It's 1-0 Sharks over Vancouver after the first period. Riley Armstrong with the goal. But that's not what I'm writing about.
A comment I've made before is how we in the San Francisco Bay Area have been fortunate over the decades in the number of terrific announcers we have enjoyed and continue to enjoy. Isn't it time we included Dan Rusanowsky on the list?
Although he doesn't have the greatest voice, Rusanowsky is an excellent broadcaster. He knows and loves the game, but doesn't over-announce by trying to fill every millisecond with sound and fury. Neither a homer nor a Negative Ned, Rusanowsky concentrates on reporting what's taking place, occasionally stepping back to offer perspective or historical tidbits and then getting back to the action.
And then there's Jamie Baker.
Baker is that rarest of broadcasters: a genuine character. Quick-witted to the point of zany, Baker shifts seamlessly between genuinely insightful commentary when appropriate, never stepping over the action for the sake of getting his bit in, and playing to perfection the needling loose cannon to Rusanowsky's ultra-straight man. He is like a shot of oxygen in a stuffy room. Baker is also extremely honest to the point of being harsh on players and teams he sees as underperforming.
One of the more memorable moments in Sharks broadcast history came during the year Drew Remenda was away from the team working on Hockey Night In Canada. He came by the Tank one evening, and stopped by the pre-game radio show to say hi. He and Baker started talking about the season so far and different players around the league, both going progressively faster as the they became two kids excitedly proclaiming the greatness of a given television show or video game. Rusanowsky contributed little to the conversation, but this was no sign of his being disinterested. He couldn't have gotten a word in edgewise if he wanted to.
Now if Una Mas and Orchard Supply Hardware would kindly make some new commercials as they're still running the same ones from last season. Ah well.
Back at the game, it's now 2-1 Vancouver in the second with about eight minutes left. Both goals (Bernier and Daniel Sedin) were on the power play.