Mike Tirico has a remarkable broadcasting résumé, with big-time sports coverage particularly in the NFL (calling Monday Night Football from 2006-15), NBA, college football, golf, tennis, and soccer departments. But until Wednesday night, the 52-year-old had never called an NHL game.

Well, Tirico was the play-by-play man for Wednesday’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings on NBCSN, and fans seemed to enjoy his performance alongside Ed Olczyk.

Tirico’s first goal call came on this score from Chicago’s Artem Anisimov early in the first period:

And here’s Tirico’s call of Patrick Kane’s game-winner for the Blackhawks in overtime:

That sounds like a natural.

Tirico’s immediate success isn’t exactly surprising, seeing as how he’s been terrific in pretty much any previous play-by-play or studio-hosting role across the sports world. But hockey play-by-play may be the most difficult job in the business, featuring a sport with extremely fast-paced play and difficult names to pronounce from across the globe.

Here are some tweets from viewers impressed with Tirico’s debut:

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.

11 thoughts on “Mike Tirico’s NHL play-by-play debut was very well-received

  1. I thought it went well, too. Caught the third period and the OT and he sounded good. My guess here is that NBC will like how well-received it was and use him again on a limited basis through the first round of the playoffs.

  2. Canada calling: A decent debut by Mike, but he was a beat behind the play much of the way, and you don’t announce willing goals without saying the guy “scored.” Hawks win doesn’t cut it. If he does this awhile longer, he could be really good, though.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I expected him to suck, but he did well. He could be very very good with more games under his belt.

  3. Holy cow… He was good. I’m a fan of Doc, and hope Forslund gets the main gig when he retires. That being said, Tirico deserves major props for his first nhl game. Damn near flawless. Was weird hearing him yell score, but I think that’s more on me than him. Job well done on the toughest job in live sports man!!!

  4. I’m amazed that Mike’s never done an NHL game before. I would have sworn I’d heard him doing them….anyway, I’ll point out that the mark of a good announcer isn’t their screaming call of goals or TDs or baskets, but how they handle the normal course of play. For example, what made Vin Scully a legend was what he said between home runs, not how he screamed when someone hit a homer. There’s a little more to announcing that screaming when someone scores.

  5. I’ve sure heard a whole lot worse. 1st time doing it and on a National stage to boot, I thought he was fine but it helps to have Enzo sitting next to him too.

  6. Team Grabby: rewarded with multiple promotions.

    Team Confirming Reporter’s Story: Fired and Defamed.

    ESPN is such a bunch of hypocrites in their employee discipline process. When will Awful Announcing call them out for it. Cue crickets . . .

  7. get rid of the female “experts” please

    they bring nothing….. it’s all typical pandering and PC garbage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.