A long time ago I made the decision to switch to RDS because my national broadcaster has provided inferior coverage of the Habs. It is abundantly clear where CBC's preferences lie, all the moreso when those preferences are being pursued at the expense of my team, to make my team's players look bad, seem amateurish, and undeserving of whatever successes they achieve.
After watching the overtime win last night, I flipped over to CBC to catch some post-game analysis from the English commentators. What I heard from Don Cherry was beyond the pale. He claimed that the Boston Bruins were "jobbed" and had "9000 penalties" called against them, none too subtly implying that the referees were out to hand victory to the Canadiens. The reality is much different. Through regulation, each time was assessed 7 penalties, and each enjoyed a 5-on-3 opportunity (both situations not without controversy). There were a number of clear violations which were not penalized--we not once heard Don Cherry railing the non-call on the blatant two-handed cross-check into the back of Tomas Plekanec, just for one example--and a handful of infractions that would not have been called in the pre-season that were called penalties tonight.
Alleging a CBC bias against the Habs is nothing new nor revolutionary. There has been ample fodder provided by CBC coverage for years now to build a case of open favouritism towards the Toronto Maple Leafs--few of us who saw it will ever forget the occasion where Bob Cole referred to Joe Sakic as "Mats Sundin" during a play. What we witnessed last night took it a step further. I cannot speak to anything said about Bob Cole's commentary during the game--I was watching the RDS broadcast--but Cherry's post-game rant is evidence of not only a bias for Toronto, but an anti-Canadiens animus at the upper levels of Hockey Night in Canada. It was embarrassing to watch, though no doubt Mr. Cherry feels not one ounce of shame nor remorse for his tirade. I cannot believe that our national broadcaster would acquiesce or tolerate the open degradation of a Canadian hockey team that is supported and cheered by millions of people in this country because Cherry holds a grudge running almost thirty years after the end of his coaching career. Cherry and I have some common ground when it comes to a passion for hockey and supporting Canada's troops in Afghanistan, but that is pretty much where the shared perspectives end. I cannot possibly support what I saw last night, and I seriously hope that CBC gives some consideration to installing commentators who can provide some measure of impartiality when it comes to providing analysis of a hockey game involving their favourite team.
Go Habs Go!