Imagine it: Quadruple overtime, game seven, Stanley Cup Finals, Leafs vs old rival Red Wings. Making the call for Hockey Night in Canada is Jim Hughson. Pan across to the viewers, most if not all are asleep or chit chatting amongst the group, unaware of how exciting and important the play is.
Kaberle feathers the puck though both Datsyuk and Zetterberg right on the tape of Bozak. He then makes a move around Lidstrom and hits Kessel at the far blue line with a breakaway pass. Yet the audience is still in lala land after listening to Hughson deadpan…sorry, announce, the entire game.
Damnit Jim, I’m a hockey fan, not an insomniac!
I find this sort of thing happens a lot when I watch HNIC, a broadcast that once enthralled me with more than just hockey, but with accurate and exciting play calling as well.
Jim Hughson is by far the most boring person to ever be invited into my house every weekend. Before I knew his name I knew him as the reason I didn’t watch Part 2 of the HNIC lineup in my youth, not to forget how he made me lose my mind while playing the old installments of NHL** from EAsports.
“Has the puck on a string.”
Does not matter what team, what player or what scenario, Jim rarely expresses it with an entertaining tone. He often calls the play late as his slow paced, monotonous style requires 5-10 seconds to call cross ice pass for the one timer. Even a puck goes in all you get is unenthusiastic statement of the play with no serious inflection to imply the magnitude of what transpired.
This is one (and only) good thing I can say about Joe Bowen, he is very excitable and breaks out the intense broadcaster voice whenever something, even the lesser chances, happens.
For the rest, Bowen is about as useful as clicking this. With his accuracy on play calling Leaf fans would be better off with Bob Cole calling the games he at least can tell the difference between a high stick and a trip. (No disrespect to the legendary Cole, but his best days are behind him) Also, Bowen’s less balanced than the Southeast Division. A little Leaf slant is good, but I want the game called by a pro, not a fan. I can decide for myself if something was clean, dirty, good or bad, I don’t want to hear you explain to me why the Leafs are the victims every time the whistle blows
When these two (Hughson and Bowen) get going I often find myself searching for an alternative feed to watch, usually to no avail as most US feeds are more focused on education for the American viewer about this strange sport Canadian Supermen.
Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert are my preferred announcers by far, but they so often get paired with TSN’s answer to John Madden, Pierre Mcguire. That is a constant, unyielding flood of useless, obvious and nonsensical ‘information.’ However, I will put up with him over the inflated egos of Sprtsnet’s Doug Maclean and Nick Kypreos as they argue like 10-year-olds over every point of contention refusing direction from both Darren Millard and producers.
Wake me up when Jim is done and gone please.