ESPN tried to talk about Bruins-Blues, leading to calamity of errors

Alex Reimer
June 07, 2019 - 11:57 am

ESPN attempted Friday to talk about the Blues’ controversial Game 5 victory over the Bruins. The results were disastrous. 

The calamity of errors climaxed at Mike Greenberg’s “Get Up” anchor table, which looks like a cozy and conversational place where pundits are apparently free to spout inanity about subjects they know absolutely nothing about (in other words, it’s akin to the WEEI studio space, minus the “cozy” part). While reacting to Tyler Bozak’s trip of Noel Acciari, former Duke great Jay Williams put the blame on the Bruins’ forward, saying he embellished the contact.

“That kind of looked like a flop watching the replay over and over,” Williams said. “He hits him, and then it’s not until after he gets hit –– it’s a two- or three-second delay, and then he flails back.”

It’s hard to decipher what Williams is talking about, since people don’t usually go down until after they are hit. That’s how gravity works. But for some reason, Williams was using Acciari’s perfectly natural reaction as evidence the forward flopped on the play. If Williams believes Acciari was embellishing, one can only imagine what he thinks when watching NBA stars tumble to the ground after simply getting breathed on. 

But to give Williams credit, at least he named the correct Bruins player. In a highlight package, the anchor misidentified defenseman “John Moore” as “Charlie Coyle.”

The two players, of course, have absolutely nothing in common –– besides the team they play for. 

In defense of ESPN anchors and producers, they aren’t expected to run hockey highlights all season. So it shouldn’t be surprising they are a little out of practice when the Stanley Cup Final rolls around, and suddenly the NHL appears on their radar.

But the same excuse does not apply to ESPN’s lead hockey analyst Barry Melrose, who’s purportedly watching games all year long. Melrose strangely said Acciari “quit” once Bozak slew-footed him, and then said the Bruins gave up afterwards, even though Torey Krug broke up David Perron’s first shot on net. 

The puck just took a bad bounce, allowing Perron another opportunity, which he buried. But those details didn’t factor into Melrose’s curious analysis. 

“The Boston Bruins quit playing,” he said. “The puck wound up on the St. Louis Blues’ stick, and the puck wound up going in. It was a terrible way for this game to be decided.”

Melrose is right on that point: the sequence was a terrible way for the game to be decided. The only thing worse is watching ignoramuses talk about it afterwards. 

Hat tip to Michael Hurley