It was clear from the second the puck dropped on CNBC that the NBC Sports Network wasn't prepared to provide any worthy insight into the night's events.
(And, just to cover my butt, this is not a shot at CNBC. NBC used CNBC to broadcast the game. That's it. What follows is directed squarely at the folks who put on the one of the worst hockey telecasts east of San Jose).
Dave Strader, who made an attempt at doing play-by-play of the Leafs/Bruins game, showed us out of the gate that he hadn't done the most basic homework. He repeatedly mispronounced Cody Franson's name. It took Strader and his broadcast partner, Bryan Engblom (who I actually like), half the game to provide some context on the Maple Leafs' face-off problems.
Both guys must have done the game with blindfolds on. Like the referees, they missed a handful of offsides calls that should have gone against the Bruins. They offered absolutely zero insight into the regular seasons that brought each team to this pivotal moment in time.And somehow NBC calls Strader its No. 2 hockey play-by-play guy behind the legendary and obsessively over-prepared Mike "Doc" Emrick. All of this to say, I'm not making excuses; rather I am setting the table for the pathetic job the media did in the aftermath of the Leafs' collapse. A failure in coverage that, sadly, spread into Canada. When the Leafs were up 4-1, people started congratulating me on Twitter. I responded repeatedly with caution. Here's an example:
A hockey game is never over. Never. Not until zeroes on the clock.— Rocco Pendola (@Rocco_TheStreet) May 14, 2013You see, I had watched the Maple Leafs all year long. Probably saw about 35 to 40 of the team's 48 regular season games. I watched every minute against the Bruins. The Leafs have had three problems all season and all series long. The team often has trouble clearing the puck from its own zone. The players turn the puck over a lot. And fantastic young goaltender, James Reimer, tends to give up quite a few juicy rebounds. These things all lead to second chances for the opposing team. Too many second chances and you get burned.