I’m a Canadian guy living in the US, so I’m quite familiar with the work of most national broadcasters. I love Bob Cole and Harry Neal (“Great save by…the goalie!”), and usually I love Jim Hughson. Now that I’m in the US, I get a lot of Doc Emrick, who is a whole bunch of fantastic himself (“Waffleboarded into the corner by Brodeur!”).

When Anze Kopitar scored the OT winner in Game 1 it, Emrick owned the moment. You could see the play unfolding, so the announcers had time to get excited as things developed. It’s not as fun when some surprise garbage goal goes in – this one gave us the rising action and the climax.

Jim Hughson’s call on CBC wasn’t exactly electric though. He sounded like a one of the bias broadcasters that sounds openly disappointed when their team gets scored on. You know the ones – if their team scores: “And the shot from the point, HE SCOOOOORRRRESSSS!” If the other team scores: “And the shot from the point …scores.”

Hughson builds up to the goal pretty well, but aren’t you supposed to get a little excited about a breakaway overtime winner in the Stanley Cup Final?

Maybe I just haven’t heard Hughson enough lately to know that that is excited for him, I don’t know. Below are the two calls, let me know what you think.

Emrick:

Hughson:

It’s a tough job, but there’s a reason people love guys like Rick Jeanneret in Buffalo so much: upping the excitement ups our enjoyment too.

Agree, disagree? Who called it better?

Comments (20)

  1. Yeah the whole call from Hughson was kind of subdued, like he was worn out or something. I normally like him a lot but yes that was a dud.

    One thing about Doc, he’ll rarely undersell a goal. I’d rather have that than vice-versa.

    • I dont mind when he gets over excited for a goal. But I cant stand when all the other times he gets overexcited. When I go to sleep after a game he calls, Im tortured by “WIDE WIT DA SHOTTTTT” over and over.

  2. Emrick. That was a Joe Buck call for Hughson

  3. I live in Canada and will watch a game on NBC for Doc vs a game on any of the Canadian networks if I have the choice. Doc is the best.

  4. To me is seemed like Hughson didn’t even realize they were in OT. I’m a huge Hughson fan, but when I originally heard the call, I found it to be bland. I guess great minds think alike, eh JT?

  5. Just please, use YouTube for your clips already. The local video player almost never works

    • Yep, I’ve given up on the videos posted here.

      If it looks interesting enough, I’ll search YouTube, but these ones never seem to load for me, something that isn’t a problem with other sites.

      Is there a commercial stacked on top or something? Maybe my ad blocker is killing them. Oh well. :-\

      • Yeah there’s ads that are up to 30 seconds long you have to wait through… And many clips are shorter than the ad. Super lame. I’ll search it on YouTube sometimes too.. takes less time lol

  6. Yeah, Hughson sounded like he was covering game one in London…

  7. I also appreciate that after a big goal Doc will shut up and stay out of the way, allowing you to hear a lot of the on-ice sounds. He doesn’t try to fill the space with his own voice, he allows you to savor the moment with the players.

  8. Emrick by a mile here. The line “moving in alone” is so perfectly intoned. Doc’s voice rises with excitement on the final word hanging the listener in suspense. The viewer has no choice but to share this excitement and wait on the final hanging syllable. Will it be a goal? Will the legendary netminder make the save? And then they payoff and it’s simply beautiful.

    I never understand people who don’t like Emrick calling games. It is like telling me they don’t like breathing, or eating.

  9. Hughson is still miffed about the Canucks.

    I mean this is the same guy that did this…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzwYVfvDfVo

    • That’s what makes it unprofessional, if he is indeed rooting against the Kings because they beat the Canucks. Emrick and used to be the everyday guy for the Devils with Chico, and yet he can put away all his biases to make an amazing call. Hughson doesn’t have the attitude of a true national guy promoting hockey.

      I will take the Canadian TV camera guys over the US guys any day, however. The biggest problem with US production is the skill of the people behind the camera.

    • That’s why they call him “Left-Coast Jim.”

  10. I concur with dawgbone, Hughson sounded as unimpressed as he does when any team scores against the Canucks. Definitely some left over angst there to be calling the Kings that way.

    I’ve come around on Emrick — the guy calls a great game. Bob Cole will never be beat though!

  11. I like the way Emrick calls the games, though I could do with less “knifing”

  12. I kinda want Cole on CBC for the final

  13. Emerick’s call by far beats the other. Emerick makes you believe he’s getting up off his couch as the play unfolds with you. His climb to the peak of the call is superb and he rarily fails at it.

    A local broadcaster I love, and probably because I grew up with him, is Pat Foley for the Chicago Blackhawks. You guys use a clip of him during your podcast intro. He is on the same path as Emerick with really getting excited for goals and doesn’t stray into the “homer” very often. I’ve seen him get just as excited for opponents scoring as he does the Blackhawks. A favioret is when Bolland scored a shorty and Pat literatly screamed, ” HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW?! “. Love that type of play calling.

  14. The real shame is that Bob Miller wasn’t invited…he’s been calling the Kings games since before their last trip to the finals and is every bit as fun to listen to as Doc! Jim Fox, though good in his own right, is a bit more homerish…but both are light years better than the insufferable Brian “Hazy” Hayward, who some NBC suit thought should be doing nationwide coverage for NBC earlier in the playoffs. It’s not quite the same without hearing Bob in the booth…he really deserves to be there!

  15. Don’t forget the Kings radio play-by-play man Nick Nickson, the radio voice for 30+ years.

    Here’s a video I put together, spliced and re-timed with the CBC footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VVKyp7iCGw

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