What is your favorite radio or TV call from a moment in hockey history?
Sean Leahy, NHL writer: The Devils may have won the 2003 Stanley Cup, but my lasting memory will be from Game 6 as the Ducks looked to force a Game 7.
At 6:26 of the second period, Kariya took a big hit from Scott Stevens and remains motionless on the ice for several minutes. He was helped to the dressing room but returned later in the period as the Ducks held a 3-1 lead. As New Jersey took the puck up ice, a turnover saw Anaheim head the other way, with Kariya receiving a pass in the neutral in full stride. As he crossed the blue line into the Devils’ zone he wound up and ripped a bullet past Martin Brodeur.
It was a huge moment for the Ducks. It gave them a three-goal lead in a game they needed to win. It also provided a huge emotional boost to not only the team, but also the Arrowhead Pond. ESPN’s Gary Thorne then summed up Kariya”s heroics with the great “Off the floor, On the board! Paul Kariya!” call.
James O’Brien, NHL writer: Here I was, getting ready to sheepishly cop to my Gary Thorne love. Well, Sean shows that we should all embrace our Thorne love like Thorne announced: with reckless abandon, and little fear of going over the top.
With Thorne off the board, I can’t help but go with something so obvious … yet something that also happened (redacted for self-esteem) numbers of years before I was born. That’s right, I’m going with Al Michaels “Do you believe in Miracles? YES!” call after the Miracle on Ice 1980 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team pulled off said miracle (on ice, in Lake [Placid]).
You know it’s a great call when it a) served as the title of a syrupy Disney movie on the subject decades later and b) prompted Michaels to discuss the call, and the moment, more decades later. It’s a testament to Michaels that he can keep talking about it over and over again, without it being boring.
Then again, can a miracle be boring?
(Tries to walk on water, nearly drowns, concludes that even attempting a miracle is pretty eventful.)
Jake Abrahams, Managing Editor, NHL content: If there’s nothing like playoff hockey, then there is truly nothing like playoff overtime hockey. And in the spring of 1993, hockey fans were spoiled with what remains a record 28 playoff overtime games.
In this wild and crazy postseason, legendary Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret delivered perhaps his most famous call when 21-year-old Brad May potted the series-clinching goal against Andy Moog and the Bruins:
This had every component of an epic call. The intensity of overtime in a potential series-clinching game. A steady buildup to the play as May deked the last Bruins defender in his path, Ray Bourque. An obvious scoring opportunity that let Jeanerret begin to lean into the moment. A pretty finish by May to complete the series sweep on home ice. And most importantly, the heavy doses of flair and pizzazz that make Jeanneret such a treasure.
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