As we get ready for the puck to drop at Rogers Arena in an hour, now is a great time to reflect on what the Vancouver Canucks and Flames first-round matchup has brought us: a whole lot of hatred.
And by that, we're not talking about the way Lotuslanders look at Bob Hartley and Michael Ferland.
No, we're talking about hockey fans lashing out at the broadcasters that have been calling the games on TV. You want hilarity? Just hop on Twitter and take a look at how much folks are enjoying the commentating of the Flames-Canucks colour man Craig Simpson. Highlights of a very small sample include:
Simpson isn't alone in drawing the ire of hockey fans. If there's an emerging thread this playoffs, it's that no one seems to enjoy colour commentators, who once were hired to throw in the odd quip (take a bow Harry Neale) and now seem to think their job is to blather away with no regard for what's happening on the ice. Take the reaction to Garry Galley, who ran his mouth mercilessly during the Winnipeg Jets-Anaheim Ducks game last night. People were definitely listening, but they weren't happy about it. Hence, you got Twitter comments like:
And then there was Glenn Healy, who seemingly had every second viewer in the Montreal Canadiens-Ottawa Senators series working the mute button like they were playing Whack-a-Mole. Many of the comments were sparked by Healy's marvelling at the lack of Anaheim Ducks fans in the stands in Winnipeg, a game which he wasn't even working. Standouts were:
And let's not forget Pierre McGuire, who is providing colour for the excellent Washington Capitals-New York Islands game as we speak. And also, giving people reason to voice their outrage with him on Twitter:
Some of us have been making the argument for years that colour commentors need to be removed from all games so that the play-by-play guys can do what they are hired to do, namely call the game without having to compete with some blowhard who obviously thinks he's being paid extra for each word that comes out of his pie-hole.
There's enough hate to go around in hockey's first round. Ask a Canucks fan what he thinks of Calgary Flame Michael Ferkland, or whatever his name is.
And the last thing any of us need is a reason to kick in the television set before our teams lose. But let's leave the last word to those on Twitter. Listen up Hockey Night in Canada and Sportsnet: