When it comes to broadcasting Game 7s, Mike “Doc” Emrick is Justin Williams and then some.
Carolina Hurricanes forward Williams is called “Mr. Game 7” because he has played nine of them and won eight while registering seven goals and 15 points. There’s no nickname for the six-time Emmy-winning Emrick, who will broadcast his 45th NHL Game 7 tonight in Boston when the Bruins take on the St. Louis Blues in the Stanley Cup Final (8 p.m. ET, NBC).
“When it comes to memories of those games, there are just a flood of them,” Emrick told USA TODAY Sports. “They are all significant and wonderful and I just count myself lucky to have gotten in free to watch them.”
Emrick, 72, doesn’t rank his Game 7s, but he can offer a list of some of his favorites with the level of rich detail that fans expect from the man whose nickname comes from the fact that he holds a Ph.D. in broadcast communications from Bowling Green University.
“The save on (Detroit’s) Nick Lidstrom with a second and a half to go in 2009,” Emrick said. “That’s as dramatic as it comes. “And (then-Pittsburgh goalie) Marc-Andre Fleury always said he dreamed of being the difference in a Stanley Cup Final. He didn’t say a Game 7, but how big would that be?”
Emrick was also on the call in 1987 when the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals played a four-overtime Game 7 that ended on a Pat LaFontaine goal at 1:58 in the morning. The game lasted 6 hours and 18 minutes.
“I just talked to (former Islanders goalie) Kelly Hrudey about that last week in Boston,” Emrick said. “He had set up his TV to tape the game, but his six-hour VHS format ran out. Of course, what he was missing was the last 20 minutes and we were able to get it for him.”
Hrudey made a record 73 saves in that game.