A few quick thoughts on a very busy Wednesday.
The Stanley Cup Finals are here at last, with game one from Vancouver being broadcast on NBC tonight beginning at 8:00pm.
I’m not sure whether to be impressed or embarrassed that Dennis and Callahan have brought the likes of Dale Arnold and Kathryn Tappen into studio with them to talk Bruins. It’s good that they recognize their shortcomings in this sport, and embarrassing that such veteran, highly-paid sports radio hosts need the added help to just get through the additional analysis.
It was with interest that I tuned into 98.5 yesterday afternoon, to hear what Michael Felger would have to say about frequent targets Claude Julien and Zdeno Chara. Even in the immediate aftermath of the game seven win over the Lightning, one the CSNNE post-game show, Felger was still mildly critical of the head coach. Yesterday, he was still critical, but mostly deflected the topic and instead his theme was to congratulate long-suffering Bruins fans and talk about what great fans they are, (The only “real” fans left in town, according to Felger.) and their redemption from being treated as second-class citizens all these years, and how he, Felger has been the steadfast advocate of hockey (with plenty of shots at WEEI in the process) and all in all, plenty of backslapping to the Bruins fans. Smart move, as listeners like nothing better than to be told how great they are.
One of the underrated hockey writers in town is NESN.com’s Douglas Flynn. Here is some background on Flynn from a BSMW piece back in 2008. He covered the Bruins for many years over at the MetroWest Daily News, where he also covered the Patriots after Mike Reiss and Albert Breer had moved on. Now with NESN.com, Flynn has brought his analytical style to that outlet.
I think the best 1-2 punch on the Bruins beat belongs to the Boston Herald. Stephen Harris and Steve Conroy have been on the beat forever (or so it seems) Harris first started covering the team in 1979. The Herald sports section in general is pretty darn good these days, on all beats. In my opinion the Herald’s sports coverage beats that of the Globe on a daily basis all around.
ESPN Boston is also very strong on the Bruins beat. Joe McDonald and James Murphy are both very good. At CSNNE.com, Joe Haggerty is among the best, but the coverage falls off a little bit after him – but the on-air side has consistently been the best at covering the Bruins this postseason.
Count me very surprised that game one of the NBA Finals between the Heat and Mavericks, outrated last year’s game between the Celtics and Lakers. Count me not surprised that the Heat got all the calls they needed down the stretch of last night’s game.
Been checking out Pete Sheppard’s first (well, second really) show on HurricaneRadio.net this afternoon. Despite a few technical glitches, it’s been fairly solid. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Globe was the first guest, calling in from Vancouver ahead of tonight’s series opener.
After the Red Sox horrid start, it’s amusing to look back at all the panic from those first two weeks (They need to play .700 ball just to have a chance at the playoffs!!!! No team that started 0-6 has EVER won the World Series!!!!).
I got my copy of the new ESPN book – Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN this week, and I look forward to giving it a full read in the days to come.
Interesting piece coming up in the New York Times magazine – Can Bill Simmons Win the Big One?
And another from Pro Hockey Talk – Bruins continue to reap rewards of Cam Neely trade with Canucks 25 years later
Catch up on the Bruins news today and tonight over at BruinsLinks.com. I’ve also created a Twitter list of the Bruins beat writers that you can follow.
Here’s an interesting look at how this year’s Bruins finals tickets compare with last year’s Celtics finals tickets: