Posts Tagged ‘Gene Hart’

Philly Pressbox Radio 2016 Broadcaster HOF Ballot

In Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phillies, Philly Pressbox, Philly Pressbox Radio on August 11, 2016 at 7:41 am

Photo PPBR


As part of out 3rd Hall of Fame Class Philly Pressbox Radio is adding a new category, broadcasters. This first ballot is loaded with Philly broadcast legends. Bill Campbell, Gene Hart, Harry Kalas and Merrill Reese. You only get to pick one. Voting will last for 1 week. Attached is a link from our 8/10/16 show where Chet and Bill provide a thumbnail breakdown on each candidate. This review starts about the 30 minute mark. Enjoy!!!


“View from the Philly Pressbox” – Flyers-Penguins, Game 6, The Clincher

In Philadelphia Flyers on April 23, 2012 at 5:35 pm

In today’s “View from the Philly Pressbox” we look at the Flyers dominating, 5-1, series closeout, victory over the Penguins in Game 6 of the 1st Round at the Wells Fargo Center, Sunday afternoon.

In our series preview we identified the four keys for the Flyers to win the series and they didn’t change throughout the series.

  • ·        Don’t fall behind early in games
  • ·        Ilya Bryzgalov
  • ·        Staying out of the penalty box
  • ·        Stay healthy

Don’t fall behind early in games. The team that scored first in the first five games of the series had lost the game. Claude Giroux and the Flyers would have none of that in Game 6. Giroux started the game with a bone crushing hit on Sidney Crosby, 5 seconds in to the game, that set the tone. Giroux completed his shift by shooting a laser shot, just inside the pipe at the :32 second mark. The route was on! The Flyers fought off a Danny Brier high sticking penalty at the 2:08 mark and then put their lethal power plant to work. With Matt Cooke off for interference, Scott Hartnell poked a goal past Marc-Andre Fleury to make it 2-0. Giroux and Jakub Voracek added assists at the 13:01 mark. The period ended with 10 shots for the Flyers and 9 for the Penguins. The Penguins were buzzing throughout the period but it was very clear from the start of the game that there would be no lead change in this game. The Flyers were in a defensive lock-down mode from the drop of the fist puck.  This was the type of period that we had been expecting all series long.

Ilya Bryzgalov – Bryzgalov stopped 30 of 31 shots in the game and never wavered. He played well. The only goal he allowed was a screen shot by Evgeni Malkin that he had little chance of stopping. Bryz, along an outstanding team defensive effort, never wavered throughout the game. He was solid.

This was an interesting series for goaltenders. Bryz, and the Flyers, allowed 26 goals, while Fleury, and the Penguins, allowed 30 goals. Bryzgalov and Fleury were both under fire in this series and both replaced during the series once, but we know that these are both quality goalies. If ever you could say that hockey is a “team” game that has to be played by everyone on the ice, it was this series. When the total team effort was put in play, by the Penguins in Game 5 and the Flyers in Game 6, the goalies showed their stuff.

Stay Healthy – James Van Riemsdyk was back in the lineup again for the second straight game after missing a good part of the season with various injuries.  JVR saw only 6:46 seconds of ice time in his second game back. His return to full action is still a work in progress.

Nick Grossman was unable to play again due to an “upper body injury”. Grossman has been a big part of the defense down the stretch and a very important member of the blue liners. However, Grossman being out may have been a blessing in disguise for the Flyers. With Grossman out, Peter Laviolette didn’t have to make a decision regarding which defenseman to scratch. That left rookie Eric Gustaffson in the lineup. Gus responded with his first career playoff goal, logged the third most minutes of any defenseman, 22:09, blocked a team high seven shots and tallied a +3 for the game. Gustaffson’s ability to step in and play well against Malkin and Sidney Crosby allowed the ice time to be spread out among Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle, Kimmo Timonen and Andreas Lilja more evenly. Pavel Kubina saw only 4:31 second of ice time. Tired players make mistakes and the Flyers couldn’t afford mistakes on the back end in this game.

With the Flyers earning a few days rest, awaiting their next opponent, there will be a better chance of getting Grossman back for Round 2. Also, more time may allow the Flyers to get Andrej Meszaros back from injury as well. It will be a big boost to get both of these guys back. Lavey could have tough, but good, decisions to make.

Staying out of the penalty box will be critical. The Flyers were whistled for five minor penalties in the game, with one resulting in the Malkin goal. Moving forward in the playoffs, the Flyers must remain disciplined and stay out of the box. Five penalties, not many in a regular season game, are too many in a playoff game. The Penguins were charged with three minor penalties, resulting in one Flyer power play goal. On the flip side, the Flyers penalty kill combinations were excellent. Forwards Max Talbot, Giroux and Matt Read, along with defenseman Coburn, Carle and Timonen were all over the ice, smothering the Penguins power play.

Special Teams is always critical in the playoffs. The Flyers held the advantage in 5 of the 6 games of the series, including Game 6. For the series, the Flyers scored on 11 of 23 power play opportunities, an unbelievable 47.8%. The league average is slightly above 20%. They added 3 shorthanded goals as well.

Following the Game 5 loss in Pittsburgh, Scott Hartnell stated, “Five-on-five, we got badly outplayed, badly outscored; now we’ve got to regroup.” The Flyers did exactly that, scoring three even strength goals as well as an empty net goal. Just as importantly, the Flyers did not allow a Penguins an even strength goal. They held Crosby to only three shots and a -3 for the game. Crosby was held to zero points in the last two games of the series. Malkin managed a total of six shots and a -1 while logging the most ice time of any forward in the game, 27:43.

The reason for the Flyers success in Game 6 was a total team lock down defense that started with the first dropped puck. The Flyers blocked a total of 40 shots to go along with Bryzgalov’s 30 saves. The fore-checking and back-checking was outstanding. Sean Couturier’s work on Malkin was tremendous throughout the series. Malkin did score three goals in the series but he earned them. His frustration with Couturier was evident early in the series and got worse, or better depending on who you were rooting for, as the series went on. It was an outstanding effort by the rookie.

Our prediction was the Flyers in 6 games. We hit it right on the nose. I can’t say it happened anywhere close to how we expected it but the result is the same. We expected to see six games played like the last two. The Penguins took themselves out of the series early by deciding that hitting, clean and dirty, was more important than scoring goals. Their early series antics cost them the first three games and ultimately the series. It was also interesting the response from Penguins coach Dan Bylsma, “I want to congratulate the Flyers organization on the series win but, I really can’t wish them good luck though.”  That classless attitude fom the coach is the same one that his team brought to the series and the same one they’ll carry with them as the losing team. Leadership starts at the top and this is a good indication of the Penguins leadership.

While the Penguins were suffering from leadership problems the Flyers leadership was just starting to show its face in the name of Claude Giroux. Peter Laviolette said this following the game about Giroux,  “When the best player in the world comes up to you and says, ‘I don’t know who you’re planning on starting, but I want that first shift,’ that says everything you need to know about Claude Giroux right there.” He added, “His game tonight was monstrous. He was so adamant he wanted that first shift. He wanted to make a statement. You see the skill, but sometimes you don’t hear that, you don’t know that, you don’t get that feel for him. Or maybe you do, but we do. For him to come up and say that, that speaks volumes for him – not just as a player but as a person.” Briere added, “About 10 seconds before they dropped the puck, he came over and told me, ‘Watch the first shift. He set the tone. That first shift, that was beautiful to see. That’s the sign of a great leader.” However the most telling compliment may have come from Timonen who stated, “We talked about getting off to a good start. He got us off to a great start. To me, he’s the best player in the league right now.”

Lastly, it’s tough to talk about individual play in a series like this because you will always miss guys that played well, however, we would be remiss to not talk about the goal scoring of Briere, 5 goals, the overall play of Jaromir Jagr, Hartnell, Talbot and the rookies, Couturier, Read, Brayden Shenn, an empty net goal, and Eric Wellwood. Most importantly was the play of Coburn and Carle throughout the series. They logged between 25 and 30 a game, every game of the series. They were a wall on the ice and had very few breakdowns while keeping the high powered Penguins in check. Hats off to them for an outstanding series!!

Finally, hats off to the Flyers fans that had “The Well” rocking every game from the start of the game to the finish. Kate Smith and Lauren Hart can do that to you if you need a boost.

Bring on the next opponent, the Penguins are history, whoever they are! The Flyers will be ready!!

 As Gene Hart would say” GOOD NIGHT and GOOD HOCKEY”

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Philly Broadcast Legends

In Misc Philly Sports, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phillies on January 30, 2012 at 8:06 am

Philly Pressbox originally published this article on January 30, 2012. We’ve been asked to republish it several times by our readers so here it is. We hope you enjoy it. Feel free to comment.

With the passing of Penn State legendary coach Joe Paterno this week it was somewhat lost in the news of the passing of a Philadelphia legend Andy Musser. Musser was often below the radar in the Phillies broadcast booth from 1976 – 2001that was full of larger than life personalities but Andy was a true professional, a gentleman and a man that could broadcast any sport and do a great job of it. Many people know Andy from those Phillies years but he also broadcasted the Eagles from 1965-68 and the 76ers from 1965-71. That’s 34 Philadelphia sports season in the books for Andy. Great Job!!

Andy’s passing made me think about the broadcasters that we’ve had in Philadelphia over the years. Do you realize that if you were born after 1955 you had never heard a Phillies game that was not broadcasted by a Hall of Famer? When I first started watching and listening to Phillies baseball it was Bill Campbell, Rich Ashburn and By Saam. All are HOF members in their own way. Campbell as a broadcaster in the Basketball HOF, Ashburn as a player in the Baseball HOF and the legendary By Saam as a broadcaster in the Baseball HOF. Saam called Phillies games from 1939-49 and again from 1955-1975. Campbell was replaced by Harry Kalas and another 38 years of broadcasting from a Baseball HOF member. Add to that the one year stints of Hall of Fame players Robin Roberts in ’76 and Mike Schmidt in ’90 and “The Box” was loaded with All Stars. Another long time member of “The Box” is Chris Wheeler who just completed his 34th season with the Phillies as well as Musser and his 25 years.

Moving on to the Flyers, people my age learned the game of hockey by Hall Of Famer Gene Hart. Hart was a Flyers broadcaster the initial 67-68 season and then full time from 1971-1992. Who will ever forget Gene calling the games of the Broad Street Bullies and the Stanley Cups? The Hart legacy lives in with his daughter Lauren singing the National Anthem and God Bless America at all home games. Here’s an interesting Flyer broadcast fact for you, during the 1970-71 season Flyers Sunday games were broadcast by former Phillies 1st baseman and later National League Commissioner Bill White. White was the first black to announce an NHL game. The Chief, Bobby Taylor spent 16 seasons, Gary Dornhoefer 14 and now Jim Jackson has been bringing us games since 1993. Maybe HOF will be in JJ’s future one day.

The Eagles Merrill Reese, although not a Hall of Famer at this time, has been broadcasting games on radio since 1977 and does he do a great job? How many of you have turned down the TV to listen to Merrill do the play-by-play along with his many color commentators, Herb Adderly, yes the HOF player, Bill Bergey, Stan Walters and now Mike Quick call the game the way it should be called. Tracing way back to 1940 By Saam was doing the games up until 1955, minus the 50 and 51 seasons when Bill Campbell took over. Campbell called the games until 1964. In ‘64 Saam was back for one last year working with Campbell and former Eagle Tom Brookshier. Musser took over from 1965–1968. Charlie Swift covered from 1969-77 and Reese joined Swift in 1977 until now. What a run of great announcers! Did you know that future Baseball HOF broadcaster Jack Buck did Eagles games in 1961? Anyone who was able to go to games at Franklin Field and the early days at The Vet will never forget the booming voice of PA announcer Matt Goukas Sr. who handled the duties from 1953-1985. Goukas was legendary! His call of 2nd down and niooooooon (2nd & 9) is still in my head after all this years. Amazingly enough when Goukas retired Dan Baker took over and he has been the PA voice of the Eagles ever since not to mention handing the same duties with the Phillies since 1972 and doing Big 5 basketball from 1977-1989. Baker has been a busy man in Philadelphia.

Speaking of PA announcers we can’t forget “The Zink”, Dave Zinkoff. Zink was with the Philadelphia Warriors and then the 76ers from 1946-1985. Zink had many favorites but “Dipper Dunk” for Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Errrrrrrrrrrving and Moses Maaaaaaaaaaalone have to be at the top of the list. Of course we can’t forget Bill Campbell again. Campbell along with his work with the Eagles and Phillies called Warriors games from 1946–1962 and 76ers games from 1972-1981. Andy Musser followed and Mark Zumoff has been holding it down since 1994.

There can’t be another city that can say that they’ve had a run with broadcasters and announcers that Philly has had. From Saam to Campbell to Ashburn to Kalas to Musser to Hart to Goukas to Zinkoff to Baker to the present day guys of Reese, Wheeler, Zumoff  and Jackson it’s been quite a run. The bar has been set very high.

As Gene Hart would say, “Good Night and Good Hockey”!!!

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