Crisis on Ice and more

The good, the bad and the ugly. If I had to give a short review of Rogers Crisis on Ice?, that’s what how I would summarize it.

First the good:

Kudos to the Sportsnet folks for doing the show. It’s a hot topic and a great time to test out the whole TV/radio teams synergies with a big topical issue.

I thought Gord Martineau did a great job. He’s a good host, and well, regardless of the topic, he shows why he’s been in the business as long as he has.

The best segment on the show was the one moderated by Bob McCown between Nick Kypreos and Ryan VandenBussche. VandenBussche was the guy who knocked Kpyreos out of the game. The highlight was when McCown asked VandenBussche if he called to apologize after the fight. “No!” Kypreos interjected, “and if he did I probably would have kicked his ass!”

VandenBussche explained how the fight impacted his career and Kypreos provided insight into the life of an enforcer and knowing your role on a franchise.

The Bad:

Way too much information crammed into short segments. With the exception of the Kypreos/VandenBussche segment the others seemed rushed.

I understand Rogers has a lot of “talent” and they wanted to take that new car out for a spin, but really, it was too much. Stephen Brunt is one of the best in the business. How much did we hear from him? I’ve said this time and time again about Bill Watters: no one is good when over exposed. We get Millard, Kypreos, MacLean, McCown and Cox a lot. We had them all on trade deadline day. More isn’t better. Quantity isn’t quality.

As a father and coach I am concerned about the issue. I felt the “experts” to be less than compelling. Is this really the best out there to talk on the subject?

The panel with the audience was forced and rushed. We saw them throughout the show and what did they get in, three questions? They didn’t look the least bit interested in being there and the questions for the most part had already been answered. I like the idea, just not the execution.

The ugly:

Are we in Mellville? Was this SCTV? I was waiting for Earl Cannonbere to throw it over to Floyd Robertson. It looked Canadian in the least of flattering of ways.

I don’t know Darren Millard. I am sure he’s a great guy. His work, in my opinion isn’t up to the level this show was hyped as being. I’m sorry, it just isn’t. He doesn’t ask the hard question and I have yet to hear or see him get the most out of his interview subjects. To be honest, with Martineau and McCown there I don’t know why he was there at all. He’s fine on Hockey Central between Kypreos and Maclean, they’re both loud enough to negate his ineffectiveness as a host. Maybe he’ll improve. I hope he does.

This may seem like nitpicking, but why was Bob McCown in a suit with a tie? Heck, why were some of the others in suits? I understand the need for professionalism. I also understand that ordinarily you want uniformity, if one guy is in a suit, everyone should be. Having said that, the folks in fashion at Rogers have to know how ridiculous it looked. McCown, who was good on the show, lost some effectiveness because he looked so uncomfortable. Honestly, would anyone respect him less if he were wearing a sports coat and a pair of dress slacks?

Now, you may have heard that Rogers runs both TV networks and radio stations. As a result they should know that in the TV world, nothing every runs on time or according to plan. This isn’t a knock on Doug Farraway. Having said that, given the talent that now exists at Sportsnet, there is no excuse for having him host a show like PTS. I don’t have a problem with Farraway. Clearly, based on many of the comments on this site, I am in the minority. I just can’t see how given this roster someone didn’t realize that McCown would be running late and wouldn’t be able to host PTS. I know, it’s one night, big f’n deal. Bruce Arthur was in the co-pilot seat that night and that’s usually a good thing.

I watched the show and liked it. I hope they do more of them. I hope they improve the production quality, trim down the staff. In other words I hope they learn from my perceived mistakes.


Dowbiggin had a good article on Mike Milbury last week. It’s worth reading.

The Leafs are in Detroit tonight. Shame on the NHL for not having these two teams (and the other original six teams) not play each other more often. I am not an NHL basher, but it seems to me that no other league goes more out of its way to forget its heritage than the NHL.

Fifteen years ago this game, the now Mrs. TSM talked her way into our first date being at the Joe Louis Arena for a Leafs vs. Red Wings tilt. The rest as they say is history. My how time has flown!

Did you hear that TSN Radio is about to take to the air with the Mike Richards show? That show is about two weeks away from taking to the air and I am told the show has yet to hire a producer (you know the talented folks who book guests and actually run the show) or an update anchor. From the outside it seems like things are moving at a snail’s pace over at TSN.

If you want a great read, Richard Griffin’s interview with Alex Anthopoulos is a must read:

I think there was skepticism, rightfully so. Who is this guy? Young guy with a big long Greek name. Didn’t play, didn’t do anything. I don’t know who he is. I understand. I did interviews when I first got the job. What can you tell us about you? I just said, people are going to judge me in a few months anyway. We’ll make some trades, we’ll make some signings. People will have their opinions. No matter what I say now, the book will be written in six months.

Surprised to see this type of article in the Toronto Sun by Terry Koshan:

The Maple Leafs are one of the youngest teams in the National Hockey League, but they lack what the Colorado Avalanche and so many other teams have.

It’s a bona fide blue-chipper, and for the Avs, it’s Matt Duchene, who has had nothing approaching a sophomore jinx. The Haliburton native has 26 goals and 33 assists in 71 games after recording 55 points last season.

It’s not that the premise isn’t true. What odd timing to take such a negative angle? The Leafs are in the top five in the league in terms of record post all star game. Yes, the season starts before the all star game, I get it. I get the Leafs don’t play the Aves all that often. But, really why write that now? By the way, is it me or can you count the number of teams who couldn’t use Matt Duschene on one hand?

I seem to be saying it too often, but how great was Jeff Blair’s show from Florida all week? Can’t wait to hear more during the Jays season.

If you haven’t seen Buck Martinez Up Close with the new Blue Jays Manager John Farrell you should really try to. It was great television.

Happy Saturday



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