic and it seems more scripted. Its a tighter presentation. For the record, I prefer TSN’s format.


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