HockeyHighlightDome, Night 5: Overtime vs. On the Fly

Night 5, Monday, January 17

NHL Overtime, 11:30 PM ET, VERSUS

Host: Liam McHugh is back tonight. I’m starting to think he might be a permanent candidate for this gig. “Bacon is delicious, Niemi is fantastic” is something I’m going to paraphrase for many years to come.

Analysts: Eddie Olczyk is back once again, and for the first time in this two-week experiment, MSG/ESPN Radio’s Dave Maloney. Maloney used the words “Roof Dog Daddy” to describe a goal. Olczyk took his first turn at the big video board tonight, and did a fine job, though I kind of hoped he would awkwardly tell the control room to “Stop it right here!” and then realize he had to do that himself. The “teletubby” thing has to be totally mesmerizing if you don’t watch the show regularly. Olczyk also called the Rostislav Olesz hit on Evander Kane “cheap”. Whether you acknowledge it or not, Edzo has himself quite a pulpit as America’s most prominent television analyst, and he’s using it quite well on Overtime.

Lead Story: The first topic up for discussion was Bryan McCabe’s dangerous injury during the Panthers/Devils game on Saturday night. A little stale, but something that needed to be brought up on the panel, especially with facial injuries always popping up every now and then. VERSUS’ game of the night didn’t even get a focus until the second segment of the show. I kind of like this move, as it gives you time to relax from that.

Lead Highlights: The totally obvious choice of … Calgary/Montreal? Okay, why not? Billed as being a preview of the Heritage Classic, but I’m still kind of curious as to why this got the go over Los Angeles/Dallas, despite being a pretty excellent, entertaining game. This was the first time during this running diary that Overtime did not show highlights of the VERSUS game first in the show.

Non-Highlight Footage: Overtime went straight to game-winner PK Subban’s comments on the goal and his celebration, and immediately to a brief discussion of that sort of thing. Then a breakdown of some of the subpar goaltending in the tilt. They definitely seemed to have a lack of things to say on these two teams, and why not? Calgary is awful.

Also, a big preview of Pittsburgh-Detroit tomorrow. Hey, did you guys know that Pittsburgh-Detroit is NOT the VERSUS game tomorrow? I sincerely hope someone got fired for that blunder.

Interviews: None tonight.

Time Spent on Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin: Surprisingly neither got much of a mention the entire show. Despite the fact that neither played tonight, only Crosby’s absence was brought up during the Pens/Red Wings preview. Hey, did you guys know that VERSUS isn’t airing Pens/Red Wings tomorrow? That’s an incredibly terrible decision.

Spreading the Love (West Coast Coverage): The only two games featuring teams from the west coast were in earlier timeslots, and no game started after 8:30 PM ET, so every game was able to be covered tonight. The Pacific Division, in fact, headlined the show’s opening teaser. Calgary’s game in Montreal, as mentioned previously, was top of the show stuff. That was immediately followed by San Jose/Phoenix, and a mention of Patrick Marleau’s 1000th game.

Features: Even Liam McHugh can’t pretend to care about stupid Guardian Project. Plays of the week were also shown. Plus, there was a great little “angry coach goes nuts” viral video at the end of the show.

Controversial Material: The brief approval/disapproval of both PK Subban and Rostislav Olesz’s actions today has already been mentioned. I wish it was discussed a little bit further, but hey, you take what you can get. A talk on John Tortorella’s criticism of Marian Gaborik had a little bit more meat to it, thankfully.

Sadly, one controversy that was not discussed was the fact that VERSUS is not airing the Penguins/Red Wings game tomorrow. Can you believe that?

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

Host: David Amber, who hopefully has listened to some music since Smash Mouth retired this time around.

Analysts: Larry Murphy, someone I’ve never been impressed with. He always seems like a toned down version of every other toned down analyst the NHL and its television partners have to offer. Hey, at least he didn’t decide to not air tonight’s Penguins/Red Wings game. I mean, come on, he’s not stupid.

Lead Story/Highlights: Coyotes/Sharks. West coast represent! The NHL: Where Patrick Marleau’s 1000th Regular Season Game Being a Major Storyline … Happens. Yet another night of NHL Network taking the lead game highlights and talking over them. I think, especially now that another American show exists, that NHL Network should be even more forthright with their stance on showing un-narrated game highlights for all the games.

Non-Highlight Footage: A discussion of Patrick Marleau, followed by footage of Phoenix coach Dave Tippett’s press conference, followed by focusing on a bad line change that really hurt Phoenix, something I’m fairly certain did not get covered in detail on Overtime. Jamie Langenbrunner also got big mentions for his 1000th NHL game, as this was clearly a big running theme for the networks tonight. We’re so boring sometimes.

NHL Network did a good job showing a graphic of the rash of defensemen hat tricks so far this season. Seriously, that’s really noteworthy.

Also, On the Fly showing the Western Conference standings before doing highlights of Calgary/Montreal? I guess it doesn’t really matter with Calgary being out of the playoff chase, but I still find it fairly strange.

Interviews: None.

Time Spent on Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin: Neither got a mention on this show. Bad couple weeks to try and catch both networks with any extra star love.

Spreading the Love (West Coast Coverage): As I said, Patrick Marleau is indeed the big story to lead off On the Fly’s Sharks/Yotes coverage. Regardless of whether or not it is a case of slow news day, it’s nice to see one of the NHL’s stalwart decent players get some recognition. Los Angeles/Dallas was second, marking the first time that NHL Network’s show actually had the VERSUS game higher in it’s queue than VERSUS’ show.

Features: A preview of Penguins/Red Wings, a game which can not be seen on the VERSUS network later tonight. What a silly decision.

Controversial Material: David Amber should’ve supported PK Subban’s celebration of the game-winning goal against Calgary a little more seriously, instead of just tossing off a “isn’t this silly?” sort of thing. Talk to the audience about how seriously we are overthinking everything that happens to the poor guy. Larry Murphy agreed, but again, it would have been nice to see more forthright support.

Strangely, the NHL Network didn’t even talk about Olesz’s hit on Evander Kane. Though they showed the hit during the highlights, its probably something that should have been addressed. However, they did show Jack Capuano’s press conference after some controversial goals in the Devils/Isles game.


2 Responses to HockeyHighlightDome, Night 5: Overtime vs. On the Fly

  1. J says:

    You are a complete ass for “sincerely hoping someone got fired”
    Who do you think you are? You have never accomplished anything in broadcasting and you are calling for someone to be fired. Get over yourself Mr. Not-So-Important.

  2. stevelepore says:

    Sir, this a reference to a classic Simpsons episode, though I should have realized that knowledge of this would not be universal. I apologize if you saw it as a malicious comment, it was not.

    Though I will admit to feeling foolish that I tried to send this apology to your e-mail address, only to find that it was a fake. Oh well.

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