ESPN Shows Its Hockey Ignorance … Again

It’s not news to any hockey fan that the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” know absolutely nothing about hockey, nor do they care about anything that goes on in the NHL.

I understand the NHL has far fewer fans than the NBA, the NFL, or MLB, but it’s still a major sport not only in this country but around the world. So there is absolutely no excuse for the ignorance Stephen A. Smith spewed on ESPN Monday.

Smith was asked which streak, the Miami Heat’s 14-game winning streak or the Chicago Blackhawks’ 22-game point streak, was more impressive. His reasoning was ungodly stupid and very revealing of how deep ESPN analysts’ NHL ignorance goes.

It’s obvious Smith hasn’t watched or read anything about the NHL since April 4th, 2004 … because he would know that there are no longer ties in the NHL.

The Blackhawks’ record (as of today) is 19-0-3. The three stands for overtime losses (OTL), in which a team either losses in overtime or a shootout.

Smith is right about the losing team in overtime earning one point, while the winning team in OT earns two, but that doesn’t mean no one won or lost the game or that the victory is any less impressive, as Smith implies.

The Heat’s 14-game streak is a franchise record, while the Blackawks’ streak is an NHL record. You may not like that the losing team in OT earns a point, but completely discrediting the fact that no modern NHL team has done what the ‘Hawks have done is asinine.

It is even stupider to think that it’s harder to win 14 games in a row in the NBA than it is to amass a 22-point streak in the NHL when being dominant in the NHL is a lot more difficult than it is in the NBA.

Since 1999, Detroit and New Jersey are the only two NHL teams with multiple championships, each only winning two in this time period.

Since 1999, in the NBA, the Lakers (5), San Antonio (4),  and Miami (2) have all won multiple championships.

In the past decade or so, the amount of competitive teams with a chance of winning the Stanley Cup has skyrocketed. It’s almost impossible to be as dominant in the NHL as it is in the NBA because of this increased competition.

I don’t even know why ESPN allowed Stephen A. Smith to talk about hockey, but I guess that’s what happens when you only have one knowledgeable hockey person on your lineup.

ESPN, would you like my friends and I to come to Bristol and explain to all of your analysts how hockey works? Because even though you consider yourself the “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” it’s obvious you don’t care about anything other than the NBA, NFL, and MLB.

And, you know what? That’s fine. I don’t need ESPN to validate hockey as a great sport.

But if you can’t at least discuss hockey intelligently the few times it gets your attention, you might as well just ignore it altogether.

About Tyler Juranovich

Tyler Juranovich is an Indiana native, a Ball State student, and a senior writer for MSF, where he's been writing about Chicago sports since 2009. His favorite teams are the Chicago Blackhawks and Bears. He's also a lover of reading, music, and movies. Follow him on Twitter (@tylerjuranovich) or email him at


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