The New York Rangers have played three games thus far on national television, out of a total of 15 nationally broadcasted games for the 2022-23 season.
To speak truthfully, they have been the three most painful games to watch thus far; and that includes their losses to San Jose and Columbus that were broadcasted on MSG Networks.
Following their loss to the New York Islanders on Wednesday, the Rangers will play yet another game on national “TV” on November 3rd.
Why the quotation marks, you ask? The game on November 3rd – a home game against the Boston Bruins – is set to be broadcasted on ESPN+ and Hulu, and only on those streaming services.
What makes them so bad?
When assembling the broadcasting teams, ESPN and their affiliates made some questionable decisions that had some puzzled why certain broadcasters were chosen over others.
Play-by-play callers Sean McDonough, John Buccigross, and Bob Wischusen as well as color commentators Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher have not been able to capture the audience in my personal opinion.
They seem out of touch with the audience, often not providing any useful insight and merely acting as noise for the game.
No breakdowns of plays, no deep analysis, and no fantastic wordplay. Just noise.
Additionally, it is easily discernible that the broadcasting is not always unbiased, especially when it comes to Massachusetts boy Sean McDonough covering Bruins games.
Furthermore, the ex-Ranger and one-time face of the franchise Mark Messier can be found on the intermission crew. Some might think that his favoritism would cater to Rangers fans.
Yet there is clear evidence from past situations that Messier has wanted a job in the Rangers organization, specifically a head coaching position.
With Rangers brass opting to go in a different direction, there seems to be a bit of bad blood between Messier and the Rangers organization, causing some noticeable venom in his words when discussing the team.
The MSG broadcasts
In regards to the broadcasts on the MSG Networks, it is obvious that they will never generate as many views as nationally televised games.
However, Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti are much more charismatic, with the ability to capture the dynamics of each moment and provide some nostalgia for some of the more long-time fans.
Are they perfect? No, not quite (see Sam calling Vincent Trocheck the name of former Ranger Frank Vatrano). Neither are the nationally broadcasted games, might I add.
Are they completely unbiased? Well no, it is a regional broadcast, so that is to be expected.
Perhaps that is the point. They are not biased, and instead, help to imitate the love for the Rangers that so many fans share.
Fans are not expecting an unbiased broadcast when they tune into MSG. They are, however, anticipating Sam and Joe giving the rundown on both teams before the game starts, as well as players to watch for the matchup.
They are expecting John Giannone and Bill Pidto to give an overview of each period. They are expecting Steve Valiquette to provide some obscure stat, as well as a little humor to boot.
This is what Rangers fans are looking for when they tune in to support their team each night.
So please, enough with the games on ESPN, ABC, TNT, ESPN+, and Hulu.