After watching the game’s two best players and biggest rivalry last night, I’m left with a great deal to be thankful for.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to, yet again, have witnessed the kind of drama more suitable only for the Broadway stage.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to have watched the kind of hockey that the NHL should strive to display on a nightly basis.
But most importantly, I’m thankful to have been able to get through a night of greatness without being subjected to NBC’s hockey analyst, Mike Milbury.
True hockey fans know what that statement means.
Seriously, could you have taken another intermission report with the buffoon? Could you have sat through another rant on how the game is going soft and how the league has to go back to “old time hockey” — the kind of hockey that nearly led to the demise of the world’s greatest sport?
Shame on you for six weeks if you could have!
What was on display last night was speed and skill, the two most integral components for the NHL’s long-term prosperity.
Not for a moment did physicality slip through the cracks. On the contrary, the game was as physical as anyone would’ve liked.
Yet, the image of Milbury’s nostrils expanding can’t quite seem to escape my mind, which begs the following question: Why is he an NHL analyst?
Forget the fact that he can’t intelligently articulate a point or that his personality rivals only an aggressive person in a vegetative state. What’s frustrating is his constant rejection of what’s good with the game.
Whenever his semi-autistic and fully perverted colleague, Pierre McGuire, engages in what NBC executives seemingly fully believe to be a spirited and highly-demanded debate, Milbury can’t help but mention a punishing check or the word “nasty” or anything that might be discussed around professional wrestling circles.
I’m not afraid to consider myself the world’s biggest hockey fan, but I’m forced to switch channels during intermissions. It’s not an abandonment of the game, to be sure. But what makes the NFL or NBA or MLB popular, among other things, is the coverage before and after games.
The NHL participates in that effort only by virtue of technicality. Their capitalization of said effort is minimal, at best.
There’s no better example than Milbury’s continuous destruction of the league and its reputation.
So, to you, Mr. and Mrs. NHL, I say the following: You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with.
Given the week-to-week evidence, you’re pretty bad.
Do something about it!