HockeyHighlightDome, Night 2 of Overtime vs. On the Fly

Night 2, Tuesday, January 11

NHL Overtime, 11:00 PM ET, VERSUS

Host: Last night’s master of ceremonies Liam McHugh, who coined the word “unvitation.”

Analysts: Once again, Ken Daneyko and Billy Jaffe were there. I like the contrast with sort of the “X’s and O’s” of Jaffe, to the former bruiser in Daneyko, who had a segment that proclaimed him “The Fight Docter” in which he broke down the fight of the night.

Lead Story: Osgood injury.

Lead Highlights: Flyers/Sabres, the second consecutive night VERSUS has led with the game they were airing, but once again, hard to justify picking another game.

Non-Highlight Footage: As with last night, the game’s in-house reporter spoke with a star from the game, this time Scott Hartnell. Plus, more of the great chalk talk from Jaffe on the Flyers/Sabres game. I was going to complain that they weren’t able to do this with non-VERSUS games, but all of a sudden, there was Jaffe using the video board to do just that, with that night’s Canadiens/Rangers and Bruins/Senators games. Also, there was the typical post-game hit from the announcers at the rink. Once again, a Comcast Sportsnet crew (DC) was brought in to do a post-game hit for analysis on Capitals/Panthers. Another thing that should be noted is that VERSUS often uses post-game interviews from other networks, something NHL Network also does.

Interviews: Less time to fill tonight with 10 games and the All-Star news, so no phoners or any interview material. Might have been cool to have an actual All-Star on the show, though. There was also a taped hit with Eric Staal from earlier in the day, which is much better than the usual phoners.

Time Spent on Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin: Ovechkin’s name wasn’t even mentioned until the second commercial tease, and his game against the Florida Panthers not in the show until at least 20 minutes in, and the highlights were teased with a Bruce Boudreau story. Crosby’s name wasn’t brought up until 35 minutes in as part of the NHL All-Star rosters. Crosby & Ovechkin were bantered about as potential All-Star captains as well.

Spreading the Love (West Coast Coverage): With the Vancouver Canucks on the east coast, it gave the show a chance to talk about the West’s best team, and they went with their game – despite being against the Islanders – second among the highlight brigade out of the night’s 10 games. Edmonton/Dallas and Minnesota/Nashville both got their highlight due in the middle of the show, while Calgary/Carolina and Phoenix/Columbus didn’t show up until the final 20 minutes. Toronto/San Jose got a late update.

Features: Stupid Guardian Project.

Controversial Material: All-Star snubs were discussed as though they’re something that really matter, and were upfront about the fact that certain players asked out of the game. A PK Subban slew-foot from the Habs/Rangers game went unmentioned. A graphical stat of Patrice Bergeron was pointed out to me as incorrect. A knee-on-knee hit of Colton Orr on Logan Couture was just in time to get covered.

NHL On the Fly, 1:00 AM ET, NHL Network

Host: David Amber, who lead with a reference to Smash Mouth’s “All Star”. Twice. Seriously.

Analysts: Kevin Weekes, who remains ever-improving. I certainly hope I’m not sounding condescending when I say that it’s pretty great that the NHL’s flagship TV network has two men of color running their flagship show on any given night. It helps sell the game to not just see white males on every show.

Lead Story: All-Star jerseys.

Lead Highlights: Rangers/Canadiens. It seems that VERSUS has decided to have the host and analyst narrate a few more of the games of the night, deviating from their traditional sound/look of just hearing the play-by-play and color naturally. Not sure which I like better, though Weekes and Amber are better at it than the Overtime trip.

Non-Highlight Footage: Sometimes NHL Network does a great job at focusing on players that wouldn’t normally be a sexy “name” during the game. For example, Weekes highlighted Matthew Darche and Alex Auld during the Canadiens win over the Rangers, or shootout moves by the Canucks in their game against the Islanders, or talking about Kevin Poulin at all during that game.

Another thing NHL Net does a little better than VERSUS is show trends, by which I mean going back a few games to show things that have been going wrong with certain teams, something Kevin Weekes did showing Senators turn-overs from three games past.

Interviews: They had interview clips from various All-Stars around the league from press conferences earlier in the day.

Time Spent on Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin: Ovechkin highlights against Florida made it into the show 12 minutes in, a little bit earlier than Overtime. Crosby and the All-Stars showed up at 18 minutes in, which also included Ovechkin.

Spreading the Love (West Coast Coverage): Vancouver/Islanders was the third game featured on the show, as opposed to the second game on Overtime. However, once again On the Fly had the advantage of being able to show complete Leafs/Sharks highlights, and the game’s mention made it into this show earlier, at about 35 minutes.

Features: They went a bit more in depth with the All-Star stuff, with Kevin Weekes giving some of his Raleigh and North Carolina hotspots! Gotta love Weekesy.

Controversial Material: Kevin Weekes pointed out that at least something had to change with the ugly situation in Ottawa. Interestingly, On the Fly made reference to Alex Burrows being on the same sheet of ice as referee Stephane Auger a year in the wake of their controversial spat. VERSUS did not touch this. I also feel like NHL Net spent more time on the rookies that’d be included. Oh, and All-Star snubs.

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

One Response to HockeyHighlightDome, Night 2 of Overtime vs. On the Fly

  1. J says:

    Steve,
    How old are you?
    What is your professional tv experience? Have you ever stepped foot in a mobile production unit? Ever formatted a tv show?

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