As I watched the first 2 games of the season, I couldn’t help noticing how the CBC has slipped in their Hockey coverage. Not only were there the obvious technical problems (clock freezing on the screen, then disappearing all together, poor sound levels, dead air… the list goes on…), but there was a distinct lack of good commentary from the commentators they have chosen.
Kelly Hrudey was his usual self, trying to show how knowledgeable he is about hockey, while playing with his video replay machine like it’s his newest girlfriend. Mike Milbury was his typical, contradicting personality and did everything he could to keep up his reputation of showing that – other than beating someone with their own shoe – he knows little about the game of hockey.
Then there’s the newest member of the CBC team… the pro-Canucks, anti-Bertuzzi Marc Crawford. He doesn’t seem capable of doing Calgary vs. Vancouver play-by-play without tooting the Canucks horn while slagging the Flames as often as he can. I wonder why that is?!!
On Saturday nightwhen the Flames were leading 3-1 midway through the 2nd period, Crawford’s comments took aim at their shortcomings while highlighting the great play of the Canucks. Where the Canucks had a “young player who needs to make those types of plays if he’s looking to get more powerplay minutes,” the Flames either showed “extremely poor execution and a lack of puck awareness” or “were being dominated by a much younger and faster Canucks team.” Crawford’s one-way commentary really has no place on CBC… but I suppose they don’t have much choice as all their good commentators keep getting poached by TSN.
Todd Bertuzzi was called for boarding with 1:26 remaining in the 3rd period in Saturday’s game in what many viewers deemed a weak call by the ref. Instead of choosing words like “that was definitely a questionable call”, or ” Todd should know better than to go in strong like that,” he chose to say (after Bertuzzi was shown protesting to the ref), “Bertuzzi never did like the calls against him.”
I have to say that I’m happy I have the NHL Center Ice package, TSN and Sportsnet so that I can watch as many Flames games away from CBC as I can. For the last 3 seasons, The CBC’s sports directors have been cutting and skimping and hiring all the wrong people to run Canada’s cultural icon Hockey Night in Canada. On top of it all, they’ve gone and lost the HNIC theme song and replaced it with a Scottish Bagpipers jig. That song will take a really long time until I associate it with hockey when I hear it.