Emrick Retiring after 47-year career
When Mike “Doc” Emrick announced his retirement on October 19th, I felt shocked and sad at the same time. You think about how throughout 50 years, he made watching hockey on TV fun. You remember watching your favorite team on NBC or NBC Sports and listening to Emrick commentate throughout the game. His traditional witty remarks and words like “Drive” stay in your mind forever. So, what better way to remember his career is by looking over the most memorable call of all time. It is now the second part of a four-part article series involving these calls. However, there will be limitations, as not every team had a game on NBC networks that featured Doc.
New York Islanders vs. Tampa Bay Lightning: “ISLANDERS WIN! EBERLE HAS SCORED IN DOUBLE OVERTIME!”
It feels weird that the only call that Emrick has ever had for the Islanders was in his final season. It was for a special moment for the New York Islanders that year. The Islanders needed a win to stay alive in the 2020 Eastern Conference Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning. When Game 5 of that series went into overtime, the Islanders had to find a way to beat the Lightning. Because the Lightning we’re excellent in overtime that season the Islanders knew this would be a challenge.
Thankfully they would get help from a Lightning mistake. With under 7:39 to go in 2OT, Kevin Shattenkirk fans on his shot from the faceoff. Anders Lee raced Mikhail Sergachev for the puck and won. Then with Jordan Eberle beside him, Lee passes it to Eberle on a one-timer to beat Andrei Vasilevskiy and force Game 6. Emrick’s emotional reaction, while this play was happening, is just beautiful. Even for his age, Emrick can keep up with a dramatic moment like this.
New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals: “SCOOOOOREEEE!!!! STEPAN!! IN OVERTIME!! THE RANGERS MOVE ON TO TAMPA!!
Like the Devils, Emrick has had many calls with several teams, which makes it hard to pick one. The New York Rangers are one of those teams. There have been many Ranger goals involving Emrick’s voice. But there is one famous goal that Doc called in 2015 that Ranger fans still love today. In the second round of the 2015 NHL Playoffs, the Rangers forced a game seven against the Washington Capitals. The Capitals were up 3-1 before the Rangers won the next two games. To make things more dramatic, Game 7 went to overtime tied at 1.
The Rangers wanted to end this series, and thankfully Derek Stepan would do just that. With under 8:42 left in the first overtime, the Rangers won the faceoff, and the puck went to Keith Yandle. Yandle passed it back to Dan Girardi, but Braden Holtby saved his shot attempt. After the save, the puck went to Stepan, who buried the shot past Holtby to win game 7, and the series. Seeing the image of Stepan jumping up and down with his teammates is always satisfying, even if you aren’t a Rangers fan. What makes it even better is Emrick’s call, due to getting a voice crack while making the call over a loud Madison Square Garden.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Philadelphia Flyers: “SCORRREEEEEEEE!!!!!!! HARTNELL!!!!
When it comes to the Flyers vs. Penguins rivalry, the games against these two teams are always fun. When Emrick does commentary for this rivalry in a game, it makes it even better. Even a regular-season game between these guys can be exciting. One great example was on March 28th, 2012. Down 2-0 in the third period, the Flyers scored twice in the third, thanks to Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell. The game had to get settled in overtime. In that overtime, it seemed that no one was going to end the game.
However, Hartnell would provide a dramatic moment in this rivalry. With just under 10 seconds to go, Daniel Briere rushed up to the Penguins zone and needed to make a pass. With only 2 seconds left, Hartnell shot the puck, which beat Marc-Andre Fleury with .9 seconds left, winning the game for the Flyers. This game is another example of when the game gets so dramatic; a buzzer-beater goal would make Emrick’s voice break.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals: “SCOOOORRRRRRREEE IT’S OVER!!!!!!
I have to be honest, between this and the Chris Kunitz goal in 2017, choosing this one was tricky. But I decided to go with this call because of how much emotional Emrick sounds here. It’s game 6 of the second round in the 2016 NHL Playoffs. The Penguins needed this game to go onto the Eastern Conference finals. It seems the Penguins we’re going to win this game due to them winning 3-0. However, the Capitals came back to tie it up in the third period, so they had to settle Game 6 overtime.
For Nick Bonino, he didn’t want the Penguins to play in a game 7, so he needed to become Pittsburgh’s hero that night. In just almost 7 minutes into overtime, Carl Hagelin‘s chance to win the game got stopped by Brayden Holtby. But Bonino put in the rebound after to win the game and series for the Penguins. I like this call because, like Adam Henrique, hearing Emrick say “it’s over” over a loud Consol Energy Arena. It”s probably one of Emrick’s best calls of all time.
San Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: “Donskoi goes around behind and a shot SCOOORRREEEEE!!!!!
Later in that same season, the Penguins reached the Stanley Cup Final. However, this call is for the Sharks. During the Sharks’ first-ever appearance in the final, they needed a victory in game 3 to have any chance in this series. With the game tied at 2, this game needed to get settled in overtime. Joonas Donskoi would become the hero for San Jose.
With 7:44 left to go in overtime, Donskoi took the puck behind the net and turned to shoot it, which beat Fleury. The Sharks won game three, and it was their first Stanley Cup Finals victory. The call was pretty great too. Even though Emrick’s voice didn’t crack, he still sounded emotional enough over a loud SAP Center.