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Hockey, Numbers, and Comedy at RDS

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 1:  Andrei Markov #79 of the Montreal Canadiens waits for a faceoff in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on October 1, 2009 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The Canadiens dfeated the Leafs 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images
Rocket All HabsCorrespondent IOctober 29, 2009

We like to ridicule some "homerific" coverage of NHL teams. NESN and Leafs TV are two of the worst offenders. But in a category all by themselves is RDS. While NESN may present coverage of the game heavily slanted towards the Bruins, RDS warps their broadcast in favor of certain players and against others. We all know who they are.

Golden boy Guillaume Latendresse was applauded by RDS last game for having gone 31 periods without a penalty. Apparently this was more important for us to know than the fact that Latendresse had only scored one goal in 19 games (20 after tonight's game).

Tonight, Francois Gagnon presented a chart comparing Marc-Andre Bergeron with Andrei Markov. Outrageous? Apparently not to RDS.

For fairness, here it is:

(These are post-lockout numbers)





BergeronMarkov






Goals


5244
Power play goals

3528
Power play points

77127
Power play points/5 on 5 points
57%58.50%


Statistics buffs will know that if one selects carefully and narrowly enough, they can make an argument for almost any case.

Gagnon offered the disclaimer that some statistics can be deceiving. No kidding. Like these ones? In that case, why air them?

Why would Gagnon select a narrow range of statistics and present them as if they had meaning, if not to deceive a viewing audience? What purpose did this comparison serve?

Is Gagnon naive enough to not realize that he is only fueling the extreme and bigoted views of the disciples of Bob Sirois?

Does Gagnon not realize that Markov is one of the top five defenseman in the league? Does he not recall that 30 NHL teams passed on offering Bergeron a contract during free agency? Has he forgotten that the only reason that Bergeron is employed by the Canadiens is that they lost two defenseman to injury.

Perhaps he does remember all of these facts, and it was just all in good fun. Really?

For those who like comedy with their hockey, be sure to tune in next game as RDS features Gagnon's comparison of Patrick Traverse to Doug Harvey.

I jest. They wouldn't. Would they? Well up to tonight, I would have never imagined that even RDS would attempt to make a comparison between Bergeron and Markov.

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