Game Summary - Game 80: Goodbye, Farewell and Potvin

By Luke Peristy

The play-by-play announcer and colour commentator are the most ubiquitous parts of watching sports on television, which means it's easy to take for granted the effect they have on one's viewing experience. A good commentary team can take a bad game and make it watchable. A bad commentary team can do the reverse. A great commentary team can take any game and make it memorable, and sometimes they don't even have to be drunk the whole time like Howard Cosell.

There's a couple of play-by-play announcing teams that will always stick out in my mind. Growing up, I absorbed as much of the lore of the 1972 Summit Series as I could possibly get my hands on, and because of that Foster Hewitt and Brian Conacher are forever entrenched in my mind as the voices of old-timey hockey. In the NFL, Pat Summerall's deadpan play-by-play was the perfect counterpoint to John Madden's exuberant analysis. Say what you will about Bob Cole, but there's few other voices in sports that so effectively match the excitement in the building they're broadcasting from. Bob Cole and Harry Neale were the broadcasting team for many of my (worst) childhood hockey memories, so much so that, as Chet Sellers once memorably put it, "I expect him to narrate my murder." Only Orson Welles ranks higher than Bob Cole on my Voices That I Immediately Associate With Impending Doom Power Rankings.

For years, Dean Brown has been the voice of weekday night Sens hockey, and since 2010, Denis Potvin has been by his side providing the sort of insight that only a former player suffering from frequent acid flashbacks can provide.

He doesn't even know where he is right now.
Sens fans have invited Dean and Denis into their homes ~50 times a year or more, and while I can't speak for all of you, to me they feel like family in the sense that they never shut up and let me get a word in edgewise. 

Tonight is the last time they'll be visiting. I'm going to miss hearing one of Dean's many catchphrases, or listening to Denis tell a story during a blowout about what it was like sharing a hooker hotel room with Mike Bossy in the 80s. I don't know who's going to be calling Senators games next year, but I do know that they will have some very large microphones to fill. (That's what you do with microphones, right? You fill them? I'm just a blogger, here...) 

One way or another, Dean and Denis have touched all of us.

So, thanks for everything, guys. You're welcome to watch a game at my place any time. (Bring beer.)

To the game!

1st Period

18:23 - With the puck loose in the Cory Schneider's crease for what seems like an eternity, the Senators are unable to bang it home. Dean Brown doesn't yell "Scramble!", clearly expecting an opportunity to yell "Scores!" that never comes.

11:42 - Ottawa gives up their first shot against on the third shorthanded 2-on-1 they've allowed. Probably part of Paul Maclean's controversial "Giving up odd-man rushes is fine, but giving up shots is bad." strategy.

7:03 - Ottawa has had two powerplays so far, but don't have much to show for it. This is a good metaphor for their [play/season/existence] (delete as appropriate).

6:02 - New Jersey generates the best chance of the game: a slap pass to Travis Zajac in the slot. Luckily, the shot from Zajac's off. Go on, say it out loud... *Runs away*

5:18 - Mark Stone shows great anticipation to intercept a New Jersey D-to-D pass, but can't beat Schneider. Denis Potvin points out that Mark Stone has had a great 1st period so far, which is true, but I can't help but feel that if he were really that great, he'd be playing on Spezza's wing.

2:25 - Turris, Ceci, and MacArthur show off some beautiful puck movement, but MacArthur can't finish the play. Look, Clarke, just because you've scored the most goals ever in your career this year, doesn't mean you have to stop!

0:29 - Jaromir Jagr walks around a bunch of Senators before being denied by Lehner. Sens players, of course, are used to being embarrassed by 40+ year olds because it used to happen to them all the time in practice before Alfie left.

The best thing Denis Potvin said during the 1st Period: "He had to survive lockouts and three years in the KHL!" - Denis Potvin acknowledging the hardships that Jaromir Jagr has suffered through.

2nd Period

15:18 - I am reminded that Anton Volchenkov plays for the New Jersey Devils now. He is likely the most popular Russian in Senators history, which is kind of like being the most popular Russian in Finland.

14:42 - Ottawa gives up a 2-on-0, but Robin Lehner just stares New Jersey down until they back off. Have fun with those contract negotiations, Bryan Murray!

9:55 - Hey, Martin Brodeur! What do you think of this game so far?

In fairness, it's not that the game's been that boring so much as it's past Old Man Brodeur's bed time.

9:12 - Even Martin Brodeur perks up briefly as Ales Hemsky is awarded a penalty shot. Hemsky misses, of course, but something nearly happening counts as a game event tonight.

8:40 - Mike Hoffman and Mika Zibanejad run a little give-and-go resulting in a Mike Hoffman goal. 1 - 0 Ottawa. Chris Neil is also on the ice on the play. I'm not sure why, but hopefully an enterprising broadcaster will tell me.

2:34 - Michael Ryder scores for New Jersey on a delayed penalty. 1 - 1 People whose names sound like they were randomly generated by NHL 14 are scoring on Ottawa, now. That's how far this season has fallen.

The best thing Denis Potvin said during the 2nd Period: "Chris Neil is on that line to mentor Zibanejad and Hoffman." - Denis Potvin on Chris Neil's contribution to Ottawa's first goal

3rd Period

Dean Brown as told by Sens fans:

With 5 minutes remaining in the game, I wouldn't mind one more big "SCORES!" from Dean any time now.

1:40 - Patrick Wiercioch makes like Jaromir Jagr and grows a beard goes grey becomes ageless goes to the KHL skates through a few guys, but can't make anything come of the play.

0:12 - Robin Lehner makes a sprawling glove save to maintain the tie. Lehner's been great ever since his agent reminded him that he's an RFA this summer. And by agent, I mean Robin Lehner told himself that in the mirror. Robin Lehner does his own negotiating, thank you very much...


1:37 - Chris Phillips has a chance to end it from right in front of the New Jersey net, but can't convert, I guess because this isn't Game 6. Or 2003.

Shootout - Erik Karlsson is a hockey player who plays for the Ottawa Senators, so the Ottawa Senators won the shootout.

Sens Win 2 - 1 (SO)!

The best thing Denis Potvin said after the game: "I've been broadcasting a long time, and these last four years have been absolutely fabulous...It's been a wonderful time."

The Wisdom

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