Boudreau Is Annoyed, and Who Can Blame Him?

Tommy GCorrespondent IMay 11, 2009

HERSHEY, PA - JUNE 11:  Head coach Bruce Boudreau of the Hershey Bears looks on against the Milwaukee Admirals during game four of the 2006 Calder Cup Finals on June 11, 2006 at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Hershey defeated Milwaukee 7-2. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

If you think I’m talking about the Capitals playoff situation, then think again.

But I wouldn’t suggest that he’s not aggravated about that too.

This emotion stems from an encounter with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, May 6.  

It was Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals between the Penguins and the Washington Capitals.

The Capitals organization granted CBC access to their dressing room during period intermissions.  The purpose is to shoot b-roll and maybe catch an interview or two, and it’s not rocket science...but there is a code of ethics involved.

On this day, however, CBC employees decided to ignore it and broadcast Washington’s strategy to beat the Penguins.  Analysts such as Mike Milbury and Kelly Hrudey thoroughly dissected the game plan during intermission.

“Pretty classless act on CBC’s part,” Bruce Boudreau said.

“I mean, we give them access to everything, and for them to do that is really unprofessional. And they’ve been in this game the longest. It’s not right, and whoever was in charge of that should be reprimanded very, very harshly.”

“I don’t think it’s a secret that you want to get the puck deep, and you want to take Malkin and Crosby out of the situation,” he added, “but other than that, it’s just so unprofessional. You allow people access to your room, with the [expectation] that it’s going to be a business situation, and to do that before the game gives the other team an unfair advantage.”

For the Penguins, this was a crucial victory and vice versa. It was an excruciating loss for Bruce Boudreau and his Caps.  They could have jumped to a three game to zero lead in the series, and instead they are presently trailing the series 3-2 against their arch nemesis.

George McPhee, the Capitals general manager, was also disappointed with the mishap by CBC: “They shouldn’t have done it,” he said. “They should know better than to do that. They’ve been talked to.”

In my opinion, it doesn’t matter if the strategy didn’t have any relevance to the games’ outcome,or if it didn’t contain anything but the obvious. 

CBC or any other media company should not be taking advantage of their privileges.

Analysts and other personnel are being paid because of their hockey expertise.  They should be clever enough to develop their own theories. 

It’s their job!

And why aren’t directors and producers questioning all employees down the chain of command before something is broadcast? 

Ron MacLean, of all people, should have been more selective about what goes to air.

This dispute reminds me of why I often wonder how important excessive media interaction is to any sport.  The sole purpose of any network is to broadcast the game. 

In other words, bring the game to its fans.  That’s it, plain and simple.

That’s the cake, but then you have additional material which is the icing.  There’s nothing wrong with icing, and it’s often needed to prevent the cake from looking too plain.   

But when they add too much...it becomes too sweet for our own good.

For example, how necessary are in-game interviews? 

I would assume that discussions between periods would suffice for viewers, but according to media networks...this is not enough.

Can you picture surgeons having to answer questions while they’re operating?

Marketing the game for fans that are sitting on the fence is okay, but not at the expense of the people that don’t need any convincing.

If the media really wants to make games interesting, why not interview members of the crowd? 

Imagine Joe Schmoe giving us his not so well mannered view of the game. 

Television and radio networks could watch their ratings go through the roof while battling the CRTC or FCC. 

Now that’s entertainment.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.