As a die-hard Rangers fan, I had to sit through a nationally televised game between Pittsburgh and the Rangers gritting my teeth.
You would have thought you were watching the Pittsburgh feed on the Center Ice Package. The commentary was so blatantly one-sided and unbalanced. Sid and crew were made out to be saints as the Rangers were played up like a villain from a James Bond movie.
The referees were also having a love affair with Sid, allowing him to go un-penalized twice for cross-checking and as you can see on the replay, a ref is standing right there watching him do it!
Petr Prucha, (he of 170 pounds) of all people, got called for roughing after throwing a clean hit. Then there was the non-call when Gomez was tripped up head-first into the boards and then after that they had the nerve to make a bush-league call on Jagr for a reach-around (holding).
It got really nauseating when the announcers made an official apology to Sid for suggesting he “sold” a high-sticking call.
Not only during the game, but during the intermission report with Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire. Milbury ripped into the Rangers, bashing them so bad that even Pierre had to somewhat defend them. Milbury was ripping Jagr apart because of his upcoming meeting with the GM from Omsk, blaming him for releasing the info to the public when the truth is that it was the GM who spilled the beans to a Russian newspaper. Do your research before going on such a tirade on National TV.
NBC, Bettman and lousy officiating are ruining this great sport. And if they don’t think the average viewer doesn’t see it, they are sadly mistaken.
Blaze, Essex, Vt.