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Dallas Stars Daily Links: How To Call a Game That Stops Being a Game

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Ralph Strangis offers some reflections on the Stars' broadcast team's response during the Rich Peverley incident last season. In other things: Datsyuk should stop trusting Web M.D., SportsNet demands that Spezza score 82 points or else be a failure, and did Winnipeg really try to trade Evander Kane?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Every once in a while, Ralph Strangis will write an article about something that's on his mind (and often in the current news cycle as well).  After returning from the Fox regional broadcast meetings in Los Angeles, Ralph had some thoughts that centered around the broadcasting of the Rich Peverley incident against Columbus last season, and he shared them with Scoreboardtx.com:

Razor, Jason K. Walsh (our VP of Broadcast) and I, joined by our Columbus counterparts took the stage, and watched, with a few hundred other colleagues (including FOX’s NBA regions) our broadcast, and Columbus’ broadcast from that night and then we answered questions and had productive conversations.

I'm sometimes tempted to think of broadcasters and their production crews as just showing up and doing their job each game, but there's obviously a lot more than just work experience that goes into what they do.  You'll see them interviewing, emceeing, and even giving speeches at various times throughout a season, but their job is usually to relate what's going on to the fans at home, and it can be pretty tough to figure out how to do that when something unexpected happens.

Ralph Strangis, again:

About a minute after Rich collapsed and was ripped down the tunnel by team emergency medical personnel who gave him life saving treatment, my phone started blowing up. Some concerned friends and family yes, but some from people I know in local news looking for info – because they – wanted to "press send" – and wanted to "press send" very badly before anybody else, or before thinking about what it was they were doing. There was no pause at all from them.

I was proud of our broadcast. We all had the same view and same feelings as it was happening; be calm, be measured, and be sensitive to the fact that Rich’s family and friends are watching, that everyone connected with all our players and coaches and staff are watching, and that the fans are watching.

There's a lot more there, so definitely give the whole piece a read.  You won't be sorry.

If you remember that broadcast--and who doesn't?--then what probably comes to mind is the large amount of silence while we tried to figure out what was going on.  I think it was Razor who first mentioned that he didn't see Peverley anywhere, but there was zero speculation, change of topic, or anything other than respect emanating from the Dallas broadcast.  That's one benefit of having such a skilled and tenured duo in the booth and a calm and collected team behind them--they know why they are there, and they know when to step aside.  The poignant memories surrounding what we later learned was the restarting of Peverley's heart are due in large part, I think, to the fact that fans watching and listening to the game were allowed to experience the event as it happened.  We weren't jerked around with false hope that everything was fine when it wasn't, and we weren't misled by a long recounting of possible disasters or previous issues.  The entire broadcast team simply let us watch and listen with them while we all waited to find out if everything was going to be okay.

Today is a good day to remember that, even if Rich Peverley doesn't play another game, everything was okay.  Peverley is doing fine, all things considered, and I'm grateful that we got to experience the joy of his recovery and return to normalcy along with him, just as we were guided through the harrowing moments of his cardiac episode by the calm and measured demeanor of the entire broadcast team.  Sports broadcasting is a job that looks like the easiest one in the world one moment, then seems almost impossibly daunting when something like this comes up.  We should be proud of Jason Walsh and the entire team who didn't give in to that frantic need to be first, to get you the scoop on what was happening.

Just something to think about during those sans-play-by-play broadcasts of a preseason game in Florida.  How spoiled we all will be once the entire crew is back up and running again, eh?

* * * * *

Thursday Links already?  Well, shut my mouth and call me luggage!

The Stars won last night, you know.  Who had Dallas shooters going 1-4?  Again, it would be nice to start seeing some more success in the shootout, but at least Spezza and Hemsky have both demonstrated their ability to discover the interconnected mesh backing.  The goaltenders have been doing their jobs, too, which is good.  Here's the post game recap from Mark Stepneski.  [Stars]

Heika breaks down last night's win, too.  Rynnas didn't seem to worry Ruff too much, for the record. [DMN]

More national media coverage for Dallas, as SportsNet stopped by for a little team overview.  The best part is the poll that ends with this statement: "Will Jason Spezza play at a point-per-game pace like he has throughout his NHL career?"  [SportsNet]

Phillipe Desrosiers gets a lovin' spoonful from THN, in this cool piece about his record-breaking shutout streak in the QMJHL.  There's also a comparison to Brodeur's puck handling in this piece, which continues the trend of pretending like Marty Turco never did anything to revolutionize goalie puck handling.  [THN]

In case you missed it the other night, Mike Heika did a nice writeup on Jason Dickinson's time with Dallas before his inevitable return to high sc--er, juniors.  [DMN]

Time for everyone to characterize the Avs as a non-fancy stat team?  It's not really that shocking that some former players are reluctant to accept certain relatively advanced measurements as a useful means for evaluating player performance, though.  I highly doubt that the Avs have their head in the sand as completely as this article makes it sound.  Maybe they have some super-secret shot quality measurement that we'll all discover in fifty years.  To quote J.P.: "Hey, it could happen."  Also, it would be great fun if they became the new Toronto.  [Pro Hockey Talk]

Did the Jets almost trade Evander Kane to the Flyers?  Bob McKenzie certainly thinks so.  [TSN Video]

Derek Stepan is the latest high-level player to suffer a serious injury, breaking his fibula (a lower leg bone for you liberal arts majors).  He'll be out at least 4-6 weeks.  The freak fracture happened without contact during a conditioning drill.  What is going on this year?  [Blueshirt Banter]

And it turns out Dr. Pavel was more like Dr. Nick when it came to assessing injuries, as Datsyuk's shoulder will keep him out for 4-5 weeks.  That's a loss for everyone, honestly.  [Winging It in Motown]

Boston's cap issues are well-documented, but not perhaps as thoroughly done in one place as in this article.  I still want Boychuk in Dallas, but that's probably not going to happen before the season gets going, I'm finally accepting.  [The Hockey Writers]

Why 24-7 may have been due for a makeover (or a burial).  [THN]

Embarrassing, shameful, disgusting...pick a word and get indignant about this gaffe by an employee with the Vancouver Sun.  Someone captioned a photo of Jordan Subban with the phrase, "Dark guy in the middle," and it made it to print.  Yeah, that's not funny.  Even if you're just using that as a placeholder before the actual caption gets put in--which it obviously never did--there's no reason to be screwing around with stupid descriptions like that in print media in any context.  [Puck Daddy]

Would you like to watch Scotty Bowman talk about how the World Cup of Hockey will end NHL participation in the Olympics?  Notice how I asked you first but included the link before hearing your answer.  [Sportsnet]

And another thing -- every smarmy announcer or writer loves to refer to the whole trapezoid abomination as the "Brodeur rule, huh huh huh!" despite the fact that Turco had just a few years prior to its institution set the modern GAA record (with thanks to the Stars defense as well) and completely reinvented goaltender puck handling as something more scientific and teachable than the Brodeur mystique.  Am I being lavish with my praise?  Whatever.  But as we watch the spiraling melodrama of Brodeur's inability to go gently into that good night, let's not forget about another fantastic puck-handling goalie that changed the game for the better before the trapezoid rule changed the game for the worse.


LET THE GOALIES GO, GARY.