This is more for everyone around the country that didn’t have to endure the FS-Prime Ticket announcers for any Ducks game this season. While some people in Canada were upset that they had to deal with Marc Crawford, just realize—it could have been worse. Much worse!
Watching Game 6 between the Sharks and Ducks, everyone in Southern California was blacked-out for the Versus telecast (what little of it there was). Whether you’re a Ducks fan, Kings fan, Sharks fan or just an NHL fan, you had to deal with quite possibly the biggest homers in the business. If you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Brian Hayward (and John Ahlers) for yourself, just try to imagine a TV analyst that complains constantly throughout the game, mixed in with a little hint of pompous asshole. Honestly, he’s had a gripe with just about every call that’s gone against the Ducks since 1999.
For the record, I wanted both of these teams to lose. By no means would I ever call myself a Ducks fan, but San Jose players (and ex-Kings) Rob Blake and Jeremy Roenick had part of me want to see the most painful loss possible for the Sharks. But after listing to these broadcast partners whine, bitch and moan over every single call for 6 games straight, even the most neutral fan in the world would start leaning towards the Sharks. But like I said, I wanted them to figure out a way for both of them to lose in the first round. Is it possible to just tie and neither advance?
Brian Hayward has actually been a pretty good announcer when he’s doing national telecasts in the past. But after hearing Hayward in the first 5 games of the series, I thought it would be best for the rest of the continent to see what they’re missing out on. Again, picture all of this in the most whiney, bellyaching tone of voice you can imagine.
• I think Joe Thornton got away with MURDER in Game 5. They could have easy called him for 6 penalties in that game. (Brian Hayward)
• Scott Neidermayer was the best player on ice for EITHER team in Game 5 (Hayward) (Author’s Note: Nevermind that Joe Thornton played one of the best playoff games of his career, had 3 points and was the #1 Star for the NHL on Saturday).
• (On a play that was an obvious elbow at live speed). I think it’s the SHOULDER of Corey Perry that catches the head of Jonathan Cheechoo. (Hayward)
o Author’s Note: Isn’t the NHL making an effort to eliminate head shots? Vicious elbow to the head of a star player—by a guy that has a history. Will the league look at this play like they looked at Brashear?
• Oh it looked OFFSIDES! (John Ahlers) (Author’s Note: He says this at least a couple of times per game)
• With the first 4 calls that went against the Ducks, you really can’t argue with any of them. It’s just been a break down in discipline by the Ducks. (Hayward) (Author’s Note: This is the one time that he agreed with the calls since 1999.)
• He keeps the legs moving as only Mike Brown can do. (Ahlers)
• It’s amazing how many more mistakes the (Sharks) defensemen will make when they know Big George Parros is bearing down on them. (Hayward) (Author’s Note: Funny, because one of his favorite things to say is “The *insert opponents name* are really taking a lot of runs at the Ducks out there.)
• The Ducks have been DOMINATING the Sharks at even strength this season. (Hayward). Author’s Note: They’ve been outshot almost 2 to 1 throughout the series. They may be outscoring the Sharks, but I wouldn’t say they have been dominating.
• Quite honestly, the Ducks don’t make a big enough of plays like these. Johnny, watch Drew Miller here… he takes a shot from Ehrhoff and is pitched on top of the goaltender. If the Ducks do that on their power play, the other team screams murder and quite often they get an extra call. (Hayward)
• The Ducks finally get a couple of bounces (after 2 shots went in off Sharks’ own sticks). Author’s Note: A series of getting every single bounce, and it takes two shots off Sharks defensemen sticks to elicit this comment. Where has he been all series?
• And Jeremy Roenick just chops Jonas Hiller and the fans don’t like it. Or was it? Oh yeah, he gets him right in the spine, and the referees are standing 2 feet away. So Roenick gets away with a freebie. (Hayward)
• And Patrick Marleau just got away with one on Rob Neidermayer, and Rob went over to the ref and said, “Come on, you gotta make a call!” (Hayward) Author’s Note: I guess we should just be happy that Hayward has a hidden mic down there so we can here all of these conversations! Ok, I realize it–he’s just making shit up.
• San Jose is a desperate team, trying to avoid elimination from the post season. They’re battling, but Anaheim has just executed on a higher level. (Hayward) Author’s Note: Incorrect. The statement should have gone like this, “They’re battling, but Jonas Hiller has just executed on a higher level.”
• The Sharks are entering what I call the Grey Zone. They’re starting to set picks, and trying to get away with as much as they can. (Hayward)
• And Ehrhoff doesn’t like the call—the Sharks don’t like much. (Ahlers)
• And Thornton gets away with a VICIOUS elbow on Selanne. Selanne is still asking the referees if they’re going to call anything. Oh, he’s upset on the bench (Ahlers)
• Thornton catches Selanne right on the button with a shoulder. Was it late? You betcha.. But was there a call? It doesn’t look like it. (Hayward)
• Boy, oh boy and Vlasic gets away with a hook in the corner. (Hayward)
o (After Getzlaf immediately scores) And now it’s the Sharks that are begging for the call in the corner.
• The Sharks can’t say that Anaheim was lucky…. They just got outplayed by the Ducks! (Hayward) Author’s Note: The Sharks outshot the Ducks in every single game–usually by huge margins. I wouldn’t say its as cut-and-dry as Hayward would like to make it sound.