Admittedly I wasn’t looking forward to watching what I expected to be a butt-kicking in Minnesota from the Wild after the Devils’ three straight losses this week where injuries and lack of depth goalscoring had finally started to catch up to them. Not to mention I’ve been fighting a cold that combined with bad weather ruined my Sunday plans. Be that as it may, I had been flipping back and forth between the Devils game and other Sunday night programming. When I turned NBCSN back on at 10 PM, I saw a feed of Anaheim-Detroit and I just figured this was bonus coverage during intermission. Much to my shock I checked Twitter and it had live scoring updates of the game from Tom Gulutti and others. I started panicking and turned on other channels but couldn’t find the game anywhere. It turns out that NBCSN somehow lost their feed for minutes of Devils-Wild and instead of updating the game they were supposed to be showing they just decided to show other games that Devils and Wild fans could care less about.
Worse than even the technical difficulties is the cavalier atitude both teams got treated by the studio panel. When you have Jeremy Roenick making a crack that ‘it’s more exciting to hear about (Zach) Parise’s goal than to see it’ it’s just low-rent, especially when it’s your network’s fault fans couldn’t see either Parise’s game-tying goal or Jon Merrill of all people giving the Devils back the lead they would hold onto in a surprising 2-1 win in Minneapolis. Both the Devils and Wild have been the butt of enough jokes, but what purpose does it serve the league exactly to have one of its studio commentators be so scathing on a national telecast? Would NFL studio hosts EVER make jokes about a team being boring? MLB studio hosts? No sport eats its own like the NHL, especially through the media, and it’s one of the reasons this game will never grow beyond a niche sport. And dollars to donuts I somehow do not think this would have happened if this was a Washington-Pittsburgh game, or if they had on their other six-eight ‘chosen’ teams instead of two teams they buried on Sunday night to get a mandatory telecast out of the way. Even after the telecast came back on the air it somehow didn’t occur to them for minutes to show highlights of the TWO goals they missed in the interim.
Thank god this is the Devils’ only game on that disgrace of a network this season, after tonight I refuse to watch NBC anymore for any regular season game or non-Devils playoff game. For all the problems with MSG over the years, even Dolan managed to keep the games on air and even for the Ranger homers they have in the studio at least they usually have Devils representation too, whereas NBC like most of the international media can’t hide their loathing for non-Original Six and other marquee big-city teams. Then again what should I expect from a network that’s been screwing up telecasts since the Heidi game in 1968?