Unlike the diminished interest in the Red Sox last season, reflected in the ratings decline, this lack of buzz has nothing to do with fading fan passion.
Quite simply, right now, Boston is a Hockey Town. Just like the ads say.
For years, hockey has been ignored and/or mocked on the local airwaves. Now everyone wants to talk about it, and the host are scrambling to either brush up on some hockey lingo. "If the Bruins can maintain their forechecking while controlling the neutral zone and ragging the puck they have a good chance of pulling this one out." Or by booking as many guests who actually know the game in order to fill time on the airwaves.
Some notes and observations from this influx of hockey craziness:
In line with the above paragraph on radio hosts, it was amusing to hear John Dennis the other morning introduce "goaltending great Darren Pang" as a guest on their morning show. Pang himself was quick to point out that he only tallied 27 victories in two seasons in his NHL career. Not exactly a legend. Pang, though, is a very insightful analyst, and when asked about whether Roberto Luongo should have been pulled while giving up eight goals in Game 3, told an amusing story of his career when he gave up four goals in the first period. The goaltending coach told him they were going to take him out of the game, but Pang talked his way into staying in the game, saying he wanted to work through his slump. They agreed and left him in. He then gave up three goals in the second period, afterwhich he told the coach, "See, I'm getting better!" He was left in the game and gave up two more goals in the third, and joked that given another period he'd have gotten things totally figured out.
It was nice of NESN during Wednesday night's Red Sox-Yankees game to help viewers "catch up" with the status of the game. Knowing that many viewers would be switching over between periods to check in on the game, NESN showed a highlight package of the baseball game to that point, allowing viewers to see how the runs had scored, and see the big plays of the game.
Mike Milbury is probably not very popular in Vancouver, or the entire nation of Canada, for that matter. Whether it is referring to the Sedin twins as "Thelma and Louise" or calling Alex Burrows and Max Lapierre "punks," Milbury has been extremely critical of the Canucks and their behavior in this series.
Anyone find it ironic that the Canucks, who bit an opponent and knocked an opponent out of the series with a severe concussion, are the ones complaining about the Bruins supposed "dirty" and physical style of play?
I didn't quite get the criticism of Bruins forward Brad Marchand from the VERSUS/NBC announcing crew late in Game 4 when he ducked under a check from a Canucks player, sending the latter toppling down to the ice. Was Marchand just supposed to sit there and take the full hit? It didn't seem to make sense.
Tony Amonte is quickly becoming CSNNE's hockey version of Donny Marshall - a former player who retired recently enough to still be in touch with the game and able to speak about the style of play and mindset of the current athletes. He's been very good on the post game shows alongside Michael Felger.
Celebrating its 10th year, ‘The Tradition’ is the annual summer event that honors distinguished New England athletes and will be held on Tuesday, June 28, at the TD Garden.
This year’s honorees include Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird as the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. The pride of Lowell, retired junior welterweight professional boxer and former WBU champion Micky Ward, will receive the Boxing Legacy Award. A four-time Pro Bowl cornerback and a three-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots, Ty Law, will receive the Football Legacy Award. Recently retired third baseman Mike Lowell will receive the Baseball Legacy Award for helping the Red Sox to World Series glory. Boston Bruin alumni Willie O’Ree, the first black player to participate in a regular season NHL game, will be honored with the Hockey Legacy Award for his contributions to professional hockey. Bobbi Gibb will be honored with a Special Achievement Award for becoming the first woman ever to run the Boston Marathon in 1966. Award presenters will be announced closer to the event.
‘The Tradition’ is the annual fundraising event for The Sports Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational institution, located on levels 5 and 6 of the TD Garden. Attending ‘The Tradition’ guarantees a once in a lifetime opportunity. Guests are granted the opportunity to mingle with some of New England’s most legendary athletes during the welcoming gala reception, which begins at 5:30 p.m. on the arena floor. Each ticket also includes a seat at the awards ceremony, where fans share in the career highlights and accomplishments of each honoree as they take the stage as part of ‘The Tradition Class of 2011’