New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello
Photo by Bergen Record

The New York Rangers earned home ice advantage with a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh, but NBC’s bias made the game hard to watch at times.

By Chris Wengert

I’d bet that a majority of New York Rangers‘ fans share a similar routine when they watch their beloved team take to the ice.

They put on their lucky jersey, sit on that one spot on the couch that they must have, or perhaps wear a specific hat.

They then pour a cold beverage and turn on the television.

But that is when it happens.

The anxiety starts to creep up from your stomach and reverberates up through your spine.

No, that anxiety isn’t coming from the anticipation of the game.

That anxiety creeps up once you hear the NBC Hockey theme being played.

The New York Rangers may have earned a huge victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins yesterday afternoon, but the viewing experience itself was tough for Blueshirt fans to stomach.

The reason? A blatantly biased NBC broadcast that presents a less than desirable situation for New York fans.

As I have stated before, I’m not one for conspiracy theories. I don’t think the National Hockey League has a “screw the Rangers button”, Gary Bettman doesn’t push an agenda, and  Bigfoot doesn’t exist.

Ok, Bigfoot may exist…

But you have to wonder if an NBC agenda is being pushed when Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire are handed their microphones.

Oh, and then there is Mike Milbury.

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For the record, I think Doc Emrick is one of the best play-by-play announcers in sports and he should exempt from any allegation of bias.

But as soon the NBC’s Saturday Game 2 broadcast began, the Pittsburgh Penguin propaganda was spewed all over the T.V. screen.

Pictures and clips of Sidney Crosby were on full display, and Evgeni Malkin‘s mug was featured.

A little bit was made of Henrik Lundqvist‘s eye injury, but that was quickly glazed over.

But those little things are not even what give Rangers’ fans heartburn. It’s the commentary during the games that presents the undeniable bias in Pittsburgh’s favor.

Forget that whenever NBC cut to a commercial break they showed a graphic of Crosby.

At one point Doc Emrick even laughed and made a “What do you think’s comming” comment when NBC was going to break and a shot of Crosby popped onto the screen.

But that wasn’t even the worst of it. Eddie Olczyk, the former New York Ranger and Pittsburgh Penguin, is the worst culprit.

Derick Brassard scored a goal in the second period that put the Rangers up 2-1, but the tally was accompanied by some controversy.

The Pens challenged that Brassard was off sides and the review commenced.

NBC showed multiple angles of the play and Olczyk expressed his opinion that the play should be reversed.

But Olyzyk’s comments sounded like they were rooted in anything but normal anaylsys. It sounded like fandom.

This above clip doesn’t show the worst of Olczyk’s bias.

Forget that NBC never gives the Rangers any commendation or praise, because New York fans can deal with that.

Forget the passive-aggressive Ranger bashing that Mike Milbury presents almost every intermission. In the rare instances that Milbury does give credit to New York, he looks to be in agony.

When an entire broadcast is centered around one team, be it the Pittsburgh Penguins or Washington Capitals, how can one not come to the conclusion that NBC has an agenda.

They would absolutely love to see a Washington/Pittsburgh series.

But who would they give more air time between Crosby and Alex Ovechkin?

We know one thing is for sure. It certainly won’t be the New York Rangers on the screen when NBC goes to commercial.

Bring on Sam Rosen and Joe Micheletti.

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I've been a die hard Rangers and Giants fan for as long as I can remember. I enjoy sharing opinions, and hearing from fans that love their teams just as much as I do. Henrik Lundqvist makes all of us look like mere mortals. E-mail me at: