As the Stanley Cup Playoffs go from a field of sixteen to a mere two, the homegrown networks that Canadians are able to view the final battle for Lord Stanley’s mug dwindles down to just one: CBC. The Canadian media juggernaut takes over coverage for the Flyers and Blackhawks battling it out for the sports greatest prize, just as has happened since the beginning of time, or so it feels like. With the first two games already behind us with the Blackhawks jumping out to a 2-0 series lead, we can take a look at if the network we’ve all grown accustomed to has been played out or if there is still tread on the CBC’s Stanley Cup Finals broadcasting tires.
There are a great number of factors that go in to each specific networks broadcast coverage, and for most there really is a toss up between which of the Canadian networks does it best. With TSN, we are given an entirely different roster of analysts from backgrounds completely different of those on the CBC crew. The make-up of the CBC brings forth two goalies, a self-proclaimed fifth liner, a referee and some old guy who has a few screws loose and claims to own a crystal ball that helps him see into the future. But when you throw together a cast of characters like that, who would you be to say that it might not just be crazy enough to work?
The tandem of Ron Maclean and Don Cherry continue to open up each Finals broadcast with their back and forth about the keys to the game and Grapes’ ability to channel his inner Bill O’Reilly, using the “loud = right” equation to voice his opinion on what will be a factor and how the game will shake out. Don’t get me wrong; the man is a Canadian icon, but it is starting to become an issue when he is stumbling over his own words every other sentence. Undeniably, however, he does add flavour and character to the broadcast which surely has yet to truly hurt the product.