Announcer Critiques: VERSUS Teams a Mixed Bag

“Alex Burrows sits sequestered for his ice time”.  If you live in the Dallas market, or own Center Ice and frequent Stars telecast, you know who the only analyst to utter that phrasing is: Stars TV analyst and VERSUS color man Daryl “Razor” Reaugh.  Some may say it as superfluous and pointless to say it in such a way:  But why not?  Let’s liven up the broadcast in any way we can without talking over the play-by-play man during the play.

Indeed, the little things, combined with the pure emotion and enjoyment of Reaugh’s call, along with the contrastingly even-keeled, professional call of Tampa Bay Lightning play-by-play man Rick Peckham, have made their broadcast team – which is completed by reporter Lindsay Soto – the best of the three VERSUS has used to begin the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  For any other broadcast crew to meet up to the standard they’ve provided would be, as Razor might say, an elephantine task.

However, the other two crews have been no slouch.  Dave Strader remains the best American NHL play-by-play man not named Emrick.  Islanders analyst Billy Jaffe has emerged as a potential broadcasting star in national circles, and their makeshift #1 team along with Christine Simpson (who have called Games 1-2 of the Flyers/Penguins series) has been solid if not spectacular.  Meanwhile, the trio of Joe Beninati, Darren Eliot and Bob Harwood tend to talk over the play instead of about it, but have nonetheless been adequate.

VERSUS’ studio team remains flat-out boring, but from the “Give Credit Where Credit is Due” department, they got a real winner of a statistic on Thursday night.  Before they went to a simulcast of TSN’s coverage of the Flames/Blackhawks Game 2 Overtime, studio host Bill Patrick went to the following statistic: “Look out for Martin Havlat in the Overtime, as he is the only player on either team to have scored a playoff Overtime winner”.  13 seconds of game time later, Havlat complied.

On the downside, we aren’t exactly sure what VERSUS was thinking following Game 2 of the Flyers/Penguins frenetic OT finish.  They spent a good few minutes talking about the game they’d just seen.  And then went to a commercial!  Why not just go straight to the Blues/Canucks game, and do all the talk about the game at the intermission, which wasn’t far away?  Why not talk about the Devils/Canes game, which had just finished it’s OT?  Overall, VERSUS continues to not get it with regards to it’s studio show.

3 Responses to Announcer Critiques: VERSUS Teams a Mixed Bag

  1. BluesFan44 says:

    I’d like to thank DirecTV for not shutting off Versus in the St. Louis area when the Pennsylvania game ended… got to hear Rick and Razor, and not be subjected to Kelly and Federko…….

    Just keep up the good work, eh?

  2. Leafsfan1967 says:

    >>Meanwhile, the trio of Joe Beninati, Darren Eliot and Bob Harwood tend to talk over the play instead of about it, but have nonetheless been adequate.<<

    You’re kidding right. Joe Beninati adequate? PLEASEEEEE….

    It’s bad enough having to watch Boston beat up on Montreal but to have to do it AND listen to Beninati is pure torture.

    Thankfully NHL Center Ice has the Hawks Flames game and the wonderful Pat Foley is doing his usual wonderful job….

  3. canadiansportsfan says:

    CBC actually did go directly to Blues-Canucks after the Flyers-Penguins game finished on Friday.

    I haven’t actually had the chance to watch a Versus game yet, because I live in Canada. I did see part of Red Wings-Blue Jackets on Thursday. I personally really don’t like Beninati. Strader is one of the best though.

    I bet Versus is hoping the Canes-Devils series finishes quickly. That way they can get two of their top announcers back. I don’t really think it will though.

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